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Best Restaurant Insurance of 2022

Bryan Keith

A lot can go wrong when you’re running a busy kitchen and face the lunchtime rush of orders. For a restaurant, bar, or pub business, these risks can include an employee having an accident while preparing meals, food spoilage due to a power outage, or a customer getting food poisoning. Keep your business from liabilities with restaurant insurance. We’ve evaluated the best business insurance providers based on coverage, financial stability, customer satisfaction, and overall quality. 

Affordable plans and coverage provided within minutes

$2,000,000

Coverage Up To

$0 - $2,000

Deductibles

Overview

Next Insurance leverages AI technology to streamline the process to purchase insurance, track claims, and manage policies at no additional cost.

What we like

  • Affordable insurance plans
  • Customized coverage to fit your business
  • Get covered within minutes
  • Near instant access to proof of insurance
  • Quick and easy to process claims

What we don't

  • Not available in New York

Covers a wide range of industries

$2,000,000

Coverage Up To

$1,000+

Deductibles

Overview

Coverwallet began its journey in New York City in 2015 operating under the Aon Insurance banner. At Coverwallet, you can access everything you need to keep your company well-protected at an unbeatable price.

What we like

  • A skilled advisor to assist you
  • Free quotes from multiple insurance carriers
  • Covers low risk to even some high risk industries
  • Online account management

What we don't

  • No brick-and-mortar offices
  • Deductible costs

Customized solution to fit your business needs

$2,000,000

Coverage Up To

$0 - $10,000

Deductibles

Overview

With a 100-year history of insuring businesses, Hiscox is well-known across America and globally. With more than 500,000 small business customers, Hiscox is fully aware and trained in the unique risks a business can face.

What we like

  • Established insurance company
  • Dual auto insurance
  • Customizable insurance for over 180 industries
  • Deductibles starting at $0
  • Affordable rates

What we don't

  • Limited US offices
  • Coverage limited to $2 million online

Flexible coverage by the year, month, day, or by the job

$2,000,000

Coverage Up To

$0 - $10,000

Deductibles

Overview

Thimble provides business insurance that can be tailored to your business by the year, month, day, or even the job. At Thimble, the process to getting the right business insurance is simple, scalable, and flexible.

What we like

  • Scheduled coverage options
  • Coverage by the job available
  • Buy a policy online within minutes
  • No hidden fees
  • Affordable plans
  • Drone insurance

What we don't

  • Not available in New York

What is restaurant insurance?  

You’ve worked hard to build your restaurant but your business carries risks that could have legal and financial implications. You could be cleaning the floor when a customer walks in and happens to slip and fall, or there could be a fire in your building that causes you to temporarily shut down your business. 

Restaurant insurance can help protect your business against multiple factors including lawsuits, property damage, food spoilage, and if someone is hurt in your restaurant.

Who needs restaurant insurance?

Businesses that serve food and beverage should consider taking out restaurant insurance to protect against liability and damages that may occur. Types of restaurant businesses can include (but are not limited to):

  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Cafes
  • Food delivery services
  • Fine dining
  • Coffee shops
  • Juice bars
  • Diners
  • Fast food restaurants
  • Ice cream shops
  • Bakeries
  • Pizzerias 

What insurance do restaurants need?  

When taking out restaurant insurance, it’s important to consider different types of coverage and policies to adequately cover your business for legal liability and potential financial losses. The most common types of coverage for restaurants are:

General liability insurance

Taking out general liability insurance is fundamental for restaurant businesses, covering you for a wide range of risks and incidents. Some of these basic risks include injury to a customer on your premises, damage to a customer’s property if you’re delivering food, and lawsuits if a customer sues you for wrongful conduct. 

Typically, general liability coverage includes legal defense costs, advertising harm, third-party bodily injury, third-party property damage, and protection against accusations of defamation, copyright infringement, and slander.

Common exclusions for general liability insurance include tools and equipment used for your business, workplace injuries for employees, auto accidents if you are driving for business purposes, and property damage for a premise that belongs to you. 

Workers’ compensation insurance

Many states legally require you to take out workers’ compensation insurance in case your employees get injured while working. As the chances of getting injured while in a kitchen are very high, you should take out adequate coverage to protect all workers.  

Coverage for workers’ compensation insurance can include lost wages if your employees need to recover from an injury, medical expenses for injuries, benefits to families if an employee dies on the job, permanent injury if an employee can no longer work, and employer liability if you get sued by an employee. 

Common exclusions can include executive officers and owners of businesses. 

Commercial property insurance

Protecting your restaurant business with commercial property insurance can provide coverage for buildings, tools, equipment, inventory, furniture, and gear you need to do business. This can include incidents where you lose all your inventory due to a fire, or someone breaks in and steals equipment that you use to serve your customers.

You can obtain customized commercial property insurance to suit your business needs. Coverage can include equipment breakdown, business income interruption where you might have to temporarily close your business for repairs, and repairs to the structure of your building. 

Exclusions can consist of third-party property and incidents arising out of wear and tear.

Equipment breakdown insurance

As a restaurant owner, the tools and equipment you use to run your business are essential for helping you serve your customers. Equipment breakdown insurance (sometimes referred to as boiler and machinery insurance) helps you by paying for repairs and replacements for stolen, lost or damaged equipment. 

Coverage for your restaurant can include fixing or replacing failed equipment, loss of business revenue due to equipment failure, and loss of materials such as spoiled food. 

Exclusions can include software used by your business to manage reservations, or someone hacking into your customer data causing a security breach. 

Liquor liability insurance

If your restaurant sells alcoholic beverages, someone who gets intoxicated could have an accident, hurt someone else, or fall sick. Damage can also be caused to property due to reckless behavior. In some states, it can be a mandatory requirement to have liquor liability insurance if you sell alcohol.

The majority of policies will cover your business for personal injuries, property damage, and lawsuits that are bought against you. 

Many insurance policies exclude underage drinking and incidents that occur without a liquor license from your policy. 

Commercial auto insurance

If your restaurant uses a vehicle for business purposes such as delivering pizza or food, it may be a good idea to take out commercial auto insurance. This policy can cover you and your employees if there is an accident. Many states require business-owned vehicles to be insured.

Coverage can include uninsured motorists, towing and labor, medical expenses related to emergency care, legal expenses, and property damage. 

Some exclusions of your policy can consist of drivers under the age of 18 and passenger transportation businesses. 

What are the limits of restaurant insurance?

Limits to your restaurant insurance policy determine how much coverage you will receive when you file a claim. It’s important to be aware of your coverage limits because any claims that exceed the limits will not be covered by your insurer and will need to be paid out-of-pocket from your business. 

Premiums are increased with higher limits, and some insurers can start with limits of $500,000 going up to $2,000,000. 

It’s important to consider the size and type of restaurant business when factoring in how much coverage you need to take out. If you’re the owner of a small ice cream shop, you could potentially choose lower levels of coverage than a fast-food restaurant owner of multiple franchises. 

If in doubt, you can speak to your insurance company for tailored coverage options for your business needs. 

How much does restaurant insurance cost?

Typically, the larger your business, the more you will pay for restaurant insurance. The cost can depend on the type of coverage you choose to take out and the different types of risks associated with your restaurant business. For instance, a small coffee shop will have very different risk factors compared to a fine dining restaurant. 

Some insurers provide discounts on bundled policies which can help save your business money on the cost of insurance. 

  • General liability insurance: The price for small restaurant businesses can start from as little as $25 per month and increase depending on the size and complexity of the business. 
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: From as little as $14 a month, the more employees you have the higher your premium. 
  • Commercial auto insurance: From $750 to $3,000 a year depending on your business size, number of vehicles you own, and vehicle type. Larger businesses that have a fleet of vehicles may need to pay more. 
  • Equipment breakdown insurance: Depending on the value of the equipment you use, you could be paying $25 – $50 per $50,000 of equipment. 
  • Commercial property insurance: Starting from as little as $205 annually, commercial property insurance premiums can be dependent on various factors including the type of restaurant business you own, the number of employees you have, and your location.
  • Liquor liability insurance: On average you could be paying $900 to $1,200 a year. However, the final amount will depend on the type of business, level of coverage, deductibles, and the volume of alcohol you are likely to sell. 

Other factors that can impact the price of your restaurant insurance premiums include the number of years of experience you have in the industry and your claims history. The more claims you make on your insurance policies, the greater the likelihood that you will pay a higher premium when your policy is due for renewal. 

How to choose the best restaurant insurance

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to buying your restaurant insurance as your coverage requirements will be dependent on the type and size of your restaurant business. However here are some key factors to consider when shopping for your restaurant insurance policies:

  • Consider the services provided: If you own a bar where a large percentage of your sales come from selling alcohol, you are likely to require a more extensive coverage for liquor liability insurance. If you require security personnel, this could require more extensive workers’ compensation coverage. 
  • Read the fine print: When taking out an insurance policy it’s important to fully read the terms and conditions to avoid surprises later on if your claim gets rejected by the insurer. Plus, you’ll have added reassurance that the coverage provided will adequately cover you for the risks of running your restaurant business.