for Restaurants, Bars, Catering & Other Food Services Businesses

Small business insurance is a critical piece in your overall business plan.

If you don’t have sufficient coverage, your food business is on its own if it has to replace expensive kitchen equipment damaged in a fire or pay out thousands of dollars in a liability suit.

If you are new to business insurance or not sure where to start, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you navigate the world of food service insurance.

Read on to find out how to build a foolproof protection plan for your restaurant, bar, banquet hall, or catering business.

Small Business Insurance Policies for Food Services Businesses

Your insurance needs will vary depending on your industry (i.e., catering, mobile food truck, restaurant, night club), the size of your workforce, and the services you offer.

However, here are some general coverages we recommend:

Which of these coverages is right for your business? Keep reading for an overview of the different protections each coverage offers.

General Liability Insurance

This coverage protects you and your business from third-party liability. It covers attorneys’ fees, court-ordered compensation, and other legal costs when someone sues your food business for…

  • Bodily injuries they sustained on your property
  • Damaging or losing their property
  • Offering products or services that harmed them (e.g., allergic reaction from your food)
  • Libel or slander

This coverage is your safety net against the unpredictable (allergic reactions, slips and falls, etc.).

Property Insurance

This coverage protects your business’s covered assets. For example, if you have a kitchen fire and need to replace your ovens and refrigeration units, this coverage can help compensate your business for the cost of replacing your insured items.

Covered events include loss or damage caused by…

  • Fires and windstorms
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Power surges and outages

Off-Premise Insurance

This coverage is perfect if you have a mobile food truck or catering business as it travels with your covered items so your assets aren’t vulnerable once they leave your primary premises.

Off-Premise Insurance can cover…

  • Leased or rented equipment
  • Equipment and supplies in transit or in use at a venue
  • Accounts receivable
  • Replacement products and inventory due to broken or damaged equipment

Typically, Off-Premise coverage compensates you for damage or loss caused by a fire, windstorms, theft, or faulty electrical currents.

Business Owner’s Policies

This policy bundles your basic insurance coverages together for less.

Generally, these plans include…

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Property Insurance
  • Business Interruption Insurance

In order to qualify for the affordable coverage a BOP offers, your business must be considered “small” and have what your insurance provider deems a “low” risk profile.

Liquor Liability Insurance

This coverage is a must for food businesses that sell or serve alcohol.

Many states have dram shop laws that allow alcohol-selling establishments to be sued for damages caused by their intoxicated patrons.

For example, if one of your customers drinks all night at your bar then kills a pedestrian while driving drunk, the pedestrian’s family can sue your business for negligent service. These types of lawsuits can easily exceed millions of dollars in damages.

This coverage can pay for your legal defense fees and court-ordered compensation if you’re found liable.

Covered events may include damages caused by…

  • An intoxicated guest who leaves your establishment and causes damage elsewhere
  • Bartenders who drink while working
  • A fight that occurs at your business
  • Other specific events perpetuated by an intoxicated patron (i.e., sexual assault, stabbings, shootings, etc.)

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

This policy takes effect when your employees are injured while carrying out their work.

This type of policy can help a business pay for…

  • Injured employees’ medical expenses and foregone wages
  • Support payments and funeral costs if an injury kills an employee
  • Legal costs if your employee sues your food business for the negligence that caused their occupational injury

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance

This coverage protects your food services business when sued for an auto accident that happens in a rented or personal vehicle.

This policy covers liability for…

Accidents that happen in rented cars while the driver is performing business duties.
Accidents that happen when an employee runs business errands in their personal vehicle.

It is important to note that this policy only covers liability. The actual property damage to the vehicles would need to be covered by other policies.

Umbrella / Excess Liability Insurance

This policy can help extend the limits of your…

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Employer’s Liability Insurance
  • Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance

Umbrella Liability can raise the limits of all three policies by millions of dollars.

Florida's Restaurant Insurance Leader