What Insurance Does a Restaurant Need?

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Owning a restaurant is a dream you’ve held for years and now it’s coming true! You’ve thought about your menu, seating options, even your logo, but have you thought about restaurant insurance?

Between your inventory, customers, and the business itself, restaurants carry a large amount of risk. But your pizza parlor, bakery, or café is more than just a great place to eat. It’s also your livelihood. Is that a risk you’re willing to take? Having the right restaurant insurance policy can prevent you from having to kiss your dream goodbye.

So what insurance does a restaurant need? Let’s take a look at some essential types of insurance that every restaurant owner should have.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

The food business is just that: business. Which means that restaurants need the same level of basic business coverage that all companies do. A Business Owner’s Policy (or BOP) combines three types of essential business insurance into one policy.

1. General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance covers a customer’s claims relating to bodily injury or property injury (in this case, the customer’s property). Food liability coverage typically includes things like trip-and-fall incidents, food poisoning, or dry cleaning bills caused by spilled coffee.

2. Property Insurance

Property insurance protects against property damage caused by a covered loss. So if your staff accidentally overloads your industrial mixer or a fire puts your kitchen out of commission, you’ll be able to have the affected items repaired or replaced.

3. Business Interruption Insurance

Whereas property insurance may cover damage to property you own, it can’t reimburse you for the lost income you missed out on while you were closed. That’s where business interruption insurance comes in!

Food-Related Policies

A restaurant isn’t a restaurant without the food, but all those delicious drinks and tempting tacos carry their own unique set of risks. Ensuring that you have adequate coverage means having a few supplemental policies.

4. Liquor Liability Insurance

Liquor liability insurance covers damages that may arise from you serving or selling alcohol to a customer. For example, if a customer is served too much to drink and drives away, any car accidents that he may cause don’t have to be the end of your restaurant.

5. Food Contamination Insurance

A power outage just after closing time goes undiscovered for 36 hours. Your latest lettuce shipment falls under the listeria recall (but not before spreading the bacteria to the rest of your produce). There are hundreds of incidents that can contaminate or spoil the food in your kitchens.

Food spoilage insurance will cover the costs associated with restocking that lost inventory.

Equipment-Related Policies

Whether you own a food truck or a catering company, your business relies on certain equipment. From deep fryers to delivery trucks, insurance can help protect your business’ assets (so you can keep cooking).

6. Equipment Breakdown

Property damage is an essential form of insurance coverage, but it’s designed to protect against natural disasters, such as fire and wind damage. But if your oven is suddenly on the fritz, equipment breakdown coverage can help.

7. Commercial Auto Insurance

If your restaurant delivers food or has any company vehicles, commercial auto insurance is crucial. (Fleet coverage is also available!)

8. Inland Marine

Your food truck or delivery van isn’t the only thing that needs coverage. If an accident causes damage to a wedding cake, pizza oven, or mini fridge, inland marine coverage can be a lifesaver.

Employee-Related Policies

If you’re opening a restaurant, it’s likely that you have at least a few employees. Entrusting others to represent your business for you may give you more free time, but it can come with a lot of risk. Having some extra coverage on your restaurant insurance policy can help set your mind at ease.

9. Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Florida law requires you to carry workers’ comp insurance if you have four or more full- or part-time employees, but it’s a good thing to have no matter what. In addition to covering medical treatment, it will also cover a portion of your employee’s lost wages as well as any vocational training should they become permanently injured.

Anybody who works at your restaurant (including yourself!) is likely to become injured on the job; knowing you’re covered by workers’ comp will help you breathe a little easier.

10. Employee Theft Insurance

Also known as employee dishonesty insurance, employee theft insurance will protect you if a less-than-honest employee steals a customer’s credit card number, pockets cash from the till, or takes a few bottles of liquor home.

11. Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Restaurants are notorious for having a high turnover when it comes to employees. But sometimes, those ex-employees perceive their experience a little differently than you do. Employment practices liability coverage (EPLI) will cover you in case you are sued by a former employee for discrimination, harassment, or improper termination.


Protecting your restaurant against risk not only keeps your dream alive, it provides for your family, creates jobs for your employees, and keeps the public supplied with your top-notch empanadas (or ice cream…or pizza…or falafel…). That’s why it’s important to have the right types of restaurant insurance.

If you haven’t thought about insurance for your restaurant yet, now’s the time to do it. Our agents would love to hear more about your business so we can find the best insurance policy for you. And because HLI is an independent insurance agent, we can gather quotes from multiple insurance companies to find the policies and coverage that fits your budget and your needs. (We also love to discover new restaurants!)

Call today to get a free quote and learn how we can cater to you.

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