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Restaurant Insurance Basics for Startup Eateries

Services for Real Estate Pros with Altman Insurance Agency

If you're planning on starting a restaurant and are currently trying to figure out the maze of what restaurant coverages you'll need,  let us offer some advice. These are the basic, must-have coverages that any restaurant owner will need:

General Liability. This is one of the main types of coverage for any establishment. General liability will protect you from lawsuits if someone slips on a wet floor or gets hurt in some other way at your restaurant. It's a safety net for accidents.

Property. Your property insurance will help you out if your restaurant is damaged due to fire, vandalism, or weather. Ask about flood coverage as well.

Loss of Business. This will reimburse you for what you lose if your business is interrupted by a covered threat.

 Liquor Liability. If you're selling alcohol, liquor liability is a necessity. It will repair damages caused by a drunken customer, or it can take care of lawsuits if a drunken customer hurts someone in your restaurant.

Workers Comp. Every business must have workers compensation by law. It funds medical bills for your employees if they get injured at work.

Commercial Auto (if you cater or deliver). This is just like auto coverage, only it's specifically for your restaurant.

We hope this gets you started on your way to insuring your restaurant. For more information on restaurant insurance or retail insurance of any kind, contact us today! We're Altman Insurance, and independent insurance agency based in Olympia, Washington.

Lauren Tyson

Liquor licensees need to be aware that  liquor liability insurance, in and of itself, does not prevent liability. Also, insurance only covers liquor licensees up to a certain amount. After that, the licensee is on his or her own. Also, in the case of GROSS NEGLIGENCE or RECKLESS CONDUCT, the plaintiff may sue for PUNITIVE DAMAGES. An example would be serving a patron ten straight shots of 151 proof rum, as well as one mixed drink and two beers within an hour and a half (such as in Ewing vs. Cloverleaf Bowl, a Calif. case).

Liquor licensees need to have responsible business practices in place to prevent liability in the first place. These include discouraging intoxication, promoting non-alcoholic beverages and food, promoting safe rides, no drinking on duty for employees, responsible marketing, comprehensive training for all staff, adequate staffing, a standard hiring system, employee reward/discipline system, and written alcohol management policies that everyone reads and signs off on.

Mar 20, 2009 04:20 AM