Did you know that in 2019, there were over 8,000 instances of cuts and lacerations in full-service restaurants?
The #1 cause of accidents in restaurants is slip-and-fall accidents from spilled food, drinks, or cooking grease. Teen workers are especially vulnerable to this.
In California, these incidents can create workplace safety hazards that result in lost productivity and interrupted operations.
With all these examples of restaurant accidents being put into numbers, a restaurant owner may start getting nervous. Don’t fret; California restaurant insurance can be a helpful solution that lowers your liability risk and reduces business costs. This article will answer common queries and explore topics about restaurant insurance in California, including:
What is California restaurant insurance
What policies are included
Best Companies for California restaurant insurance
Restaurant insurance in California protects your restaurant, staff, customers, and everything else inside it. A good restaurant insurance policy will be comprised of several components that are each key to protecting your business correctly. These include:
General liability insurance
Product liability insurance
Liquor liability insurance
Commercial property insurance
Business owner’s policy
Tools and equipment insurance
Business interruption insurance
Workers compensation insurance
In the coming sections, we will break down the precise details of these types of restaurant insurance options and connect them to how they are an essential part of your insurance coverage.
|CoverWallet||NEXT (Best)||Thimble||Hiscox||The Hartford|
|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$300,000/$1,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000|
|Products and completed operations aggregate limit||$2,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Advertising injury coverage aggregate limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Tenant’s legal liability coverage limit||$100,000||$100,000||$5,000||$100,000||$1,000,000|
|Waiver of subrogation included?||Yes||No||Included||Can be included||No|
|Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage included?||Yes||No||Excluded||Can be included||Can be included|
|Equipment breakdown floater included?||No||Yes||Yes||Can be included||Can be included|
General liability insurance covers a wide range of accidents and risks to running a restaurant. The policy empowers owners with financial protection if someone other than their employee gets hurt or if their business is responsible for damaging property. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best general liability insurance for restaurants in California.
A general liability policy for a restaurant typically offers $1 million in coverage. In California, you may need a higher cover limit, so insurance companies also offer $2 million and $4 million coverage limits.
Some examples of general liability in use include:
A customer slips on a spilled appetizer tray and hurts their hip. They may try to recover medical costs from your restaurant.
An employee spills a drink on an expensive shirt a customer is wearing. The customer may try to recover the costs of replacing or repairing the shirt.
Restaurant inventory is improperly stored and causes a customer to trip over it, breaking their leg. That cost for that leg will likely fall on the restaurant owner, which general liability insurance can help cover.
Product liability insurance covers restaurants for any harm caused by a product to customers. This policy cover claims for food poisoning, improper food preparation, and improper packaging. Restaurants will typically need food product liability insurance since their products are things that customers will consume. Examples of this insurance in action include:
A customer gets food poisoning from a meal at your restaurant. Your product liability would cover any expenses you are found to have to cover
One of your restaurant patrons gets injured trying to eat a tough steak. This insurance might need to cover any liabilities this steak has caused you.
Product liability policies have high policy limits because of the cost of healthcare that can be associated with it. Policy limits can range from $1 million up to $5 million.
Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!
|CoverWallet||NEXT (Best)||Thimble||The Hartford||Hiscox|
|Building coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$340,000||$25,000/$500,000||$35,000||$25,000|
|Contents coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$35,000||$25,000/$500,000||$35,000||$15,000|
|Money and securities||Excluded||$2,500||$1,000||Excluded||Included|
|Lock and keys||Excluded||$2,500||Excluded||Excluded||Included|
|Business interruption floater||Excluded||Included||Included||Excluded||Included|
|Equipment breakdown floater||Excluded||Included||Excluded||Excluded||Included|
|Inland marine insurance floater||Excluded||Excluded||$10,000||Excluded||Excluded|
|Employee dishonesty floater||Excluded||$5,000||$2,500||Excluded||Excluded|
Restaurants in California would benefit significantly from commercial property insurance policies. Commercial property insurance protects company assets from external perils like fires, earthquakes, vandalism, and theft. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best commercial property insurance for restaurants in California.
Some examples include:
If a wildfire sweeps through and damages your restaurant, you will be covered under a commercial property policy
If a fight breaks out in the restaurant between drunk guests, commercial property insurance can be used to cover the replacement or repair of broken items
If sprinkler leakage causes damage to the wiring and some structures of the restaurant, commercial property insurance can cover renovation expenses
Commercial property insurance can be improved with add-ons to help address gaps in coverage. The table below shows the most common ones:
|Policy Option||What it Covers|
|Food spoilage||Food spoilage coverage will protect the business against in events like a power outage from a lightning strike|
|Utility services interruption||Another add-on utility service interruption covers expenses your business incurs from the result of losing electricity, water, and communication. Your business may suffer a water main break from the wind or suffer property damage from an off-premise cause|
|Improvements and betterments||This policy add-on covers the costs of your permanently installed improvements made to your commercial property for when you need to relocate|
If you intentionally damage your property through a decision you made or through lack of maintenance, you will not be covered under commercial property insurance. Damage caused by earthquakes, mudslides, and floods is also excluded.
|CoverWallet||NEXT (Best)||Thimble||The Hartford||Hiscox|
|General liability aggregate limit||$2,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$300,000/$2,000,000|
|Commercial property coverage limit||$50,000||$320,000||$25,000/$500,000||$35,000||$75,000|
|Optional policies can be added?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Name additional insureds for free?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Business owner’s policy for restaurants combines general liability coverage and commercial property insurance in one package. It will cover incidents where your property gets damaged, theft occurs, and customers suffer bodily or financial harm. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best business owner’s policy for restaurants in California.
Restaurants will find that business owners’ policy coverage limits will be about $2 million. This number will vary depending on your number of employees, the revenue of your restaurant, and the amount of property needing protection.
Some examples of where you can use this insurance are:
If a customer slips and falls on a wet floor in your restaurant, it would be covered under the business owner’s policy
If an employee is rushing to serve a table but steps on a customer’s phone, this would be covered as well
Business owner’s policy would cover property damage to your restaurant in the event of it being spray painted in a vandalism act
|Covers hired and borrowed equipment?||$3,000/$10,000||$2,500/$5,000||No|
|Miscellaneous equipment also covered?||$5,000/$10,000||No||Yes|
|Offered as an endorsement to general liability insurance?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Another strong insurance policy option for restaurants is tools and equipment insurance. This provides coverage for any necessary tools and equipment when they are damaged or stolen in the course of business. Some examples include:
Your best kitchen range breaks down but not due to wear and tear. This insurance would help you cover the cost of fixing it
A thief breaks into your restaurant and steals your best set of chef knives. You can use tools and equipment insurance to get a replacement set
Typically coverage for tools and equipment will cover any moveable items valued under $10,000. For restaurants, this will be things like knives, plates, tables, and appliances necessary for cooking. Coverage limits can go up to $15,000 per maximum item. Since restaurants have so many expensive appliances that they rely on to serve their customers, extra protection for these devices is a must. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best tools and equipment insurance for restaurants in California.
Business interruption insurance is a crucial policy pick-up for restaurants in California. With so many natural disasters, they often experience interruptions in their ability to provide service. Business interruption policies generally require a natural disaster where your property is physically damaged.
Business interruption insurance can help you cover the cost of lost profits, property damage, relocation costs, employee wages, rent payments, and loan payments. Some example situations where you can apply this policy include:
You cannot make your rent payment because your business profits have suffered due to a local flood. Business interruption can help you keep your doors open
A wildfire has damaged your restaurant property so much that you need to relocate. Business interruption insurance can help pay you for lost profits as well as any relocation costs
Business interruption insurance limits often cap out in the million-dollar range. However, this will depend on your revenue, number of employees, and property.
Yes, business interruption insurance can sometimes cover any supply chain interruptions that negatively affect your business.
Liquor liability insurance grants protection against claims for bodily injuries or property damage sustained by a drunk customer. You can use this policy if you’re accused of negligently service liquor or overserving a guest. Liquor liability insurance further grants coverage if a person assaulted by a drunk guest sues you for bodily injuries or property damage.
No, in California, you are not required to have liquor liability insurance. However, if you serve alcohol at your restaurant, you are required by the California Alcoholic Beverage Control to apply for a license and pay license fees. If you need it, liquor liability insurance can often be purchased alongside general liability insurance.
Workers compensation insurance protects employers and employees against the cost of work-related accidents. This kicks in if an employee slips, falls, or experiences any other accident. With workers compensation insurance, your restaurant in California can easily cover an employee's:
California requires all restaurants to get workers compensation insurance as soon as they have one or more employees. Failure to comply often results in stiff fines and penalties. And in the worst case, a violator might be forced to close his or her business.
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Deductible|
|General liability insurance||$40||$480||$0-$500|
|Commercial property insurance||$53||$636||$1,000-$2,000|
|Business owner's policy||$90||$1,080||$1,500|
|Commercial auto insurance||$59||$708||$500-$1,000|
|Workers compensation insurance||$87||$1,044||$1,000-$2,500|
|Business interruption insurance||$55||$660||$500-$1,000|
|Tools and equipment insurance||Depends on the value of items to be covered||Depends on the value of items to be covered||$500-$1,000|
California restaurant business insurance is $49 per month or $588 per year for a $1 million general liability policy. Factors that affect the cost of premiums are revenue, number of employees, business history, claims history, location, and characteristics of business operations. Check out our price comparison table for some of the top companies that offer California restaurant insurance:
|Company||Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Best for|
|NEXT||$20||$240||Best for overall; Fastest general liability insurance for restaurants in California|
|Tivly||$22||$264||Comparing California restaurant insurance quotes over the phone|
|Hiscox||$30||$360||Business insurance for California restaurants with automatic renewal|
|Thimble||$42||$504||General liability insurance for California restaurants with an optional customer property coverage|
|CoverWallet||$44||$528||Comparing California restaurant insurance quotes online|
|The Hartford||$48||$576||Long-term benefits|
Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!
The best companies include Next, The Hartford, CoverWallet, Tivly, Thimble, and Hiscox. Be sure to check out their advantages from our breakdown below to see which insurance policy is right for your Californian restaurant.
Issues an online proof of insurance instantly
Fastest general liability insurance
Great customer service and reputation
Outstanding value for money
Get a 10% discount if you buy two or more policies
Couldn't find any
NEXT Insurance offers tailored insurance packages for restaurant owners that help them get what they need. They offer important policies like general liability, liquor liability, commercial property, tools & equipment.
Next has an impressive A- (excellent) rating from AM Best that guarantees its financial security. The company serves over 400,000 customers and has an annual written premium count of over $200 million Their policies cover things like food poisoning, property damage, and slip-and-fall-type injuries.
The online quote system is convenient and considers your personal situation to help you find what you need. You will be hard-pressed to find a better selection of great qualities in a restaurant insurance shopping experience.
Best for: Best for overall; Fastest general liability insurance for restaurants in California
Average cost: $20 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Fill completely online
The claim tracking system is well reviewed
High customer satisfaction
The Hartford offers competitive options in California for commercial property and general liability that restaurants can take advantage of. This company's policies give benefits to long-term customers, so it pays to stick with them. It has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, which speaks to its professionalism and expertise.
This company is an industry leader with over 200 years of experience. In the first quarter of 2023, they had a net income of $530 million to their stockholders. They have an A+ rating from AM Best and and exceeded over $11 billion in direct premiums in 2022.
Best for: Long-term benefits
Average cost: $88 per month
Our rating: 10/10
High experience with the restaurant industry
Restaurant tailored policies
Convenient dashboard for tracking policies
Not an insurance company but an insurance broker
CoverWallet is a digital insurance marketplace with the convenience of an online wallet. They offer policies with restaurants' needs in mind, and their agent can help you get customized recommendations for their partners. They have a business owners' policy option that combines multiple types in a single package. The options available will include commercial property, general liability, and business interruption insurance.
The company has a trusted track record with its A+ rating from BBB. Thousands of customers purchase insurance policies through CoverWallet, and their selection of partners means you have plenty of options to look through.
Best for: Comparing California restaurant insurance quotes online
Average cost: $44 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Numerous partners to choose from
Helps connect you with insurance carriers
Generating quotes is super simple
Not an insurance carrier
Tivly offers several great packages that would work well with a California restaurant owner. They have general liability insurance, commercial property, and product liability policy options you can browse through their partners. Call a representative now to compare quotes over the phone.
They sell you insurance by getting multiple quotes from their partners. They have secured an A rating from the BBB and have the experience to back it up. Tivly has a knack for convenience that will make your shopping experience less stressful.
Best for: Comparing California restaurant insurance quotes over the phone
Average cost: $22 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Resources for restaurant owners
Lots of helpful policy options
Limited customer service options
Thimble has excellent coverage for restaurants built into their policy prescriptions. They have business owner’s policy that is packaged with general liability, commercial property, and business interruption insurance. On top of that, you can add on equipment breakdown coverage to keep your business's kitchen appliances in top shape.
Thimbles' financials are as good as their policies. They have an A rating from AM Best and cover 300 professions with personalized coverage. A big selling point of choosing Thimble is the resources they make available to restaurant owners. They answer detailed questions about how their policy will affect you, which makes the buying experience stress-free.
Best for: General liability insurance for California restaurants with an optional customer property coverage
Average cost: $42 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Easy to get a refund
Making Hiscox your one-stop-shop earns you bundled discounts
Fewer coverage options
Hiscox has big coverage for small business owners and focuses their products around providing that service. This is good news for small or medium restaurant owner who wants to get the most coverage for their budget. They offer options for general liability and business owner’s policy that help restaurants cover liabilities they might owe to their customers and damage to their business property.
Hiscox takes great care to tailor their policies to fit right for your business. They can be proud of an A rating from AM Best for financial strength that is built on their success with small customers. Another strength is that they employ specialists that get back to you within a day of filing a claim so that you can feel more at ease with an already stressful situation.
Best for: Business insurance for California restaurants with automatic renewal
Average cost: $30 per month
Our rating: 10/10
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
Their general liability insurance purchase process is simply the best online experience I've ever had in my life!
As long as they cover your line of business, you're literally covered! best rates, best coverage, best online experience, best professionals, can't be happier that I chose them!
It really can't get any better than this... wow