California Restaurant Insurance: Cost & Quotes From $20/mo

Table of contents

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

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. 

General Liability Insurance for Restaurants in California

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
Aggregate limit  $2,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000 $300,000/$2,000,000 $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.

How Much Coverage Can You Get From General Liability Insurance?

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. 

In What Situations Can You Use General Liability Insurance?

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 for Restaurants in California

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.

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Commercial Property Insurance for Restaurants in California

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
Outdoor signs Excluded $2,500 Excluded Excluded Included
Accounts receivable  Excluded Excluded $5,000/$10,000 Excluded Included
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.

What Are Some Example Situations Where You Can Use Commercial Property Insurance?

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

Does Commercial Property Insurance for Restaurants in California Offer Add-Ons?

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

What is Not Covered Under Default Commercial Property Insurance?

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. 

Business Owner’s Policy for Restaurants in California

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
BOP discount? 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.

How Much Coverage Can You Get From a Business Owner’s Policy?

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.

What Are Some Examples Where Your Restaurant in California Can Use a Business Owner’s Policy?

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

Tools and Equipment Insurance for Restaurants in California 

NEXT  Thimble Hiscox
Aggregate limit $3,000/$10,000 $2,500/$5,000 $15,000/$25,000
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
Deductible $500 $500 $0

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 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.

Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover Supply Chain Disruptions?

Yes, business interruption insurance can sometimes cover any supply chain interruptions that negatively affect your business. 

Liquor Liability Insurance for California Restaurants

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.

Do I Need Liquor Liability Insurance in California?

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 for Restaurants in California

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:

  • Hospitalization

  • Medication

  • Lost wages

  • Rehabilitation

  • Death benefits

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. 

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California Restaurant Insurance Cost

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

Compare Cheap California Restaurant Insurance Quotes Online

Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!

Best Companies for California Restaurant Insurance

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.

NEXT California Restaurant Insurance


  • Best overall

  • Issues an online proof of insurance instantly

  • Fastest general liability insurance

  • Great customer service and reputation

  • Excellent rates

  • 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

The Hartford California Restaurant Insurance


  • Fill completely online

  • The claim tracking system is well reviewed

  • High customer satisfaction


  • Less customization

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

CoverWallet California Restaurant Insurance


  • 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

Tivly California Restaurant Insurance


  • 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

Thimble California Restaurant Insurance


  • Online quotes

  • 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

Hiscox California Restaurant Insurance


  • Easy to get a refund

  • Small-business-focused

  • 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

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