Insurance is important whether you’re planning to start a restaurant or are already managing one. You don’t know when someone slips over a fallen slice of bread or spilled liquids. The sweets from the ice cream shop you’re working with might spoil. The restaurant might get burned. Worst of all, someone might get sick after eating the sandwich one of your chefs negligently made. You might even be required to get covered by law. For example, the workers compensation policy is a must if you’re operating a restaurant in California or in any other state.
Restaurant insurance protects you from third-party lawsuits, business property and income loss, and other risks common to other businesses in the food industry such as coffee shops. Learn through this discussion:
What are the most useful insurance policies for your business
The function and coverage limits of the different types of insurance for restaurants
The best companies for restaurant insurance policy
How much is insurance for a small restaurant
The kinds of insurance restaurants need are general liability insurance, workers' compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance, commercial property insurance, liquor liability insurance, and food spoilage and contamination insurance.
The best insurance for restaurants (those you’ll always find useful) are food spoilage and contamination insurance, general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and workers' compensation insurance.
|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$300,000/$2,000,000|
|Products and completed operations aggregate limit|
|Advertising injury coverage aggregate limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Tenant’s legal liability coverage limit|
|Waiver of subrogation included?||Yes||No||Included||Excluded|
|Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage included?||Yes||No||Excluded||Excluded|
|Equipment breakdown floater included?||No||Yes||Yes||Excluded|
|Can you get a certificate of insurance online?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Name additional insureds?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
You need at least $1 million-$2 million general liability insurance.Use the table above to compare the different general liability insurance for restaurants as underwritten by the companies we recommend.
This insurance will protect your restaurant against claims for bodily injuries or property damage.
Here are some situations where restaurant general liability insurance is useful:
A guest falls off from your restaurant’s curb and sustains multiple injuries
A guest slips and falls on a wet floor that an employee mopped
An employee accidentally spills a hot soup or boiling water on a guest
An independent contractor is cleaning the kitchen and sustains burns and cuts due to defective cooking equipment
Restaurant liability insurance will take care of these costs each time an independent contractor, guest, visitor, vendor, and other third party files a claim for property damage or bodily injuries against your business:
Reimbursement for property damage
Attorney fees, investigation fees, court filing fees, and other defense costs
Similar to the general liability insurance of food vendors, pizza delivery men, farmers markets, and cottage food businesses, the general liability insurance of your business doesn’t only take care of claims for bodily injuries or property damage. This restaurant business insurance can also protect you against:
Advertising Injury Claims
Advertising injury coverage is included in general liability insurance. And so, you can use the policy to cover settlements and defense costs if someone files a claim and accuses your restaurant of copying a trademark, logo, marketing materials, and other intellectual properties.
The advertising injury coverage of general liability insurance also takes care of defamation. It will protect you against claims for slander, libel, invasion of privacy, and breach of confidentiality.
Liability Over Rented Premises
General liability insurance is very useful if you’re renting a commercial space as a restaurant owner. This restaurant insurance policy comes with rented premises liability coverage and will indemnify the losses of the landlord if a rented space gets damaged by fire.
Claims for Accidents Caused By A Borrowed/Hired Commercial Vehicle
Your general liability insurance will come with non-owned/hired auto liability coverage. Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage will take care of the resulting expenses if a vehicle your restaurant hired or borrowed for commercial purposes causes an accident, resulting in injuries or property damage to third parties.
Employee Benefits Liability Claims
Your general liability insurance might also come with employee benefits liability coverage. With employee benefits liability coverage included, your general liability policy can cover costs if employees file a claim for missing 401k benefits, health insurance, travel benefits, etc.
Limits Of Liquor Liability Insurance for Restaurants
|Liquor liability insurance per occurrence limit||$250,000-$1 million|
|Liquor liability insurance aggregate limit||$1 million-2 million|
|Medical payments coverage limit||$5,000|
Consider getting liquor liability insurance if your restaurant is selling homemade brews or alcoholic drinks sourced from liquor stores.
You need at least $500,000 liquor liability coverage. Liquor liability insurance will protect you against claims for bodily injuries or property damage when:
A drunk guest gets involved in a fight and holds your restaurant responsible for overserving him or her.
A drunk guest gets hurt in an accident and holds your business liable for what happened
A drunk guest starts a commotion and hurts other guests. Victims then file a claim against your restaurant
Liquor liability insurance is commonly available as part of general liability insurance for restaurants and bars. But still, it’s possible to purchase this as a stand-alone policy.
Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!
|Building coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$260,000||$25,000/$500,000||$25,000|
|Contents coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$22,000||$25,000/$500,000||$25,000|
|Money and securities||Excluded||$2,500||$1,000||Included|
|Lock and keys||Excluded||$2,500||Excluded||Excluded|
|Business interruption floater||Excluded||Included||Included||Included|
|Equipment breakdown floater||Excluded||Included||Excluded||Excluded|
|Inland marine insurance floater||Excluded||Excluded||$10,000||Excluded|
|Employee dishonesty floater||Excluded||$5,000||$2,500||Included|
Just like running a deli, catering service business, food concession, and nightclub, it’s impossible to run a restaurant without a commercial space you own, rent, or lease.
Modifying or creating a small building for a restaurant business costs $200,000. There are a lot of investments involved, and you must consider getting commercial property insurance.
You need a commercial property insurance policy. Use the table above to compare the commercial property insurance of the companies we recommend.
Commercial property insurance will provide reimbursement for losses and help you cover repair or reconstruction expenses if your restaurant gets damaged or destroyed by:
Commercial property insurance automatically covers the contents of your restaurant’s building. This restaurant insurance coverage will reimburse losses if dining chairs and tables, plates, cooking equipment, HVAC, heaters, food carts, and other valuables get damaged or lost due to fire, smoke, theft, and other perils we mentioned above.
Most commercial property insurance policies provide other perks aside from recovering losses. It’s possible for your restaurant’s commercial property insurance to cover accounts receivable, utility services, fine arts and musical instruments, and off-premises properties.
|General liability aggregate limit||$2,000,000||$2,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$2,000,000|
|Commercial property insurance aggregate limit||$50,000||$500,000||$260,000||$100,000|
|Optional policies can be added?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Name additional insureds for free?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Most restaurants opt for a business owner’s policy. We suggest you do the same. A business owner’s policy fuses general liability insurance and commercial property insurance into one insurance product.
Additional policies might be included such as business interruption insurance, equipment insurance, and more. Use the table above to compare the best business owner’s policy options for restaurants.
Food spoilage and contamination insurance is an endorsement to your restaurant’s commercial property insurance.
As the name implies, this commercial restaurant insurance rider reimburses losses and covers extra expenses if the food of your restaurant gets spoiled or contaminated due to:
Prolonged power outage
In addition, these are the extra expenses that food spoilage and contamination endorsement takes care of on your behalf:
Business income loss
Replacement of contaminated or spoiled food
Overtime work or extra labor
Public relations expenses
Commercial cleaning costs
It’s impossible to run a restaurant without employees. You probably have two or five people working with you.
Workers' compensation insurance is a mandatory requirement for all restaurants here in the USA, except for those operating in Texas.
This inclusion in most small restaurant insurance plans takes care of expenses when an employee sustains an occupational injury or disease. With workers compensation insurance for restaurants, you can pay for these:
Employee Treatment/Medical Procedure
Your restaurant business’s employee will need medical treatment/procedure after experiencing burns, muscle overuse injuries, heatstroke, or any other work-related injury or sickness. Workers' compensation insurance provides the money you can use to cover surgeries, medical therapies, and more.
Hospitalization will be required if your employee experiences severe work-related injuries or diseases such as amputations, norovirus, etc. Workers' compensation insurance will provide the money you can use to cover hospital bills.
Your employee will need medicines after sustaining a work-related injury or disease. Workers' compensation insurance provides the money needed to make the purchase.
Rehabilitation is required if your restaurant business’s employee has impaired bodily functions due to stroke, amputations, cuts, lacerations, etc. Workers' compensation insurance covers this. It will provide the money for therapist fees, rehabilitation equipment, and other associated expenses.
Lost Income Compensation
Work-related injuries or illnesses will force your employee to stop working for a while. Of course, you have to cover lost wages. Workers' compensation insurance takes this responsibility off your shoulders by providing the employee a weekly allowance equal to two-thirds or 67% of the average weekly wage.
Your restaurant business’s employee might die because of a work-related injury or illness. Workers' compensation insurance helps with this by covering funeral expenses and providing financial aid to dependents.
Protect your business against income loss. Sometimes included as a coverage in commercial property, general liability, professional liability, and cyber liability policies, restaurant business interruption insurance supplements lost earnings caused by:
Lawsuits and court attendance
Food spoilage and contamination
Data breach or cyber attack
Is business interruption insurance for restaurants useful? Most likely because the insurance money you receive from this policy can be used to pay for mortgage, payroll, utility services, loans, taxes, and other operational costs while your restaurant doesn’t produce income.
Limits Of Employer’s Liability Insurance for Restaurants
|Each employee injury by disease coverage limit||$500,000|
|Each employee injury by accident coverage limit||$500,000|
|Employee injury coverage limit per policy||$500,000|
Employer’s liability insurance will be offered as part of the workers compensation insurance for your restaurant.
Employees can sue and hold you liable for their occupational disease or injury. Employer’s liability insurance takes care of this exposure and pays for these costs:
Attorney fees, investigation fees, court filing fees, and other defense costs
Compensation for punitive damages, pain, and suffering if your employee wins the case
We recommend you get an employer’s liability insurance with a $100,000 minimum coverage for each employee injury by accident and a $500,000 minimum coverage for each employee injury by disease.
Limits Of Commercial Auto Insurance for Restaurants
|Auto liability coverage limit||$25,000 per bodily injury|
$50,000 per accident
$15,000 per property damage
|Uninsured motorist coverage limit||$25,000 per bodily injury|
$50,000 per accident
|Underinsured motorist coverage limit||$25,000 per bodily injury|
$50,000 per accident
|Medical payments coverage limit||$5,000 per person|
|Rental reimbursement coverage limit||$50 per day|
Get commercial auto insurance if your restaurant operates a food truck, food delivery van, or any other type of commercial vehicles.
Your restaurant must get commercial auto insurance to comply with state requirements. This policy primarily functions to grant indemnification to the victims if the commercial vehicle of your business causes an accident.
Commercial auto insurance is very broad. It grants several kinds of protection for your restaurant, such as:
Auto Liability Coverage
Auto liability coverage will cover expenses if your restaurant’s vehicle caused an accident that damaged properties or injured third parties.
This will reimburse the value of damaged property and pay for the medical expenses of injured persons. If an aggrieved party decides to take legal action, auto liability coverage will cover attorney fees, compensatory payments, and other associated costs.
Your restaurant must carry the minimum auto liability insurance imposed by the state where it’s operating. For example, if your restaurant is in California, ensure that your commercial auto insurance provides $15,000/$30,000/$5,000 auto liability coverage.
Physical Damage Coverage
Physical damage coverage has two types - collision and comprehensive.
Collision physical damage coverage will cover parts repair or replacement if your restaurant’s commercial vehicle got damaged after causing an accident or getting involved in an accident.
On the other hand, comprehensive physical damage coverage will cover parts repair or replacement if your restaurant’s commercial vehicle got damaged because of fire, theft, vandalism, and other covered perils
Underinsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Commercial auto insurance offers uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protects the driver and passengers of your restaurant’s commercial vehicle. It works to:
Cover medical treatments if the commercial vehicle gets involved in an accident caused by an uninsured car
Covered medical treatments if the commercial vehicle gets involved in an accident caused by a car without adequate auto liability insurance
Rental Reimbursement Coverage
You might need to hire a commercial vehicle while that of your restaurant’s is in the auto repair shop. Rental reimbursement coverage can mitigate your losses in this situation.
This optional coverage in commercial auto insurance will refund rental expenses up to a maximum amount stated in the policy’s terms.
Note that there are related insurance programs that might be applicable to your restaurant’s activities. A good example is the tailored insurance for barns and taverns.
Bar insurance will be offered if your restaurant’s gross revenue mainly comes from liquor sales. This will grant an extra layer of liquor liability coverage and general liability coverage. Bar insurance costs $180 per month or $2,160 per year for a $1 million general liability insurance
Your restaurant may go for tavern insurance if it doesn’t only sell food and alcohol but also offer lodging services. This has a $1 million general liability policy with customer property coverage.
A separate commercial property policy will also be offered for the rooms or a separate building that your restaurant is using to admit guests for the day. Premiums for tavern insurance cost $210 per month or $2,520 per year for a $1 million general liability policy.
Last but not the least, it’s also possible to find a bar tavern insurance bundle that’s designed for businessmen who own a tavern and bar at the same time.
Insurance policies for restaurants have different costs. The table below shows a quick summary of how much is insurance for a restaurant:
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year|
|General liability insurance||$60||$720|
|Commercial property insurance||$68.41||$820.92|
|Business owner’s policy||$80.58||$966.96|
|Workers' compensation insurance||$88.41||$1,060.92|
There are many factors that affect the average restaurant insurance cost. Examples of factors that affect how much does insurance cost for a restaurant are claims history, business size, revenues, number of employees, and location. Reduce the restaurant insurance cost by:
Purchasing a BOP when planning to get commercial property and general liability insurance
Bundling two or more insurance and enjoy 5%-10% lower premiums
Insuring that your restaurant’s building has working sprinklers and is near a fire hydrant
To get a further idea of your premiums, look at this second table showing the best companies’ restaurant insurance cost per month and year:
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Best for|
|NEXT||$35||$420||Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for restaurants|
|CoverWallet||$45||$540||Restaurant insurance quotes comparison online|
|Tivly||$50||$600||Comparing restaurant insurance quotes over the phone|
|Thimble||$53||$636||Short-term general liability insurance for restaurants|
|Intrepid Direct||$60||$720||Dairy queen and subway franchises|
Asking yourself where to get "restaurant insurance near me"? There’s no need because you have many options for getting covered online. These are the best restaurant insurance companies. Read to know their pros, cons, and rate for a $1 million general liability coverage.
Get an online proof of insurance and send as a text message, email, or social media post
Fastest general liability insurance for restaurants
Great customer service and reputation
Issues an online proof of insurance instantly
Outstanding value for money
Bundle two or more restaurant insurance policies and get a 10% discount
Couldn’t find any
NEXT insurance is great if you're running a small restaurant. Insurance policies from this company are tailored to the needs of small businesses. NEXT offers various insurance policies which can be bundled for a 10% discount. NEXT offers online certificates of insurance and an easy online insurance application process.
Best for: Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for restaurants
Average cost: $35 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Customizable insurance coverage
Online insurance agents ready to answer questions
Cancel your coverage anytime
Not an insurance company but an insurance broker
Coverwallet works similarly to NEXT. All of its insurance policies are tailored to small businesses and can be availed online.
However, what makes Coverwallet different is that it allows you to look at the restaurant insurance quote of different providers. After comparing quotes from restaurant insurance brokers and carriers, you can insure yourself online by buying policies immediately with CoverWallet’s website.
Note that CoverWallet doesn’t only sell a tailored restaurant insurance plan but also deli insurance and pizze shop insurance.
Best for: Restaurant insurance quotes comparison online
Average cost: $45 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Call and compare restaurant insurance quotes over the phone
Can refer you to partners if your restaurant has a poor risk profile
Responsive customer service
You need to call to get a quote
Tivly (formerly CommercialInsurance.NET) is a partner of many reputable companies, such as Thimble and NEXT. Policies you can purchase from this company are general liability, commercial property, workers' compensation, and commercial auto insurance.
Call Tivly now and compare restaurant insurance quotes over the phone.
Best for: Comparing restaurant insurance quotes over the phone
Average cost: $50 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Get insured online
Quick to issue estimates of your rates
General liability insurance comes with equipment coverage and customer property coverage
Customer representatives can’t be reached by phone
Thimble’s restaurant insurance is an on-demand business owner’s policy that combines general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and business interruption insurance under one roof.
You can also get short-term general liability insurance from this company that has a $1 million-$2 million per occurrence and aggregate limit. You can cancel or pause this policy anytime.
Best for: Short-term general liability insurance for restaurants
Average cost: $53 per month
Our rating: 9/10
Choose between $250,000-$2 million coverage on your restaurant’s general liability insurance
Waiver of subrogation included in general liability insurance
Workers' compensation and commercial auto insurance are sold in partnership with other carriers
If you want to get insurance with numerous amounts payable, Hiscox will be a great choice. While most insurance companies offer $1 million-$2 million coverage only, Hiscox decides to change the game by allowing you to choose between $300,000-$2 million coverage limits. You also get to decide how much deductibles to have.
Best for: Large restaurants
Average cost: $57 per month
Our rating: 7/10
Bundled coverage for dairy queen and subway franchises
A+ rating from AM Best
File a claim online, call, or send an email
Dedicated claims adjusters with expertise in the food industry
Quote and estimate of your rate are sent via email instead of being instantly shown on your device’s screen
Intrepid direct insurance provides specialized subway insurance and dairy queen insurance plans. This company offers bundled coverage for dairy queen and subway franchise owners, which consists of general liability, employment practices liability, commercial auto, and workers' compensation policies.
Best for: Dairy queen and subway franchises
Average cost: $60 per month
Our rating: 7/10
Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!
Lonnie Bell Insuranker
Policy Type: Business Insurance
Company name: Employers Insurance
Use anyone except Employers. Period. They are non-transparent and shameful. After I complained long enough to warrant a call from a supervisor, the supervisor called back from a PRIVATE NUMBER (no caller ID), left a message that they are not reversing their decision (without any communication with me), and failed to leave a phone number for me to call back. She was hiding! They also fact find via email and phone calls, which is terrific for speed and communication. However, after setting a precedence of email or phone calls, they send time sensitive information via email, without any heads up... they are hoping you miss it and forfeit via expiration. Evil policies. Go elsewhere.
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!