Restaurants and Bars Insurance

Restaurants and bars are the beating heart of the social atmosphere in any town throughout the country. There are over 600,000 establishments in the United States which make up an industry size of hundreds of billions of dollars. Whether you have a small restaurant which is mostly frequented by locals or a bustling bar in a big city with many tourists, we at Oyster can help find you the insurance policy that fits your needs.

General Liability With Liquor Liability

A general liability policy covers your business against most legal claims arising from normal business operations. General liability coverage has set limits which are outlined in the policy and can be tailored to your needs. Most policies also include liability coverage resulting from products sold and completed operations as well as personal or advertising injury. Usually, general liability comes at an affordable rate to reduce or potentially eliminate the financial risks of a lawsuit.

Common Claim Examples

  • Someone sustains injuries while at your establishment and believes your business is liable for their injuries. A general liability covers defense costs, as well as damages for bodily injury or property damage up to a specific limit of coverage
  • Liquor liability is a unique coverage for establishments serving alcohol. This would cover your business’ liability up to a limit of coverage in the event a customer is intoxicated by your service, causes bodily injury or property damage to themselves or others, and believes your establishment is liable. 

Do I Need General Liability Coverage? 

General liability coverage is recommended for all restaurants and bars. 

Commercial Property

A commercial property policy can cover your business' buildings, contents, and business income. 

There are some common exclusions such as flood and/or earthquake as well as automobile accidents. There are standalone policies such as a flood or commercial auto policy that could supplement these exclusions in high risk areas like flood zones. It’s important to check your policy or check with your agent to know what is covered and what is excluded.

Common Claim Examples

  • Someone breaks into your business at night and steals your property
  • A fire breaks out and damages your property
  • There is a wind or hail storm that damages your property 

Do I need Commercial Property Coverage? 

If your business owns or leases a physical location, or has significant physical assets that need to be protected from theft, damage, and disaster, a commercial property policy is a good route. You may have contractual obligations to your lessor or mortgagor to maintain property coverage up to a specified limit. 

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation insurance covers your employees if they sustain work-related injuries subject to policy provisions and state statutes. Workers’ compensation usually covers medical costs, ​​vocational rehabilitation, as well as a certain percentage of lost wages when your workers are out of work due to an injury. 

In a worst case scenario, workers’ compensation typically comes with death benefits as well if a worker passes away due to a work accident. Workers’ compensation is typically bundled with employer’s liability insurance which can help offset the costs of an expensive lawsuit. 

Common Claim Examples

  • One of your workers is on a ladder during the normal course of work and falls injuring themselves. Workers’ compensation typically covers medical costs, rehabilitation costs, and a certain amount of lost wages for injured workers. 
  • One or more of your workers is exposed to asbestos on the job and was only exposed to asbestos while working for your company. Injuries related to this exposure would be covered as an occupational illness (asbestosis in this case).
  • You have an employee who works from home and over time they develop a repetitive strain or stress injury like carpal tunnel. Repetitive strain or stress injuries can also apply to workers who frequently lift boxes that develop back pain. 

Do I need a Workers’ Compensation Policy? 

In most states, workers’ compensation is required if you have any employees. Contact your agent to determine if workers’ compensation is necessary. 

Commercial Auto

Commercial auto covers liability and physical damage for vehicles that are used for business purposes. There are set limits on a commercial auto policy

Common Claim Examples

  • An operator listed on the policy is involved in an auto accident while driving a business owned vehicle. Commercial auto insurance would cover damage and liability costs subject to policy terms, limits, and deductibles.
  • If your policy includes comprehensive coverage, similar to your personal auto insurance, you would be covered for flood, fire, theft, and other covered perils subject to policy terms, limits, and deductibles. 

Do I Need a Commercial Auto Policy? 

Commercial Auto Insurance is required in most states for any vehicle used for business purposes.

Cyber Insurance

Cyber policies can provide coverage in the case of data breaches and cyber attacks. Cyber policies come with a set limit of insurance and can come with some other perks like coverage for funds that were transferred as a result of your information being compromised on a computer. 

Common Claim Examples

  • Someone accessed your business data and stole social security numbers and/or banking information for your customers and employees. The information was sold on the dark web. Cyber insurance would help cover defense and damages resulting from the lawsuits subject to policy limits and deductibles (retention). 
  • An employee found out they were being fired and published personal details regarding your business clients online. These clients opened a lawsuit for invasion of privacy. Your cyber policy would help cover the defense and damages or settlement cost subject to policy terms, limits, and deductibles (retention).  

Do I Need a Cyber Policy?

Any business concerned about a potential data breach or cyber attack should obtain cyber insurance. With the rise of the ecommerce industry, the need for cyber insurance is increasing. Any business that collects and/or stores data over the internet typically has at least some exposure to this type of loss and should look into a cyber policy to reduce or prevent these losses. 

Other Types of Insurance

Although the above list may cover most businesses for all of their insurance needs. Depending on the details of your business you may not need all of the coverage types above or you may need a specialized policy that was not listed. It is always best to discuss your business and any concerns you may have with a licensed insurance agent who can present your options to you. 

Commonly Asked Questions

How much is insurance for a restaurant or bar?

Several factors can influence the cost of your commercial restaurant or bar insurance, such as:

  • The location of your restaurant.
  • The specific roles and duties of your employees.
  • The size of your payroll.
  • The type of restaurant you operate (e.g., fine dining, casual, fast food, ghost kitchen)

Do I need business insurance? 

Most businesses should have some type of business insurance. General liability, commercial property, and workers’ compensation (if you employ workers) are the most commonly recommended for small businesses. 

How do I obtain business insurance?

The best way to obtain business insurance is by reaching out to an agent or broker. This is because an agent/broker is a licensed individual who understands the market and your needs. Usually, purchasing an insurance policy includes an application, underwriting, binding the policy (an agreement to purchase the policy, usually includes signatures and/or payment), and then the policy is issued. 

If you have any further questions, it is always best to contact your insurance agent or broker directly. At Oyster, we strive to make insurance accessible and affordable. Please contact our experts regarding all of your commercial insurance needs. 

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