If you own or manage a restaurant that also serves alcohol, you may be wondering if you need bar insurance or if your basic restaurant policy is sufficient. Having the right insurance policies for your business is crucial to protect yourself, your staff, patrons, and your property from certain risks. Without it, you could face costly lawsuits and may possibly be forced to close your doors. In this post, read more about bar insurance and what it covers, and find out if you restaurant could benefit from acquiring this insurance.
What Is Bar Insurance and What Does It Cover?
Bar insurance, also referred to as tavern insurance, is a type of insurance policy designed to meet the needs of bars, pubs, taverns, and similar businesses that sell or serve alcohol. Oftentimes, bar insurance policies are sold as packages and combine several types of coverages into a single policy. Operating any business that runs the risk of dealing with intoxicated patrons can be risky. However, bar insurance can help protect against these unique risks.
A bar insurance policy typically covers the following:
- General liability
- Liquor liability
- Commercial automobile
- Assault & battery
- Cyber liability
- Workers compensation
- Employee benefits
- Excess liability
- Equipment breakdown
If you have a restaurant that serves alcohol and an accident occurs, you may be found responsible for any damages or injuries that occur if the incident is linked to alcohol-use. However, bar insurance can help ensure that the cost of these damages and associated lawsuits does not come out of your own pocket. For this reason, having insurance for your restaurant can be a smart option.
Why Is Bar Insurance Important to Have?
While this can be a highly useful policy to have when a problem arises that is covered under your policy, not all restaurants need it. As a general rule of thumb, any business that manufacturers, sells, or serves alcohol should have insurance, including restaurants, caterers, bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, liquor stores, and grocery stores. It is important to remember that having bar insurance does not replace the need for a general liability policy. Many restaurants will need to carry both types of insurance to maintain an optimal level of protection.
Does My Restaurant Need Bar Insurance?
When considering whether or not your restaurant needs bar insurance, consider the size, location, and number of staff you have. The more people that you are responsible for, the higher the risk that an incident could occur. In addition, you will want to carefully review your current business insurance policies. You may find that your restaurant insurance does not cover liquor liability or assault & battery liability, two policies which are essential for restaurants that serve alcohol.
Oftentime, restaurant owners will assume that their current policy covers liquor liability (when, in fact, it does not), causing them to unfortunately neglect to purchase bar insurance when they most need it. Other times, business owners may underestimate the serious risks that stem from intoxicated customers. Remember, at any time, a drunken patron who drank at your bar could start a fight with a staff member or another patron, resulting in serious injuries or property damage. When this happens, it is usually the restaurant that must take the brunt of the financial hit. Bar insurance is designed to protect against these types of instances, whether or not you are found at fault.
What To Look For In A Bar Insurance Policy
When shopping for bar insurance for your restaurant, there are a number of things you want to look for. First, ensure that your commercial policy offers assault & battery coverage. This can protect your restaurant if a fight should break out resulting in injuries. Also check to see if your policy will cover defense costs. When you are forced to defend your business against a liquor liability claim, you could wind up paying a significant amount for defense costs. Most bar insurance policies will cover these costs.
Ideally, you want to choose an insurance policy that also covers both your employees and your patrons. If an intoxicated patron causes damage, is injured, or injures an employee, you want to ensure that you will not have to foot the entirety of the bill.
Where Can I Purchase a Bar Insurance Policy?
Sometimes having restaurant insurance is not enough to keep your business safe, especially if your insurance is limited to a general liability policy. If your restaurant sells or serves alcohol, bar insurance can be invaluable. Start by reviewing your current restaurant policies to see what types of claims and damages are covered and where you are missing essential coverage. If you find that your existing restaurant insurance package is not comprehensive, consider adding bar insurance. For more information, contact the experienced insurance brokers at MFE Insurance.