This article is basic guide to understanding NY Restaurant Liability Insurance.
In some instances insurance for a restaurant is similar is any other business in that commercial general liability insurance is a big piece of the puzzle. However, restaurants have their own unique liability insurance concerns as well. Most notable is Liquor Liability Insurance.
When dealing with NY restaurant liability insurance the first type of liability as it is the most common is commercial general liability:
Commercial general liability insurance in a basic sense is designed to cover slips, trips and falls as well as property damage to any 3rd party, but really any injury resulting in bodily injury and property damage related to operating a restaurant will fall under the commercial general liability policy.
The basic risks covered by the commercial general liability policy include the liability exposures associated with the building and surrounding premises, defined contractual agreements, liability for sold, distributed or manufactured products, as well as completed operations. In most cases there is also coverage for personal and advertising injury liability and medical payments coverage. All of these liability coverages are subject to the unique policy definitions, exclusions and limitations specific to the carrier you are doing business with.
Every NY restaurant liability insurance policy can be customized and tailored to meet the exact needs of your business through endorsements. Some endorsements will broaden coverage while others will delete or restrict the core insurance coverages.
Commercial general liability on a NY restaurant liability insurance policy can be provided in two ways:
- Occurrence-Based Policy – provides protection for covered losses when the actual injury occurs during the covered policy period, regardless of when notification of the loss or claim takes place. The key to coverage is the date on which the covered loss or injury actually occurs.
- Claims-Made Policy – coverage is triggered by the actual filing date or receipt of the claim, in addition to the date or time period in which the loss or injury occurred. Any covered loss or claim filed within the policy period is handled by that policy, regardless of when the actual loss or injury occurred, subject to the retroactive date.
NY Restaurant Liability Insurance Exposures
Building and Premise Liability Exposure
Most losses at a restaurant result from slips, falls, and interaction between the serving staff and the customer. Prompt cleaning up spills is the only way to prevent falls. Temperatures of hot beverages must be limited to reduce injuries due to scalding. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. After burning down your restaurant from a kitchen fire this probably your largest source of risk.
Products Liability Exposure
Food poisoning and allergic reactions are another major source of risk. Diligence in monitoring the quality of food received, posting lists of ingredients, and maintaining proper storage temperature is an absolute necessity in order to reduce your opportunity for a loss from bad food.
Liquor Liability Exposure
Far too many restaurants choose to NOT purchase liquor liability because of the added cost. This is a HUGE mistake considered how frequent and how severe judgments can be associated with liquor related injury and death. Employees who serve alcohol should complete training courses in recognizing intoxication problems and dealing with customers.
Automobile Liability Exposure
If your employees drive anywhere in their own vehicles for company purpose then hired and non-owned liability is a must have coverage. If the restaurant offers valet parking, damage to customers’ vehicles is a major concern especially because many commercial general liability policies will exclude this exposure without an additional premium.
The Insurance Take-Away
Like all businesses NY restaurant liability insurance is an unique product with it’s own specific questions and concerns that must be addressed to ensure proper coverage.
At the Murray Group we have a long history of working with all variety of restaurants. That history gives us the unique experience and expertise to provide your restaurant with the most appropriate coverage for the most competitive rate available in the market.
Ryan Hanley, CIC