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Understanding Restaurant Insurance Assault and Battery Coverage

assault and battery coverage

You never know what people are going to do…

No two restaurants are alike. Though every restaurant will have similar traits, it’s the differences that make a restaurant unique. One such unique difference is the clientele that frequent a particular restaurant. Each restaurant has its own culture and atmosphere, which is often a derivative of the restaurant owner and the public perception of that particular restaurant.

Whether your restaurant is a highbrow, fine dining experience or a late-night tavern, assault and battery coverage on your restaurant insurance policy should be considered a necessity. It takes one misunderstanding between two of your restaurant patrons to cause a fight, and you could be served with a lawsuit for that fight.

Assault and Battery Coverage

Depending on the unique exposure of your restaurant or tavern, the cost of assault and battery coverage on your restaurant insurance policy can vary widely. Contributing factors to the cost of assault and battery coverage include:

  • if alcohol is served at your establishment
  • hours of operation
  • if there is live entertainment
  • if you offer a happy hour
  • your claims history regarding assault and battery, as well as general claims history

These are just a few of the items that will be taken into consideration by an insurance carrier providing assault and battery coverage for your restaurant insurance policy.

As a restaurant owner, it’s important to understand that you most likely do not have coverage for any claims resulting from a physical altercation within your restaurant or tavern unless you purchase assault and battery coverage separately.

Reviewing the Extent of Coverage Provided

If you do choose to purchase assault and battery coverage, it’s extremely important that you review the extent of coverage provided in the policy. There are many different limitations, endorsements and exclusions associated with assault and battery coverage. Each insurance carrier is going to use its own unique language to describe coverage.

Two common limitations in the assault and battery policy can limit the coverage to only “On premises” or only “Assault by employees.” I mention these limitations because I want you to understand that purchasing this coverage does not guarantee that every claim will be covered. Every insurance carrier is going to have a unique definition for assault and battery coverage.

In the case of “On premises only” assault and battery coverage, your restaurant is provided liability insurance for altercations and incidents only at your business location. If you provide services at fairs, carnivals, sporting events or any other off site event, you will not have coverage for assault and battery.

In the case of “Assault only by employees”, you only have  coverage in incidents involving someone who works for your business. If two patrons of your restaurant or tavern get into an altercation and there is a resulting lawsuit in which you are named, coverage will be excluded.

The Insurance Take-Away

I would like you to understand the importance of reviewing your restaurant insurance program with an independent insurance agent who has an expertise in restaurant insurance. Please do not assume that you have coverage based on what the insurance coverage is called.

At The Murray Group Insurance Services, we specialize in the intricacies of providing insurance coverage to restaurants at the most competitive rates available in the market.

If you have questions about your restaurant insurance program, assault and battery coverage, or if you would like to receive a proposal for your restaurant insurance program, please give us a call at 518-456-6688. You can click here to begin the process by email.

Thank you and Good luck,

Ryan Hanley, CIC

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