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General and Professional Liability Insurance for Restaurants and Hospitality Businesses


General_Liability_and_Professional_LiabilityA solid commercial insurance package is crucial for restaurants and other hospitality businesses. It helps cover the costs associated with potential property damage and liability claims, and workers compensation, required by state law, covers employee injuries on the job. Without the right coverage, restaurant owners would have to pay 100% out of pocket for claims made against their business. For a small, single-location restaurant, this can be a single business owner’s policy (BOP), while a larger hospitality group would likely need separate property, general liability, liquor liability, and workers compensation policies.

Why is it so important that the owners of restaurants or other hospitality businesses have proper insurance coverage?

  • Professional_LiabilityInjuries – If someone slips or trips on your business property, even if they’re not your employee, they can file a lawsuit to cover their medical costs. Back strains from improper lifting are another common cause of workplace injuries.
  • Liquor liability – If a customer of yours gets intoxicated and then injures another person or damages property, even if it’s not yours, you could be liable for the associated costs.
  • Food poisoning – If a customer says they had food poisoning after eating in your establishment, they could file a lawsuit to recover medical costs.
  • Property damage – In the event that your building or equipment is damaged due to a kitchen fire, vandalism, or even heavy rain, you could be on the hook for a lot of money to replace it if you don’t have enough property insurance. It can be tempting to save money by buying the minimum amount of coverage you can get, but this can lead to hefty bills after a loss if you realize you don’t have a high enough property limit to cover your replacement costs.
  • Employment practices claims – If an employee claims they were sexually harassed or otherwise discriminated against on the job, they could file an EEOC claim and sue your business if they believe you did not do enough to stop it.

What is the difference between general liability and professional liability, and why do I need both?

Both types of insurance claims can be financially devastating to a hospitality business.

  • ChefGeneral liability – This covers physical risks, such as property damage and bodily injuries. This could include a customer slipping on a spilled drink or a valet driver damaging a vehicle.
  • Professional liability – This covers errors and omissions in the services your restaurant provides. This could include a bout of food poisoning from poor food preparation.

 Why do I need a comprehensive employee training program?

Restaurants are known for high turnover, which makes safety and compliance training an ongoing need. Illinois law requires all businesses to conduct sexual harassment training for all employees, even if those employees are only with the business for a short time or only work a few hours a week. Restaurants also present considerable safety risks, such as slips and falls, back strains, cuts (and the potential bloodborne pathogens exposure), and illness from improper food preparation.

Our Verticlimb online training system means you don’t have to pull employees off duty or bring in a trainer every time you hire a new employee. Employees can access their courses whenever it’s convenient for them on a computer or mobile device, so you can get employees up to speed quickly.

Here at Kamm Insurance Group, we have decades of experience making sure restaurants, from small, family-owned restaurants to nationally known hospitality groups, have the insurance coverage they need. Hospitality is a risky business, and our experts will be with you every step of the way.

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