Running a restaurant is risky business… or rather, from a liability insurance perspective it is. There are many liability risks restaurants face, from trip and fall accidents and property damage to accidentally getting a customer sick from the food you served. Some risks are more common than others, but if your restaurant is not prepared it could face a liability claim that financially devastates your business.
So how do you prepare for liability accidents? Well, having good restaurant insurance can certainly help, but it’s really only part of the solution. The truth is there are many things you can do to reduce your restaurant’s liability risk, so let’s look at some common claims restaurants face and how to avoid them.
BODILY INJURY CLAIMS
If someone gets injured on your business property or as a result of your business operation, your restaurant could face a third-party bodily injury claim. Bodily injury claims are among the most common liability claims a restaurant can face and can cost thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to resolve depending on the accident and severity of the injury.
Having restaurant insurance with a good general liability policy can protect your restaurant from covering the cost of these accidents out of pocket, but there are also some practices you can use to reduce the chances of them occurring, such as:
- Removing objects that could be easily tripped over and other potential injury hazards (ie cords, storage containers, open flames, etc)
- Creating clear walkways for customers and employees that are free of injury hazards
- Making sure areas with tripping hazards are properly labelled and easily visible (ie “wet floor” signs for tiled surfaces, etc)
Of course, no matter how safe you make your restaurant, accidents still can and will occur. That’s why it’s crucial to protect your business with restaurant insurance that includes general liability, which is specifically designed to cover the cost of third-party bodily injury claims.
PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMS
Your restaurant may face a third-party property damage claim if someone’s property is damaged as a result of your business operation. Along with bodily injury claims, property damage claims constitute a large percentage of liability claims faced by restaurants and can often cost thousands of dollars or more to resolve.
Many of the practices used to avoid bodily injury claims also apply to reduce the risk of property damage. After all, if an accident could injure a human, it can probably damage their property. However, there are still a few things you can do, including
- Making sure any outdoor equipment is securely fastened
- Keeping your business area, inside and outside, free of obstructions
- Safely storing potentially hazardous materials and objects away from customers
In the unfortunate event that an accident causes property damage, you can protect your business with restaurant insurance that includes general liability, which—in addition to bodily injury claims—also designed to cover the cost of property damage claims
PRODUCT LIABILITY CLAIMS
As a food industry business, your restaurant runs the risk of customers getting sick from the food you served them. Whether it be from foodborne illness, unlabelled allergens, or some other cause, product liability claims that arise from customer sickness can devastate your business—often costing hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of product liability claims, including
- Following proper health and safety regulations regarding preparing and serving food
- Using fresh ingredients and never preparing or serving food past its expiration date
- Accurately labelling any potential allergens in your food such as dairy, gluten, and nuts
From an insurance perspective, having restaurant insurance with a good general liability policy can help protect your business from the cost of product liability claims.
PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS WITH RESTAURANT INSURANCE
It’s important to remember that while there are many ways to reduce the amount of risk your restaurant faces, there’s really no way to completely eliminate it. Accidents can and do happen, after all. The only way to truly protect your restaurant from the cost of liability claims is to protect it with restaurant insurance.
If you haven’t already, consider FLIP’s restaurant insurance program. You can protect your business with up to $2 million in general and product liability as well as up to $10,000 in business personal property coverage. If you need extra protection, FLIP offers increased limits and additional policy options for added coverage.
Getting covered with FLIP takes 10 minutes or less! Gain the peace of mind you need by protecting your restaurant with FLIP today.