First off, restaurant insurance brokers and an insurance agent are not the same thing. Brokers help you find an insurer and coverage that work for your business. They can help you make and manage claims but beyond that, they do not face any liability for the risks that come with your policy. They represent you, not the company, in their dealings. Generally, this means that they are specialized in insuring the area you are working in. They have an expertise about companies in the market and the policies they offer.
There are a few basic types of insurance that you might be told to get by your restaurant insurance broker. First is property insurance. This is protection in case of fire or any other events that damage the property of your restaurant. You have to be careful, as it may not cover natural disasters (like commercial flood insurance), so you may have to add that on. Generally, it covers the furniture, property inside the building or owned by the restaurant, and the building itself.
There is also general liability insurance, which is a broad protection in case someone gets injured in your establishment. This is protection against any lawsuit that may come your way for any claims customers or third parties have against your restaurant. They can range anywhere from around $500 to $6000 in annual premiums, so it’s important to have a broker who can help you shop around for the lowest price and most effective treatment. This also inclides food poisoning insurance.
If you have a bar in your establishment or serve alcohol in any capacity, a liquor liability policy is a good idea for you to have, and your broker may recommend focusing on companies who can offer that. Liquor liability is required by most states for restaurants with a liquor liability and protects against lawsuit by the state in the event an intoxicated customer breaks the law, damages any property, or injures another person later on.
In many states, you also must make sure that your employees are covered against injuries. Many employers need to purchase workers compensation for restaurants to insure against any accidents that may occur to those who are working for them. This protects against lawsuits for medical expenses and lost wages but may also be included in a more general employee liability plan.
Your broker may propose several different models for you to choose from. Workers’ comp rates can differ depending on the type and size restaurant you are running, so be sure to ask your broker what compensation coverage would fit your business model the best.