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3 Restaurant Insurance Tips to Protect Your Business

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jul 08, 2018

Restaurant Insurance Tips and advice for restaurant, bar, and nightclub owners in Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster PA and more.As a restaurant owner, you know there are certain types of restaurant insurance that you need to protect your business.

What if a customer is injured on your property and sues you? How will you repair the damages if there’s a fire in your kitchen? There are so many “what-ifs” in any business, especially if you’re in the food industry.

While you may have perfected your Béarnaise sauce and learned how to create a soufflé that stands tall, what do you really know about insurance? How well do you know each type of insurance and how much coverage you need? Let’s face it; insurance can be complicated!

That’s why your best bet is to work with an independent insurance broker who specializes in restaurant insurance and can help ensure that you have the right coverage at the best price.

 

Here are 3 Things to Consider Before Signing on the Dotted Line

#1. Assess your Risks and Insurance Needs

Play the “what if” game to determine what kind of risks your business may be susceptible to and then consider what assets are essential to running your business – the ones you can’t do business without. An underwriter from your insurance company will determine the level of risk it is willing to take and how much coverage it is ready to provide to determine your insurance premiums.

However, it’s still good to know what protection you need. And things change – maybe your business is growing, or you sold a piece of equipment – so you’ll want to have a yearly insurance checkup with your insurance agent to make sure you still have the right coverage to protect your business.

#2. Realize that Cheaper May Not Be Better

It’s true that you don’t want to pay more for insurance than you have to, but if you purchase the cheapest insurance, and it doesn’t cover you when something happens, that isn’t protecting your business. 

Many restaurant owners increase the deductible to save money on their premiums. That’s often a good idea, but make sure you have enough available cash to cover that deductible if something happens. Before raising that deductible, ask yourself, what financial resources do I have available and what level of risk am I willing to take.

The best way to save money is to work with a broker who can get you the best price on the coverage you need by comparing prices from several insurance agencies.

#3. Understand What You’re Signing Before You Sign

Insurance policies can be complicated, but it’s essential that you understand the terms of your policy and the exact coverage that it provides. Make sure that you understand the exclusions and look for gaps where additional coverages may be needed.

For example, if you have a liquor license, general liability usually doesn’t cover that, but liquor liability insurance does. Talk to your insurance broker and ask questions - that’s what we’re here for.

Remember, the purpose of business insurance is to protect your business. To make sure that you’re covered if you get sued or if there’s a fire in your kitchen, or if any number of unforeseen incidents occur. You want to be certain that an accident cannot put you out of business.
 

Get Help. Contact the Restaurant Insurance Specialists!

Get the best restaurant insurance at an affordable price. Serving Philadelphia, Berks County, the Lehigh Valley, Allegheny County and more.Don't go it alone. Give American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online.

We specialize in quality restaurant insurance at affordable pricing, and provide prompt service not only when you’re purchasing your insurance, but also if you have a claim.

We have access to multiple insurance companies and will shop and compare both coverage and cost to ensure that you have the right insurance to protect your business at the best possible price.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance, Bar Insurance, Nightclub Insurance

Restaurant Insurance & the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point

Posted by David Ross on Thu, May 24, 2018

Restaurant Insurance and HACCP guidelines. Affordable restaurant insurance for Berks County, Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Lancaster County, Allegheny County, PA and beyond.Every year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and over half of all reported foodborne illnesses are attributed to foodservice. 

In addition to the human cost (sickness, medical costs, lost work), a foodborne-illness outbreak at your restaurant can cost thousands of dollars and sometimes the loss of your business. It can cause negative media exposure, damage your reputation, decrease sales, affect staff morale, create lawsuits, and increase your restaurant insurance premiums.

Every food product that you serve has gone through several levels of the supply chain, and there are hazards at every level that can cause sickness or injury. Fortunately, these hazards can be reduced, prevented, and even eliminated.

Managing Food Safety via the HACCP System

Smart restaurant owners do what they can to reduce foodborne hazards, and there are many food safety management plans available. The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is one of the most widely used system, and it is endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences, National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods and the Codex Alimentarius as the best process control system available today. The FDA says, “HACCP is designed for use in all segments of the food industry from growing, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, distributing, and merchandising to preparing food for consumption.”

The History of HACCP and Food Safety

HACCP was introduced in the 1960s to produce the safest and highest quality food possible for astronauts in the space program. The HACCP Alliance defines the HACCP system as “a process control system that identifies where hazards might occur in the food production process and puts into place stringent actions to prevent the hazards from occurring. By strictly monitoring and controlling each step of the process, there is less chance for hazards to occur.”

A Proactive Approach to Food Safety

One of the advantages of HACCP is that it prevents food safety hazards rather than reacting to food safety hazards; it prioritizes and controls potential hazards. And it can be customized to your restaurant’s menu, customers, equipment, processes, and operations.

Compliance May not be Mandatory, but it's Really Smart!

Most restaurants are not required to have an HACCP plan, but it is one of the best systems available to ensure the safety of the food within your restaurant, and, as a big bonus, it is likely to help reduce your restaurant insurance premiums by lowering the number of insurance claims submitted.

 

Seven Principles of HACCP

HACCP is based on seven principles, according to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological criteria for foods. Here they are:

Principle 1: Conduct a Hazard Analysis

Identify food safety hazards - any biological, chemical, or physical property that may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption - and take preventative measures to control these hazards.

Principle 2: Determine Critical Control Points

A critical control point (CCP) is a point, step, or procedure in the manufacturing or preparation of food where a control can be applied to prevent, reduce, or eliminate a food safety hazard.

Principle 3: Establish Critical Limits

A critical limit is a maximum/minimum level to which a biological, chemical, or physical factor must be raised/reduced to in order to prevent, reduce, or eliminate a food safety hazard

Principle 4: Establish Monitoring Procedures

Monitoring is a planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess whether a CCP is under control and to produce an accurate record for future use in verification.

Principle 5: Establish Corrective Actions

Ideal circumstances do not always prevail and deviations from established processes may occur requiring corrective actions.

Principle 6: Verify That the System Works

Once an HACCP is in place, make sure the system is operating according to plan and delivering the desired results.

Principle 7: Keep Accurate Records and Documentation

Restaurant owners should maintain the following records: a summary of the hazard analysis - including the rationale for determining hazards and control measures - and the HACCP Plan - including a brief summary of the position responsible for performing the activity and the procedures and frequency.

Contact Us for Better Restaurant Insurance at a Better Price! 

Get a better deal on Restaurant Insurance - Contact American Insuring Group in Berks County, PAAn HACCP plan is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of the food that you serve and to protect your customers, your employees, and your bottom line.

The right restaurant insurance is a safety net that protects you in the event that all of your precautions aren’t enough.

The experienced agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Restaurant Insurance, and best of all, they're independent. That means we are free to shop the market to get a plan that matches your needs with a great price!

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online to see how we can help you save on your bar, nightclub, food truck, or any other type of restaurant insurance.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Food Truck Insurance, Bar Insurance, Nightclub Insurance

4 Questions to Ask About Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jan 28, 2018

4 Restaurant Insurance Questions Ypu Should Know. Buy Restaurant Insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.Every industry comes with its own unique set of issues and concerns when it comes to insurance; the food industry is no exception. And of course, each individual restaurant is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to restaurant insurance.

When choosing the best insurance for your business, you need to look at what coverages are required by law and possibly by your lender, and what your risks and needs are.

Here are four questions you need to ask yourself if you want to protect your restaurant:

#1. What type of business are you insuring? 

We use the broad term “restaurant insurance,” but that can mean many different types of “restaurants”: bars, nightclubs, pizzerias, caterers, food trucks, full-service restaurants and the list goes on. Each type of business comes with its own unique risks.

#2. What are the primary types of restaurant insurance that most restaurants are required to have? 

There are three types of property and casualty insurance that every restaurant owner needs to consider: property, commercial general liability (CGL), and workers’ compensation.

Property insurance will protect the things you own such as the building, equipment, etc. The right property insurance will help you replace or repair your property if it is damaged due to a fire, storm, or theft. It may even include business interruption insurance. If you sustain damage to your restaurant that requires you to suspend operations for a period of time, business interruption insurance covers your loss of income (the profits you would have made had your restaurant been open) while the damage is repaired. 

Commercial general liability insurance (CGL) protects you from liability claims against your restaurant for property damage and bodily injury. For example, if someone in your restaurant falls and sustains injuries, they may decide to sue you. CGL insurance will help cover legal costs and any judgments or settlements against you.

Workers’ compensation insurance (WC) is mandatory in most states for most businesses with employees. WC pays for an employee’s lost wages and medical costs if they’re injured on the job. It can also help protect your business against accident-related lawsuits from your employees. 

#3. What are other risks I need to consider?

Once you have an idea what the basic types of insurance will and will not cover, you need to consider other risks that could affect your restaurant. Here are just a few examples. If you use a car to deliver food, you need to have commercial auto insurance. If you serve liquor, you should have liquor liability insurance. An experienced commercial insurance agency like American Insuring Group will help you consider all of your risks and determine which coverage is best for you.

#4. What other factors affect the cost of my insurance?

Every insurance policy is unique. An underwriter will ask lots of questions and conduct some of their own research before providing an insurance quote. Here are some of the factors insurance companies consider when determining the cost of your premium:

  • Years in business
  • Location
  • Hours of operation
  • Size of business including the number of employees, sales volume, and square footage of your property.
  • Loss history
  • Types of activities like entertainment, mechanical bulls, and off-premise catering.
  • Percentage of alcohol sales

It’s probably no surprise that a nightclub with live entertainment that serves light fair (but mostly alcohol) and stays open until 2 am is going to pay more for insurance than a pizza parlor that doesn’t serve alcohol and is only open until 10 pm.

Obtaining the Right Insurance Policy Requires Expertise - Don't Risk It!

Purchasing the best insurance for your restaurant – one that covers all your risks at a reasonable rate – is not a simple process. It takes an experienced insurance agent to ask the right questions and offer the best solutions. That’s just one reason why trying to buy restaurant insurance online is usually not your best options.

It’s also important to note that there isn’t just one insurance company that can offer all types of restaurant insurance at the best price.

Get The American Insuring Group Advantage!

Call us to save on restaurant in Pennsylvania and surrounding statesIndependent insurance agencies like American Insuring Group represent many different insurance companies (in our case, lots and lots of companies!), so we can find you the best rate for any type of restaurant insurance you need.

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online for a free insurance review!

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Bar Insurance, Nightclub Insurance

What Kind of Insurance Does a Restaurant Owner Need?

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Dec 10, 2017

It's important to know the types of insurance coverage that are needed for a restaurant, bar or nightclub in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Reading, Allentown, PA and beyond.If you have a dream of owning a restaurant, bar or nightclub, restaurant insurance is probably one of the last things you want to think about. It isn’t as exciting as creating a menu or choosing the right linens, but having the right restaurant insurance has saved many establishment owners money, headaches, and - at times - even their business.

The right insurance can protect you from all types of disasters, from a small equipment breakdown to a devastating liability lawsuit. Depending on where you’re opening your restaurant, there may be certain types of insurance that are required: many banks demand certain insurance in order to procure a loan or mortgage.

So, like it or not, it’s in your best interest to learn what you can about insurance for your restaurant, bar or club.

Types of insurance you may need as a restaurant, bar or club owner

Property Insurance

Property insurance protects your property if it sustains damage. It typically covers damage caused by fire, smoke, wind, hail, the weight of ice and snow, lightning, theft and more. It may not include natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes. If you have a mortgage on your business, property insurance is a must. 

Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL)

Commercial General Liability Insurance protects you against liability claims for property damage and bodily injury. For example, if a customer is injured by a fall in your restaurant and sues you, CGL helps pay legal costs and any damages you are required to pay the plaintiff. In today’s litigious society, CGL is a must for almost any business owner.

Liquor Liability Insurance

If you have a liquor license, most states require that you have this insurance, and again your bank may also insist on it. Liquor Liability Insurance helps protect you if a customer drinks too much while at your establishment and hurts himself or someone else, or causes property damage.

Your CGL may cover you in some cases, but not all. “Dram Shop” laws exist in forty-three states, including Pennsylvania. Under this law, any business that gives alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person is responsible for any damage that person causes. This makes it much easier for people to sue the restaurant or bar where they have been served.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is mandatory in most states, including Pennsylvania (with a few exceptions). Typically, workers’ compensation insurance pays lost wages and medical expenses incurred as a result of a work-related injury. Plus it protects the employer against accident-related lawsuits.  

Life Insurance

Life insurance coverage is another form of protection that may be required by your bank if you have a mortgage or loan with them. It is also a good idea to have life insurance if your death would cause a financial hardship for your family. There are two types of life insurance: term and permanent. A good insurance agent can help you determine the best one for your situation.

Business Interruption Insurance

If you sustain damage to your restaurant that requires you to suspend operations for a period of time, Business Interruption Insurance covers your loss of income (the profits you would have made had your restaurant been open) while the damage is repaired.

Food Contamination Insurance

No matter how careful you are, there is always a possibility that your food could become contaminated, cause food poisoning, or transmit a communicable disease. Typically, Food Contamination Insurance helps pay for lost income if the business is shut down by a government authority, clean-up expenses, food replacement, and additional advertising expenses required to restore your restaurant’s reputation.

 

Get to Know Your Restaurant Insurance Options - Contact Us Today! 

You may need some or all of these types of insurance, so it’s smart to understand your options. Our qualified independent insurance agents understand the local and state laws pertaining to the types and amounts of insurance you’re required to carry. They can help you determine if additional insurance is right for you.

Ask the independent agents at American Insuring Group about obtaining reliable protection at a great price. We've been helping businesses like yours for decades. So call (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or contact us online to get affordable insurance for your restaurant, club, bar, coffee shop, food truck, or catering service.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Bar Insurance, Nightclub Insurance