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Manage Risk to Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jun 18, 2022

Lower your restaurant insurance costs in Philadelphia and throughout PA, including Reading, Allentown, Lancaster, York, Pittsburgh, Erie and more!Restaurant Insurance helps protect your business from accidents, lawsuits, data breaches, and more. However, one lawsuit or severe accident can go far beyond financial losses. They can tarnish your restaurant's reputation, cause stress and sleepless nights, interrupt business, lower employee morale, and so much more. 

So, wouldn't it be better to eliminate those accidents, lawsuits, and data breaches before they occur? While it's impossible to eliminate all risks (which is why the right insurance is crucial to any restaurant's success), you can significantly minimize many risks with these tips. 

Train Your Employees

We all know the high turnover rate restaurants experience, so it's no surprise that many restaurant staff are undertrained. However, undertrained employees can lead to accidents, lawsuits, and even higher turnover.

 "One of the primary reasons restaurant employees look for new jobs is that they want more mentorship and training (in the case of younger workers) to help them take their careers in hospitality to the next level," US Foods reports. "Handing a new staff member your employee handbook and expecting them to master a role isn't enough. Empowering your employees to feel like they have the necessary knowledge and training to be good at their job will make a world of difference for your restaurant."

Ongoing training should include safety procedures that cover recognizing and avoiding common restaurant injuries - such as lacerations, slips and falls, burns, sprains, etc. – to help lower Workers' Comp Insurance. Training should also include good customer service, food allergies, etc., to help lower Liability Insurance. And finally, employees should be trained on topics such as theft and fire to help lower Property Insurance.

When all else fails, Workers' Compensation, Liquor Liability, General Liability, and other types of insurance act as a safety net. 

Maintain Facility and Equipment

QSR magazine points out, "The foundations of delivering outstanding customer service start with a well-maintained kitchen." A well-maintained kitchen requires routine maintenance and regular cleaning. 

Routine maintenance helps keep your equipment running better and helps minimize the risk of injuries caused by an equipment malfunction. In addition, maintaining your equipment helps reduce the risk of breakdowns, which can cause business interruption, food spoilage, fires, and accidents. Click here for a restaurant equipment maintenance checklist. 

Keeping your restaurant clean helps prevent fires, accidents, and food cross-contamination. Keeping your restaurant clutter-free also helps reduce accidents. 

Utilize Technology

Many small to medium-sized business owners – including restaurant owners - believe they are immune to data breaches, but the reverse is true. "63% of SMBs report experiencing a data breach in the previous 12 months," according to Hashedout, yet 43% lack any cybersecurity defense plan. Technology, such as anti-virus software, password protection, properly securing WiFi networks, etc., has made it possible to minimize those risks. 

Another risk that can be mitigated with technology is theft. There are 2.5 million burglaries annually in the U.S., and 34% of the burglaries that happen each year affect small businesses. In addition, one survey found that "internal employee theft is responsible for 75% of inventory shortages and about 4% of restaurant sales. That totals between $3 and $6 billion annually." 

Security cameras and alarm systems can help deter criminal activity, such as theft and vandalism. Check out "Five Ways Restaurants Use Technology to Secure Their Business." 

Property and cyber insurance help soften the financial blow when these precautions don't work. 

Start Saving Today on Restaurant Insurance!

Get the lowest rate on restaurant insurance and all of your insurance needs by working with the highly qualified independent agents at American Insuring Group. We research and compare the cost of your coverage with multiple insurance companies to make sure you pay the lowest premium possible for the quality coverage you need.

→ Call us today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Safety, Restaurant Insurance Costs

What Restaurant Owners Need to Know About Umbrella Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, May 21, 2022

Umbrella Insurance Tips for PA Restaurant Owners: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lancaster, Reading, York, Lebanon and throughout PennsylvaniaThe right Restaurant Insurance helps protect your restaurant from losses, such as injuries, property damage, and lawsuits. For example, if your delivery van is involved in an accident, commercial auto insurance covers the cost of legal bills, medical expenses, and property damage up to your policy's limit. Another example is if a customer falls and injures themselves while in your restaurant, general liability insurance helps pay for medical expenses up to your policy's limit. 

One key phrase in those examples is "up to your policy's limit." 

What are Policy Limits?

A policy limit caps how much an insurance company will pay when you file a claim. The amount of that cap is determined when you purchase your policy. 

With general liability, professional liability, and errors and omissions insurance, there are two types of policy limits:

  • Per-occurrence limits determine the maximum amount a policy will pay for one particular incident.
  • Aggregate limits determine the maximum amount a policy will pay for all claims within a policy period.

 Unfortunately, we live in a litigious society, and one significant lawsuit settlement that is higher than your policy's limit could put you out of business. Typically, you do have an option to increase your limits on each policy, but that can become costly, which is where commercial umbrella insurance helps.

 What is Commercial Umbrella Insurance?

Commercial Umbrella Insurance offers additional coverage on liability claims on your existing insurance policies. If a claim is higher than your policy's limit, it provides a buffer or safety net. 

For example, let's say a customer slips and falls in your restaurant, hits their head, and experiences a debilitating injury. They sue your restaurant for medical expenses, lost income, and other costs, and you agree to a $2.5 million settlement. If your general liability policy limit is $2 million, you will be responsible for paying the difference. In this example, $500,000. Would that have a negative effect on your finances? Could your restaurant survive this type of lawsuit? 

Commercial Umbrella Insurance does not provide primary liability coverage. It only goes into effect when a claim exceeds the policy's limits. 

Who Should Purchase Commercial Umbrella Insurance?

Small to medium-sized business owners often don't think they will be involved in a lawsuit. However, according to a United States Small Business Administration (SBA) study, 36 to 53% of small businesses are involved in litigation every year. Furthermore, "Owners mentioned that the payment of damages nearly put them out of business, which affected them for a long period of time as they worked to rebuild the business and recoup their losses."

 A Forbes article offering litigation prevention and mitigation tips states: "On Insurance. Get it! … If something does go wrong, your insurance may be able to limit your exposure and risk." 

To determine if you should purchase Commercial Umbrella Insurance, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there a chance that I can get sued?
  • Do I have enough funds to cover a lawsuit if it exceeds my insurance limits?
  • Do I want to pay less for higher coverage amounts (instead of increasing individual policy limits)?

How to Get the Best Rate on Commercial Umbrella Insurance?

If you need more help determining if Umbrella Insurance is right for your restaurant and ensuring that you get the best rate on all of your insurance needs, give the independent agents at American Insuring Group a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Umbrella Liability Insurance, Restaurant Insurance, Umbrella Insurance

How to Protect Your Restaurant From Cyber Threats

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Apr 09, 2022

Protect your restaurant from cyber threats and reduce restaurant insurance costs in Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown and throughout PA.

Restaurant Insurance –specifically Cyber Liability Insurance – is a great way to protect your restaurant from risks, such as data breaches. However, avoiding any risk is always preferable, as data breaches can have a negative impact on your restaurant – lost production, damage to reputation, and of course, higher insurance costs.

Unfortunately, many small business owners – including restaurant owners – have misconceptions regarding cybersecurity and cyber liability insurance. For example, many assume that firewalls are enough protection, that third-party vendors are fully responsible for data breaches, that general liability insurance will protect them in the event of a data breach, or that cyber liability insurance is unaffordable.

According to Cybersecurity Magazine:

  • 43% of all data breaches involve small and medium-sized businesses.
  • 61% of all SMBs have reported at least one cyberattack during the previous year.
  • 40% of the small businesses that faced a severe cyberattack experienced at least eight hours of downtime.
  • 43% SMBs do not have any cybersecurity plan in place.
  • 83% of small and medium-sized businesses are not financially prepared to recover from a cyberattack.
  • 91% of small businesses have NOT purchased cyber liability insurance.

Cyber liability losses can happen any time anywhere and cost your restaurant big time. However, Cyber Liability Insurance can help.

Top Cybersecurity Threats

These are the top five cybersecurity threats that restaurant owners and managers need to know.

  1. Hackers – Hackers frequently target restaurants because they often have poorly secured systems. Often, hackers target POS systems, which typically do not have the same security measures as desktop computers.

  2. POS Malware – Malware – short for malicious software – is an intrusive software designed to damage and destroy computers. Examples include viruses, worms, spyware, adware, and ransomware. Many POS devices run on Windows, which malware can run on.

  3. RansomwareMacAfee defines ransomware as “malware that employs encryption to hold a victim’s information at ransom. A user or organization’s critical data is encrypted so that they cannot access files, databases, or applications. A ransom is then demanded to provide access.”

  4. Insider Threats – A common misconception is that all cyber threats come from external sources; however, many threats come from “insider threats” – current or former employees either intentionally or accidentally. According to Forbes, “In 2020, 36 percent of data breaches reported were caused by internal malicious actors.”

  5. Wi-Fi Security – Many customers today expect free wi-fi at restaurants and bars. Still, it’s crucial that you secure your Wi-Fi with firewalls to protect your customers and your restaurant’s security. It’s also important to have separate Wi-Fi access points for customers rather than the POS or business network.

Cybersecurity Tips for Restaurants

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to minimize cybersecurity risks.

  1. Pay Attention to Devices Connected to Wireless Network – Use the latest operating system because older systems often have security loopholes, install antivirus protection and malware detection software, and limit access to your devices with a PIN or passcode.

  2. Train Employees – Train your staff only to use your devices for business and educate them on phishing so they don’t click on suspicious emails or attachments.

  3. Analyze Third-Party Vendors – If a third-party vendor has access to your customers’ payment information, ensure that they are PCI compliant and take adequate security measures. If a vendor has access to your employee’s information, confirm how they protect and store that information.

  4. Store Passwords Properly – Experts recommend that you use an online password manager, such as Dashlane or LastPass, to store your passwords securely.

  5. Background Check Employees – In U.S. restaurants, employees often take credit cards from customers to process their payments. Unfortunately, dishonest employees can use that credit card information to make unauthorized charges; therefore, it’s essential that you do your best to hire the most honest employees, and a background check can help.

  6. Give Each Server a Unique Identifier – Provide a unique identifier to each employee to log into your POS system, so you can track patterns and identify potential issues.

  7. Use a Firewall to Separate Devices -Configure your firewall correctly to help keep malware-infected devices from infecting other devices.

The Right Cyber Insurance Helps When All Else Fails!

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a data breach occurs, and that’s where Cyber Liability Insurance can help. It helps cover financial losses caused by data breaches and other cyber events.

As Restaurant Insurance experts, American Insuring Group can help ensure you have the right coverage at the lowest cost. Start protecting your business today by calling our independent insurance pros at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Liability Insurance, Cyber Liability Insurance, Cyber Insurance

Plan For The Worst With Business Interruption Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Mar 12, 2022

Business Interruption Insurance in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Reading and elsewhereRestaurant Insurance can include different types of insurance policies, such as Property, Liability, and Workers' Compensation Insurance. Then there are the specialty coverages, such as Business Interruption Insurance. Each type of insurance is designed to protect your business from a different risk, whether your business is in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or points in between.

  • Property Insurance typically covers your building, equipment, stock and inventory, and even outdoor signs if they are damaged under a covered event.

  • Liability Insurance typically covers your restaurant for instances of slipping and falling, food sickness and choking, excessive alcohol consumption, delivery accidents, and more.

  • Workers' Compensation Insurance pays medical bills and lost wages if an employee is injured on the job.

The end goal of insurance is to help your business recover from an unexpected disaster, such as a fire or storm. And yet, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), about 25% of businesses don't reopen following a disaster. That is probably due – in part – to the fact that many business owners don't plan for contingencies to keep their business going if a disaster forces them to close temporarily. That's where Business Interruption Insurance can help.

What is Business Interruption Insurance?

Business Interruption Insurance (Aka Business Income coverage) can help with operating expenses incurred when a business is temporarily closed due to a covered event, such as the following:

  • Employee payroll
  • Mortgage, rent, and lease payments
  • Lost income
  • Taxes
  • Loan payments 

Business Interruption Insurance usually does not cover the following:

  • Broken items
  • Undocumented income 
  • Utilities

Typically covered events include theft, fire, wind, lightning, or falling objects. However, events such as nuclear accidents, war, and pandemics are not usually covered under a Business Interruption Insurance policy. Bottom line: if there is no physical damage, Business Interruption Insurance will NOT likely kick in. Also, damage caused by floods or earthquakes is typically covered by a separate policy.

Usually, Business Interruption Insurance is not a stand-alone policy but part of a Commercial or Business Owner Policy (BOP). It is generally triggered when a claim is made to a Commercial Property Insurance policy when property damage occurs.

Options and Endorsements to Business Interruption Insurance

You can design a policy that fits your specific needs with additional options and endorsements. Here are some options:

  • Contingent Business Interruption – if property owned by someone else - such as a supplier, buyer, provider, or driver – is damaged and causes a reduction or termination in your earnings

  • Extra Expense Insurance - will cover anything beyond the regular day-to-day operating expenses necessary to keep a business solvent after a covered event, such as renting temporary space during restoration, paying overtime, hiring new employees, and leasing equipment

  • Utility Services Endorsement - if the disruption of essential utility services – such as electric, gas, or water – disrupt operations of your restaurant

  • Civil Authority – If a civil authority – such as state, local, or federal government -prohibits access to your restaurant due to physical damage to an adjacent or nearby property owned by someone else

How Much Wil Business Interruption Insurance Cost?

Business Interruption Insurance's coverage and the cost are unique to every business. The best way to determine the right coverage is to use your restaurant's gross earnings and projections to estimate future profits. In addition to the amount of coverage, the cost depends on factors such as the number of employees, restaurant location, and prior claims experience.

To get the best rate on Business Interruption – or any type of Restaurant Insurance – work with an insurance agent who understands the unique challenges restaurant owners face, such as the agents at American Insuring Group.

As Restaurant Insurance specialists, not only can we ensure you purchase the right insurance to protect your business, but as independent agents, we also compare the cost of that coverage with multiple insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest premiums.

Call The Insurance Experts Today!

Prepare for the unexpected by by acquiring the right business insurance protection. Call the experts at American Insuring Group today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance, Business Interruption Insurance

5 Tips to Minimize the Risk of an Allergic Reaction in Your Restaurant

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Feb 26, 2022

Reduce-Allergy-Risk-Restaurant-Insurance

Imagine a customer has an allergic reaction to a meal prepared by your chef. Perhaps they have trouble breathing, faint, or begin to vomit. The episode turns your whole restaurant into a scene of chaos as customers look on and the staff tries to help the customer. 

This is a situation no restaurant owner or manager wants to face. Foremost, of course, is your concern for your customer’s well-being. Still, an episode like this can also hurt your business – disruption in service, a hit to your restaurant’s reputation, and a possible lawsuit. And more lawsuits can mean higher Restaurant Insurance costs.

 Approximately 15 million people in the U.S. are affected by food allergies, resulting in about 30,000 emergency room visits and 150-200 deaths every year. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Nearly half of fatal food allergy reactions over a 13-year period were caused by food from a restaurant or other food service establishment.” 

According to the FDA’s 2017 Food Code, a person in charge must “demonstrate knowledge of the major food allergens regulated by the FDA, as well as the symptoms of a food allergy reaction. The Food Code also specifies that retail and foodservice managers be made aware of the seriousness of food allergies, including the potential for reactions, anaphylaxis, and death; to know the 8 (soon to be 9) major food allergens, to understand food allergen ingredients and labeling; and how to avoid cross-contact during food preparation and service. 

“In addition to a manager being aware of food allergy safety, the Food Code requires that the person in charge ensure employees are properly trained in food safety, including food allergy awareness as it pertains to their jobs.” 

5 Tips to Minimize the Risk of an Allergic Reaction in Your Restaurant

Training

Proper training is the first step to minimizing the risk of experiencing the scene described above. Yet, the CDC reports “fewer than half of members of the restaurant staffs surveyed in 278 restaurants had received training on food allergies.” In fact, one survey discovered that “some managers and staff incorrectly believed someone with a food allergy could safely eat a small amount of that allergen.” 

Both back and front-of-house staff should be trained on the following:

  • The ingredients used to prepare each menu item
  • The most common food allergens
  • The most common symptoms
  • How to prevent cross-contamination
  • What to do if a customer does have an allergic reaction 

Keep Them Separated

When possible, restaurants should use separate equipment and prep areas for cooking meals for customers with food allergies. If that isn’t possible, the area should be thoroughly wiped down and equipment washed before preparing food for someone with allergies. 

Here are tips from Total Food Service:

  1. Change aprons, wash hands, and sanitize prep surfaces.
  2. Use a piece of foil on the grill to act as a barrier between the food and grill.
  3. Use separate fryers and utensils, plates, glassware, etc., that are washed, sanitized, and stored separately.

Provide Ingredient Lists

Make a list of ingredients or recipes for all menu items available to customers.

Have a Plan

Have a plan in place to serve customers with food allergies. Culinary Agents, Inc. advises that the plan should include the following:

  • How to address the reservation during the lineup
  • How to communicate the allergy across departments
  • How to answer any questions a guest regarding the menu
  • Who is responsible for checking the ingredients
  • How to avoid cross-contamination,
  • How to notify the kitchen of the allergy
  • How to mark the ticket in the kitchen 

Protect Your Restaurant With the Right Insurance!

Unfortunately, sometimes – despite your best efforts – a customer has an allergic reaction to something prepared in your restaurant. That’s where the right insurance can help. Not only do the agents at American Insuring Group specialize in restaurant insurance to ensure you have the right coverage, as independent agents, they check with multiple insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest price for that coverage.

Call American Insuring Group to start saving today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Liability Insurance, Restaurant Safety, Restaurant Insurance Costs

3 Facts About Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Dec 27, 2021

Restaurant Insurance Facts to Help You Save on Restaurant Insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania

Restaurants are filled with potential risks, but the right Restaurant Insurance helps protect your restaurant from those risks. Here are four facts about commercial insurance to help ensure that you have the RIGHT insurance for your unique insurance needs.

Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance Isn't Enough.

CGL is a complex insurance policy that helps cover legal liability costs associated with incidents caused by your services, business operations, or employees. CGL typically covers bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, advertising injury, and medical payments.

Restaurants face many risks. An employee can fall and injure themselves. A customer can get sick from food consumed in your restaurant. A delivery vehicle can be in an accident. And the list goes on… Unfortunately, not all liability issues are covered by a CGL policy, and often additional coverage is required.

For example…


      • In Pennsylvania, "any establishment or licensed individual who gives alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person can be legally held responsible for injuries and damages that person might cause." Typically, CGL doesn't cover this type of liability; however, Liquor Liability insurance does cover claims involving alcohol.CGL is also not designed to cover employee injuries.

      • In Pennsylvania, Workers' Compensation (WC) insurance is mandatory for most employers. WC covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees injured on the job and limits employees' ability to sue your business for negligence related to the injury. Employers who do not have workers' compensation coverage may be subject to lawsuits by employees and criminal prosecution by the commonwealth.

      • Recently, restaurants have been hit hard by data breaches. According to QSR, "Cyber criminals have found a rather easy and profitable target within the restaurant food chain vertical. With point-of-sale systems distributed across hundreds, if not thousands, of locations—these attackers find it all too easy to penetrate and maintain a presence, harvesting customer PII and credit card data." Furthermore, according to Bluefin, the average cost of a data breach in 2019 was $1.99 million. And typically, CGL has limited or no coverage for data breaches, which is why Cyber Insurance is crucial.

It's also important to remember that the limit (the most an insurance company will pay if a claim is filed) can vary significantly. An experienced insurance agent can help you determine the appropriate limit for your needs. 

Insurance Covers the Food You Prepare and Serve.

Restaurants face a unique risk – food contamination and food poisoning. While smart restaurant owners do everything possible to minimize the risk of food contamination, it is still a risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in six Americans (48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of food-borne diseases every year.

Despite your best efforts, food can be mishandled or improperly stored before reaching your restaurant. As a result, you might unknowingly serve contaminated food to your customers, causing food poisoning. Food contamination coverage can help reimburse you for expenses, such as loss of income due to a shutdown, advertising to help your business restore its reputation, etc.

You could also experience an extended power outage and lose everything in your freezer. Food spoilage coverage - which typically covers risks such as prolonged power outages, equipment breakdown, etc. - can help reimburse you for the cost of lost food.

There are Ways to Save on Restaurant Insurance Costs,

The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can reduce the cost of your insurance without lowering your coverage. Here are eight tips:

        • Focus on Safety
        • Improve Security
        • Hire Wisely
        • Pay Upfront
        • Increase Your Deductible
        • Carry the Right Coverage
        • Bundle your policies
        • Review Your Policies Annually

Final Tip to Save on Restaurant Insurance Costs – Work with an Independent Agent!

As independent agents, the agents at the American Insuring Group compare the cost of your coverage with many insurance carriers to ensure that you get the best price.

So, give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Restaurant Insurance, Commercial General Liability Insurance

Protect Your Restaurant Against Lawsuits To Reduce Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Nov 20, 2021

Protect Your Restaurant Against Lawsuits To Reduce Insurance Costs in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, Reading, York, Allentown, and throughout PennsylvaniaCertain types of Restaurant Insurance are designed to protect your business in the event of a lawsuit. Here's what you need to know about lawsuits and your insurance options.

How Likely is My Restaurant to Be Sued?

There's no doubt we live in a litigious society. According to the U.S. Financial Education Foundation (USFEF), it's estimated that over 40 million lawsuits are filed every year in the U.S. And small businesses aren't immune to lawsuits. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 36 to 53% of small businesses are sued every year. Let's take a moment to let that statistic sink in... Approximately half of all small businesses are sued in any given year.

And it costs those businesses big time. The SBA reports that lawsuits that go to trial can cost $3,000 to $150,000 to resolve. Thankfully, most cases are settled out of court; however, they still cost the business time, legal fees, business reputation, and sometimes a settlement to the plaintiff.

How to Protect Your Restaurant From Lawsuits

"Business owners who've had to pay legal damages say the costs nearly put them out of business," SCORE reports and advises, "Take the right steps to reduce the financial repercussions on both your personal and business finances should litigation become necessary. Incorporate your business in a way that shields your personal finances from any legal claim, and obtain the right business insurance coverage to protect your company's finances."

To determine what insurance coverage you need to protect your restaurant, you have to identify potential risks.

Here are four areas of liability you need to consider: 

Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance helps protect your restaurant against customer injuries (for example, a customer slips and falls in your restaurant), customer property damage (a waiter spills soup on a customer's laptop), and advertising injuries, such as libel, slander, and copyright infringement. CGL typically covers legal fees, medical expenses, and judgments.

Every restaurant should carry General Liability Insurance, and it is required for most commercial leases. However, it is important to remember that General Liability Insurance does NOT cover employee injures. For those injuries, you need Workers' Compensation Insurance, which, in PA, is mandated for almost every employer.

Liquor Liability Insurance helps protect restaurants that serve alcohol. According to Pennsylvania's Dram Shop Law, "Any restaurant or licensed individual who gives alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person can be legally held responsible for injuries and damages that person might cause."

Here are some examples:

  • If you serve alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated and they get into a car accident, you can be held liable for any damages or injuries.
  • If you serve alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated, starts a fight, and injures someone, you can be held liable.
  • If you serve alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated, and they fall and are injured, you can be held liable. 

Liquor Liability Insurance helps cover legal costs and settlements if you are sued under the PA Dram Shop Law. 

Product Liability Insurance protects you from lawsuits that result from illnesses caused by the consumption of your food. The sad fact is that you can do everything possible to ensure food safety in your restaurant. Still, unless you have control over the entire supply chain, you could unwittingly end up serving contaminated food.

Commercial Vehicle Liability helps protect restaurants that use a vehicle for commercial use. Typically, a personal auto insurance policy will not cover damage caused while operating the vehicle for commercial use. That can mean a company-owned vehicle used for deliveries or even trips to the bank. If your delivery drivers use their own vehicle, you will also need non-owned vehicle coverage, and if you offer valet service, you'll need valet service insurance.

How to Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs

The agents at American Insuring Group have years of experience assisting restaurants with their insurance needs. They understand your business and know what questions to ask to ensure you have the right insurance coverage. And as independent agents, they check with multiple insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest rate for that insurance coverage.

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online and start saving today!

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Liability Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Costs

5 Tips to Create a Safe Outdoor Dining Space Your Customers Will Love

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 30, 2021

Create a Safe Outdoor Dining Space and Save on Restaurant Insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Lancaster, Erie, Allentown, PA and beyond.For many restaurants, creating an outdoor seating area became a necessity during the COVID restrictions. According to the National Restaurant Association, 48% of family dining, 56% of casual dining, and 62% of fine dining restaurants said: “they devoted more resources to developing or expanding outdoor dining areas.”

Because dining alfresco can be a fun and desirable experience for many customers, creating a permanent outdoor area your customers enjoy and want to return to can help increase your profits. But don’t forget about customer safety to avoid the risk of injuries, lawsuits, and higher Restaurant Insurance costs.

It takes some effort and unique considerations to create a safe and enjoyable outdoor seating area for your customers. A few picnic tables thrown under a tent on your parking lot may not be enough for long-term success. Here are some tips for creating a beautiful, comfortable, and safe seating area that will serve your restaurant and your customers for years to come.

Find the Right Space

Take time to look at your restaurant’s exterior to determine the best spot for a permanent outdoor seating area. You may need to think outside of the box. For example, if you don’t have a large property, is a roof deck feasible? Is there anything on your property that could make for a nice view - such as a stream, forest, an area overlooking the city – that you can take advantage of?

Also, consider the level of noise. While setting up an outdoor seating area that overlooks the town square is great for people watching, the sound of loud cars and motorcycles can make conversations challenging. Take time to sit in the area you’re considering to determine if it’s the best spot for your outdoor seating area.

And don’t forget safety. Is the new space ADA compliant? Are there any tripping hazards you need to eliminate? Does the new space cause traffic flow problems that need to be addressed?

Keep Up-to-Date With Outdoor Dining Rules

Outdoor dining laws vary by state and local governments. Contact regulators to determine what is and isn’t allowed and what permits or licenses you may need. Check into noise ordinances in your area. While many outdoor dining regulations were relaxed during COVID, that may not apply to the future, so check the laws and regulations in your area before starting any permanent renovations.

Keep Your Customers Comfortable

How can you keep your customers dry when it rains, warm when it’s cool, and cool when the sun is beating down on them? Consider a permanent roof, retractable roof, or umbrellas to protect your customers from the elements. If you want to extend your outdoor dining into the cooler months, you may want to consider investing in outdoor heaters.

Make sure the furniture you choose is comfortable. For example, chairs with supportive backs and armrests can be more inviting and more comfortable. In addition, you may want to consider using cushions that can be removed and cleaned as needed.

Control Pests

Are there any bugs or animals that could ruin your customers’ al fresco dining experience? If yes, what can you do to alleviate the nuisance? It can be hard to control nature, but keeping the area clean can help. Immediately clean up spills and remove uneaten food quickly. Sweep the floor frequently to eliminate crumbs, which can attract animals. Consider the use of bug zappers or an exterminator if bugs are a problem.

Create an Attractive Space

One of the greatest appeals of alfresco dining is the ambiance! Even if you don’t have a babbling brook or a beautiful ocean at your disposal, you can create an attractive outdoor dining experience that will compel your customers back again and again. A garden or potted plants can provide beauty and even privacy where needed.

Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you need to use vinyl tablecloths, paper plates and napkins, and plastic utensils. While that may be appropriate for a restaurant selling barbeque, it isn’t for a more upscale restaurant. Plus, glasses, real silverware, and cloth napkins won’t blow away as quickly.

And don’t forget about lighting. The right lighting can draw people in, create an inviting atmosphere, and of course, allow people to move about safely. So you may want to consider a string of outdoor lights, candles, tiki torches, lamp posts, fire pits, and/or spotlights for plants, statues, or fountains.

Save on Restaurant Insurance to Protect Your Business, Customers, and Employees

Keeping your customers and employees safe should be your biggest priority and just makes good business sense. However, if an accident occurs, the right restaurant insurance can help protect your business, customers, and employees.

The independent agents at American Insuring Group specialize in restaurant insurance and can help ensure you have the right insurance at the lowest cost. So if you’re considering adding a permanent outdoor seating area – or just want to save on your insurance costs - give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Safety, Restaurant Insurance Costs

3 Most Common Restaurant Injuries and Tips to Avoid Them

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 16, 2021

3 Most Common Restaurant Injuries and Tips to Avoid ThemThe more accidents you have in your kitchen and the more claims you file, the higher your Restaurant Insurance costs. And we all know how dangerous restaurant kitchens can be. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 93,800 nonfatal injuries and illnesses in full-service restaurants in 2019, and about one-third of those injuries required at least one day away from work.

These injuries are costing restaurants thousands of dollars every day – both directly and indirectly. Direct costs include wage replacement, litigation costs, property losses, etc. Indirect costs include loss of productivity, OSHA fines, damage to your business reputation, workplace disruptions, etc.

Create a safer kitchen to prevent injuries, and you not only lower the cost of your insurance premiums, but you also create a better work environment, save yourself a lot of headaches, and save on many other operating costs. Here are three of the most common restaurant injuries, according to QSR magazine, and tips to avoid them.

Lacerations and Punctures

With all the knives, slicers, and breakable dishes and glasses, it should come as no surprise that lacerations and punctures are among the most common injuries in restaurant kitchens. Here are fifteen tips to minimize the risk of lacerations and punctures.

  1. Keep knives sharp
  2. Use the right knife for the right job
  3. Store knives in a rack or knife block – not loose in a drawer
  4. Curl fingers of the hand holding the food under when chopping, mincing, etc.
  5. Wear cut-resistant gloves
  6. Use a cutting board
  7. Clean knives immediately after use
  8. Don’t try to catch a falling knife
  9. Install machine guards
  10. Maintain all equipment
  11. Train employees on the proper use of knives and equipment
  12. Don’t wear loose clothing or jewelry that can get stuck in equipment
  13. When washing glasses, don’t quickly change the water temperature
  14. Don’t stack glassware
  15. Don’t allow glasses to rub against each other

Burns

Again, with all the hot grease, boiling water, hot stoves, and ovens, it should come as no surprise that burns are one of the most common injuries in restaurant kitchens. QSR reports that “As many as one-third of occupational burns occur in restaurants, totaling about 12,000 reported cases per year, although the actual number is projected to be much higher.” Here are fifteen tips to avoid burns in your restaurant kitchen

  1. Turn pot handles away from burners
  2. Never leave handles sticking out over the edge of the stove
  3. Adjust burn flames, so they cover only the bottom of the pan
  4. Avoid overcrowding range tops
  5. Don’t leave hot oil or grease unattended for any length of time
  6. Slowly lift lids to allow steam to escape
  7. Keep hair, clothing, and flammable materials away from open flames
  8. Ask for help to move very heavy pots that are hot or contain hot ingredients
  9. Use fryer baskets
  10. Don’t fill fryer baskets more than halfway
  11. Install splash guards on fryers
  12. Remove excess ice crystals on food before placing in fryer
  13. Dispose of oil correctly
  14. Wear protective clothing, such as gloves
  15. Use hot pads, pot holders, etc.

Sprains and Strains

Improper lifting, overreaching, tripping, etc., can cause sprains and strains in restaurant kitchens. Here are fourteen tips to minimize the risk of this type of injury.

  1. Wear slip-resistant shoes
  2. Clean up spills immediately
  3. Use signs to warn of potential hazards
  4. Keep walkways clean and free from tripping hazards
  5. Avoid carrying loads that block your view
  6. Ensure there is adequate lighting
  7. Store heavier items on the middle shelves
  8. Use a ladder or step stool instead of reaching above your shoulder height
  9. Use hand trucks to move items when possible
  10. Use anti-fatigue mats
  11. Use mechanical equipment to limit repetitive tasks when possible
  12. Provide training on safe lifting techniques
  13. Take breaks from repetitive tasks
  14. Avoid awkward positions

Regular employee training and the enforcement of safety procedures are crucial to minimizing injuries. Every restaurant kitchen should also have a first aid kit handy and make sure that several workers in the kitchen know how to treat minor injuries properly.

How to Save on Restaurant Insurance Costs

Developing a safe work environment is a significant step to reduce Restaurant Insurance costs, but it isn’t the only step restaurant owners can take. The experienced agents at American Insuring Group can offer additional ways to lower your Restaurant Insurance costs. So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online and start saving today!

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Lancaster PA, Restaurant Safety, Restaurant Insurance Costs

6 Questions to Ask to Acquire the Right Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 04, 2021

Questions to ask to get the right restaurant insuranceThe right Restaurant Insurance coverage is an investment in your business or a safety net when (not if, but when) things go wrong – accidents, vandalism, fires, etc. But the wrong Restaurant Insurance can be an unnecessary expense.

Here's what we mean…

Let's say you serve alcohol to someone at your restaurant. They get into a car accident on the way home, and your business gets sued for bodily injury or property damage caused by that person. The Liquor Liability Insurance you purchased helps cover legal costs, settlements or judgments, costs to repair damages, and medical bills. That's an investment.

Now, let's say you run a small diner. To determine your Workers' Compensation and General Liability Insurance premiums, your restaurant is classified as 0899 (Bar, Nightclub) instead of 0975 (Restaurant) as it should be. You're going to end up paying for potential risks that don't apply to your business. That is an unnecessary expense.

Here are some questions you can ask to ensure you get the "Right" Restaurant Insurance.

Is My Restaurant Correctly Classified?

As stated above, if your diner is incorrectly classified as a bar, you could be paying more in insurance premiums than you need to. On the other hand, if your bar is misclassified as a restaurant, you could find a gap in your coverage.

Do I Need Workers' Compensation?

The PA Department of Labor & Industry states, "If you employ workers in Pennsylvania, you must have workers' compensation insurance -- it's the law." Failing to carry appropriate workers' compensation insurance carries a potential $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail. Additionally, if the court determines the failure to comply is intentional, you could face a $15,000 fine and up to seven years in prison.

Do I Need Commercial Auto Insurance?

If your restaurant has a vehicle that you or an employee uses for business, you need Commercial Auto Insurance. Most personal auto insurance policies will exclude business use, so if you're in an accident while conducting business for your restaurant and only have personal auto insurance, your claim will probably be denied. If an employee uses their own car for restaurant business, such as delivering food or going to the bank, you need Hired or Non-Owned Auto coverage.

Do I Need Cyber Liability Insurance?

If you gather any type of personal information – which most restaurants do – you should have Data Breach and Cyber Liability Insurance. Don't think that just because you are a small business that you aren't susceptible to data breaches. Verizon Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report found that "Almost a third or 28% of data breaches in 2020 involved small businesses." One data breach can cost your business thousands of dollars.

Are There Any Gaps in My Insurance?

Think about your assets – property, employees, equipment, vehicles, etc. – and your potential risks – fire, injury, etc. to determine if there are any gaps in your insurance. An insurance agent specializing in Restaurant Insurance understands the unique challenges and risks inherent in the restaurant industry and knows the right questions to ask to ensure that you don't have any coverage gaps.

How Can I Lower My Restaurant Insurance?

The right Restaurant Insurance coverage helps protect you, your restaurant, employees, and customers, but that doesn't mean you should pay more than you need to for that coverage. Here are a few tips to lower your Restaurant Insurance costs:

    • Focus on Safety
    • Improve Security
    • Hire Wisely
    • Pay Upfront
    • Increase Your Deductible
    • Carry the Right Coverage
    • Bundle
    • Review Your Policies Annually
    • Work With an Independent Agent

We Specialize in Restaurant Insurance!

The agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Restaurant Insurance. As independent agents, we will compare the cost of your coverage with several companies to get you the lowest price possible. So, give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, workers comp, commercial vehicle insuarance, Cyber Liability Insurance