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How Can Your Restaurant or Bar Lower Liquor Liability?

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Nov 19, 2022

Buy Liquor Liability and Restaurant Insurance in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Erie, Allentown, Reading, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania

It’s that time of year – Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, followed quickly by St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a busy time for restaurants, and it’s also a time when Restaurant Insurance is more crucial than ever! And if you serve alcohol, Liquor Liability Insurance should be part of your insurance portfolio, especially if your business operates in one of the thirty-five states with dram shop liability statutes – such as Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. 

What is the Dram Shop Liability Statue?

“Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “This is one death every 50 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion.” 

In an attempt to prevent drunk drivers from hitting the roads, many states have increased DUI penalties, raised sales taxes on beer and liquor, and/or tried lowering the legal drinking age. Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia have also instituted dram shop liability laws that allow individuals who are hurt by drunk drivers to sue the bar or restaurant that served the alcohol to the drunk driver. 

Justice Guardians describe Pennsylvania’s dram shop liquor liability as follows: “Under the state’s Liquor Code, any licensed establishment that sells alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron can be held liable for injuries caused by that patron after they leave the premises.” Those injuries can be caused by fights, falls, car accidents, etc. Justice Guardian also states, “Courts in the state [PA] have almost unanimously considered this liability to be ‘negligence per se.’ That means victims probably won’t have to prove the vendor was negligent in any way other than serving alcohol to a visibly-intoxicated patron.” 

How Can You Lower Liquor Liability?

Prepare for larger crowds

If you expect larger than normal crowds – like on Superbowl Sunday – have extra servers and bartenders working to help track alcohol consumption and consider hiring security to control unruly or intoxicated customers.

Establish a Policy Regarding Liquor Service

Have a written policy that clearly states you have zero tolerance for serving minors and directions on how and when to refuse service. You should also have an incident reporting system in place.

Be Prepared to Refuse Service

Your servers have the right to refuse alcohol to anyone who appears intoxicated. And yes, we realize that the more drinks you sell, the more you make, but is it worth the hassle of a lawsuit or a hit to your restaurant or bar’s reputation?

Card Everyone

If caught serving alcohol to minors, you will lose your liquor license, so ensure that your servers card everyone.

Train Your Staff

Staff should know and understand your liquor service policy, know how to measure alcohol correctly, so they don’t over-serve a customer, and be able to identify the signs of intoxication.

Provide Water

Medical News Today states, “When a person hydrates by drinking plenty of water, it can give their liver time to metabolize the alcohol in their body, as well as spacing out the alcoholic drinks they consume.” Therefore, providing water, even if they don’t ask, can help minimize the risk of intoxication.

Serve Food

Medical News Today also states that eating before drinking can slow the processing of alcohol, and eating while drinking may help customers drink slower. You may consider keeping pretzels or chips out for customers to snack on or offering discounted food specials.

Provide Alternative Transportation

You never want to let an intoxicated person behind the wheel of a car. At the very least, you can display the phone numbers of transportation services available or try to partner with Lyft or Uber to offer discount rides. You may even want to call a taxi for an intoxicated customer. It’s a small price to pay for the safety of your customers and the public (not to mention the cost of a lawsuit).

Purchase Liquor Liability Insurance

Suppose, despite all of your best efforts, you get sued for serving alcohol to someone who has caused damage or injury. In that case, Liquor Liability Insurance is your safety net (and may be required by your state or financial institution if you serve alcohol). Liquor Liability Insurance typically covers legal costs, settlements or judgments, repair costs, and medical bills. 

How to Save on Liquor Liability Insurance

The agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Restaurant Insurance, so they understand your unique challenges and can help protect your business with the right insurance coverage. As independent agents, we compare rates among multiple insurance carriers to ensure you pay the lowest premium for Liquor Liability Insurance and all your commercial insurance needs.

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

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Liquor Liability Insurance, Restaurant Liability Insurance

9 Tips to Reduce Slip and Fall Injuries in Restaurants

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 22, 2022

Keep Restaurant Insurance Affordable by Avoiding Slip and Fall Accidents in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, Reading and throughout PAInjuries within your restaurant can significantly increase the cost of Restaurant Insurance and other costs, damage your restaurant’s reputation, lower productivity, and more. Therefore, understanding and minimizing the risk of injuries is crucial to business success. One of the most significant risks restaurants encounter is falls. 

According to ISSA, “More than 3 million food service employees and over 1 million guests are injured annually as a result of restaurant slips and falls.” They also report that “slips and falls are the greatest source of general liability insurance claims within the restaurant industry.” 

You may not be able to avoid all slips and falls in your restaurant, but there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. 

  1. Install high-traction, slip-resistant flooring. You can confirm slip resistance with a coefficient of friction (COF) audit.
  2. Immediately clean up spills, pick items off the floor, and keep walkways clear of clutter.
  3. Use maintenance and floor cleaning products with slip-resistant characteristics compatible with your flooring surfaces. Check out the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI).
  4. Pay special attention to permanently installed features, such as carpets and mats. They need to be properly maintained and cleaned to avoid trip hazards. NFSI-certified mats are an excellent investment.
  5. Conduct and document regular hazard inspections. Regularly walk around your restaurant looking for hazards, such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, and blocked or dimly lit areas. Document the hazard, when it appeared, and what you did to eliminate it. Documenting this information helps provide proof that you are serious about maintaining your property and keeping it safe for employees and customers.
  6. If you discover a hazard that can’t be fixed immediately, alert employees and visitors to the danger with warning signs.
  7. Install a surveillance system to monitor for situations that may pose a risk. Cameras can also record accidents to help expedite the resolution of any claims and minimize the risk of false claims.
  8. Train employees on established safety procedures, cleaning operations, and inspection procedures. Train workers to apply floor cleaning and maintenance products following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Keep records of all employee training, including individuals trained, subject matter covered, training materials, and the date of the training.
  9. Require slip-resistant shoes. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) study concluded, “The findings from this study provide evidence of the effectiveness of slip-resistant footwear and may assist employers, managers, and workers in their decision on whether to invest time and resources in a slip-resistant footwear program.” 

IIf – despite all your best efforts – an injury does occur, immediately ensure that the injured person receives appropriate medical attention, complete an incident report, and notify your insurance company as soon as possible. 

Lower Your Restaurant Insurance Costs!

The American Insuring Group is committed to providing information about Restaurant Insurance and tips to improve safety with our weekly blog. From protecting your restaurant from cyber threats to minimizing the risk of an allergic reaction in your restaurant and from protecting your restaurant against lawsuits to creating a safe outdoor dining space your customers will love (and everything in between), we’re here to help your restaurant succeed! 

In addition, when you work with one of our Restaurant Insurance specialists, we help ensure you have the right coverage for your needs. And as independent agents, we check with multiple insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest price for that coverage.

✔︎ So call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online to discover how we can help lower your Restaurant Insurance costs.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Safety Programs, Restaurant Safety

10 Restaurant Safety Blogposts to Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 17, 2022

Tips to Lower Your Restaurant Insurance Costs in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie and all over PennsylvaniaCreating a safe workplace helps protect your business, maintain a good reputation, and lower the cost of Restaurant Insurance and other expenses. Safety should be a priority in any industry, but perhaps more so in restaurants where many potential hazards exist - sharp knives that can cause injuries, hot fryers that can trigger fires, food that can become contaminated, etc. 

If you want your business to succeed, you must be diligent about creating and maintaining a safe restaurant. So here is – as they say – the proof in the pudding:

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, there were 93,800 nonfatal injuries and illnesses in full-service restaurants, with about one-third requiring at least one day away from work.

  • According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 7,410 structure fires per year in eating and drinking establishments between 2010 and 2014. These fires caused average annual losses of three civilian deaths, 110 civilian injuries, and $165 million in direct property damage each year.”

  • According to the National Library of Medicine, approximately 48 million cases of foodborne illness occur in the U.S. every year, resulting in about 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Furthermore, between 2006 and 2007, about 66% of foodborne disease outbreaks reported were associated with restaurants. 

How Does a Safe Workplace Benefit Your Restaurant?

Creating a safe restaurant protects and benefits everyone - your restaurant, employees, customers, and the community.

Here are a few of the benefits to your restaurant:

  • Improves your bottom line. Experts report that safety and health management systems reduce injury and illness costs by 20-40%, and employers can save $4-6 for every dollar they spend on safety and health programs. Plus, of course, fewer claims mean lower WC premiums.
  • Increases productivity. Fewer injuries lead to lower absenteeism and turnover and higher employee morale.
  • Saves time. It takes time to repair or replace damaged equipment, hire and train new employees, etc. 

Employees also benefit from a safe workplace with less pain and suffering, less stress, and better quality of life for themselves and their families. Finally, safe workplaces benefit your community by creating attractive employment opportunities and restaurants people want to frequent. 

How to Create a Safer Restaurant

There are plenty of things you can do to create a safer restaurant, and American Insuring Group is here to help! Here are ten blogs devoted to restaurant safety. Check out these and more blogs about safety and Restaurant Insurance.

  1. 8 Restaurant Safety Tips to Lower Insurance Costs

  2. How to Prevent Fires in Restaurants

  3. A Clean Kitchen Can Reduce Restaurant Insurance Costs

  4. 5 Tips to Minimize the Hazards of Commercial Deep Fryers

  5. 6 Knife Safety Tips for Restaurant Owners

  6. Minimize Food Delivery Risks for Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs

  7. PPE to Lower Insurance and Other Operating Costs in Restaurants

  8. 3 Food Safety Tips to Reduce Risk and Insurance Costs

  9. Slip-Resistant Shoes Help Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs

  10. Food Allergies and Restaurant Liability Insurance

The Fastest Way to Lower Your Restaurant Insurance Costs

Call American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online to discover how our independent agents can help you lower your Restaurant Insurance costs. They compare costs among many competing providers to help you get quality coverage at the best price. Call today.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Safety, Restaurant Insurance Costs

7 Common Mistakes Restaurants Make When Filing an Insurance Claim

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 20, 2022

Properly filing a restaurant insurance claim can help you save on restaurant insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg, Allentown, PA and elsewhere.Savvy restaurant owners purchase Restaurant Insurance to help protect their business, but insurance policies and claims can be complicated. The experienced agents at American Insuring Group can help you navigate your insurance options, policies, and claims.

However, it’s helpful to understand and avoid the most common errors restaurant owners make when filing an insurance claim:

Not Understanding Your Policy

Your insurance policy states explicitly what “perils” it does and does not cover. It can be extremely frustrating to discover something you thought was covered isn’t when you go to make a claim (not to mention the time wasted making a claim while also trying to recover from the incident).

Therefore, you need to read and understand what your policy does and does not cover, so you can either fill the gap or have a plan in place if an uncovered event occurs. Ask your insurance agent to clarify anything you’re unsure of. 

You should also know your policy’s deductible – the amount you must pay before insurance kicks in on a claim. If you decide to increase your deductible to lower your premiums, make sure you have enough available cash to cover that deductible if you need to make a claim. 

Finally, it’s crucial to understand if your policy values damaged property according to an actual cash value (factors in depreciation and normal wear and tear) or the replacement value (does not factor in depreciation and normal wear and tear). If the damaged property is valued according to actual cash value, you need to be prepared to pay the difference out of pocket. 

Not Filing a Claim Promptly

If someone is injured in your restaurant or your oven is damaged by fire, call your insurance company immediately. Waiting to file the claim can make the process more difficult or even lead to having the claim denied. A good rule of thumb is to file a claim within the first 48 hours of an incident, but the sooner, the better.

Not Working with Insurer

Don’t think of your insurance adjuster as the enemy. Be professional, polite, and cooperative, and promptly provide whatever documentation they request. Failure to cooperate may provide grounds to deny a claim. However, don’t be afraid to ask questions or even appeal an estimate if you have reasonable proof that the lost property is undervalued. 

Not Documenting Damage and Claim

You will need proof of damage to receive a payout, so immediately record the time and date of the incident and take photos and/or videos of the damage. Also, document your communication with your insurer – keep a record of mailed correspondence and emails along with the time, date, and substance of verbal communications. 

Disposing of Damaged Items

You may think photos will be enough when filing a claim, but you should also keep the damaged property as physical evidence until the claim is closed. 

Admitting Fault

Never admit fault if someone is injured in your restaurant. There are too many frivolous lawsuits, and you may not honestly know the cause of an incident until it is investigated. In addition, accepting responsibility will make it difficult for your insurer to defend you if there is a lawsuit. Plus, some policies don’t allow you to assume fault without the insurer’s consent. With these policies, admitting fault can lead to a breach of contract, denial of a claim, or termination of coverage.

 Paying Claims Out of Pocket

You may be tempted to pay the medical costs of someone injured in your restaurant. However, your insurance policy will not reimburse you for payments made out of pocket and could even result in a denied claim. 

Want to Save on Restaurant Insurance Costs?

Work with one of the experienced independent agents at American Insuring Group. We can answer any of your questions, and – as independent agents – we compare pricing and coverage with multiple insurance companies to make sure that you pay the lowest premium for your insurance coverage!

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

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Costs

Do I Need Commercial Auto Insurance for My Restaurant?

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Jul 27, 2022

Get the Proper Auto Insurance for Your Restaurant Business in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Reading, Wyomissing, Lancaster, Harrisburg and throughout PA.Insurance – including Restaurant Insurance - is all about risk. The higher the risk of a claim, the higher the cost of the insurance.

The same is true of auto insurance, and let’s face it, driving can be risky. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, there were 5.24 million police-reported crashes in the U.S., which caused 2.28 million injuries and 38,824 fatalities (a 6.8% increase over 2019).

 A vehicle used for commercial purposes is considered a higher risk because it may be driven more often or by more than one driver. Therefore, if you own a vehicle used for commercial purposes – making deliveries, visiting customers, etc. – your personal auto insurance may not cover damages caused when you or an employee uses your vehicle for commercial purposes. 

3 Auto Insurance Options

Personal Auto Insurance

A personal auto insurance policy covers property damage, bodily injuries, and legal expenses. While some personal auto insurance policies include limited coverage for business use, this type of policy is typically limited to accidents that occur during personal use, such as commuting to and from work and other travel unrelated to your job/business. In addition, a personal auto insurance policy typically insures the owner and one or two immediate family members only. 

Commercial Auto Insurance

A commercial auto insurance policy covers vehicles owned by a business. It covers vehicles used to drive customers or employees, perform a service you’ve been paid for, transport goods, and other business uses. Like personal auto insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance covers property damage, bodily injuries, and legal expenses. It also typically includes additional insureds, such as employees, and covers different types of vehicles, larger claims, and more complicated legal issues.

 Hired and non-owned auto insurance (HNOA)

HNOA insurance provides coverage for vehicles your business does NOT own but uses for commercial purposes, such as running business errands, picking up supplies, and visiting customers. This includes your employees’ vehicles used for business purposes and vehicles you rent or lease to use for business purposes. HNOA insurance can be purchased as a rider to your general liability insurance or as a standalone policy. It’s important to note that HNOA does NOT cover damage to your own property – only third-party liability costs.

 How to Lower the Risk of an Accident

Studies show that 98% of auto accidents are caused by human error. The following are the top six human driver errors:

  1. Failure to wear a seatbelt
  2. Excessive speeding
  3. Distraction/in attentiveness
  4. Incorrect assumptions about other drivers
  5. Tailgating/not leaving enough space between vehicles
  6. Not checking traffic before pulling out or crossing lanes 

The fewer accidents you or your employees are involved in, the fewer insurance claims and the lower your auto insurance costs. Here are five steps to minimize the risk of an auto accident:

  1. Check employee driving records before allowing them to drive a vehicle for business purposes
  2. Provide safe driving training
  3. Research vehicle safety records before purchasing, renting or leasing a vehicle
  4. Create and enforce a policy for employee cell phone use while driving
  5. Download the National Safety Council’s FREE online Safe Driving Kit

How to Lower Your Auto Insurance Cost

The best way to lower the cost of your insurance is to work with one of the experienced agents at American Insuring Group.

We will help determine the best type of insurance for your needs and then – as independent agents – check with multiple insurance companies to ensure that you pay the lowest premium for that insurance.

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

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Costs

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