If you’re trying to set your restaurant apart, you may consider offering valet service. This service could make sense if you have limited parking at your restaurant or just want to offer a service that goes above and beyond what is expected.
If you decide that valet service is something that you want to offer your customers, do a little research first to understand your risks and how to protect your restaurant from those risks.
Parking lots and garages may seem like safe places, but it’s that false sense of security that contributes to the fact that one out of every five motor vehicle accidents takes place in a parking lot. Tens of thousands of accidents occur in parking lots and garages every year, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries, along with property damage to vehicles and structures, according to the National Safety Council.
The good news is that the right Restaurant Insurance coverage can help protect your restaurant from liability, injuries, and damage these accidents cause.
Valet Service Options and the Risks
If you decide to hire your own drivers, they become your employees, which means your restaurant is held liable for their actions. Therefore, you would want to make sure that your Commercial Liability Insurance for your restaurant covers any incidents.
The advantage of hiring your own drivers is that you have control over who is hired to drive your customers’ vehicles and how they are trained.
Here Are Three Save Driving Tips to Share With Your Drivers:
- Slow down – Don’t drive any faster than 5-10 mph unless there are posted speed limits.
- Pay Attention – Pay attention to pavement markings and traffic signs. Use extra caution while backing out of a space. Every year, about 300 deaths and 18,000 injuries are caused by drivers backing out of parking spaces and driveways. Watch for pedestrians and other cars, and take advantage of backup cameras available in most cars today.
- Don’t Get Distracted – Don’t text while driving or walking in a parking lot or garage.
The second option is hiring a third-party company, which significantly lowers your risk but does take away your control of the hiring and training of drivers. You would still need insurance to protect your property if a driver causes damage.
Restaurant Insurance Options for Valet Service
Here are some types of insurance you may want to consider if you decide to add valet services for your restaurant:
- Commercial General Liability (CGL)– CGL should cover damage to customers’ cars caused by your driver.
- Workers Compensation – State laws require most businesses that have employees to have WC Insurance. It pays medical expenses and lost wages incurred if an employee is injured on the job along with legal costs if an employee sues you over the injury.
- Employee Dishonesty – This insurance covers lost or stolen items in a customers’ vehicle, which is not covered by CGL.
- Garage Liability Insurance – This is a type of umbrella policy that adds a layer of protection to your General Liability Insurance and helps protect your business from property damage and bodily injury
- Garage Keepers Coverage – This insurance covers damage to your customers’ vehicles.
As with any insurance policy, there are exclusions and limitations to these types of insurance. For example, if your driver parks and locks the vehicle properly and it is vandalized, broken into, or receives weather-related damage, your insurance would NOT cover it. The vehicle owner’s insurance should cover in that situation.
A Good Insurance Agent Can Help You With All Your Commercial Insurance Needs
The independent agents at American Insuring Group specialize in commercial insurance, including Restaurant Insurance. Plus, as independent agents, we check with multiple insurance companies to ensure that you get the right coverage at the best price. Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.