Find The Right Restaurant Insurance in Connecticut
You craft the perfect menu. Leave the insurance to us.
You’ve got a lot on your plate – literally. Owning and operating a restaurant in is hard work. We make it easier for you with tailored insurance programs delivered by people who know you and your business.
Insurance is just the beginning.
With 12+ years of consulting experience, we understand your Connecticut restaurant business and your unique risks.
From creating new revenue streams to addressing employment challenges and lowering your overall insurance costs – we’re here to help. We’re small business advisors, insurance brokers, and small business champions with a mission to impact our communities for years to come positively.
We do this through our work and the profit we dedicate to providing capital and education to support the launch of minority-owned small businesses.
What Type Of Restaurant Insurance Do I Need?
Like many other types of Businesses, Restaurants have specific needs when it comes to Insurance. While there are many important coverages to consider, what’s most important is having an advisor who knows you and your business to help you navigate the world of insurance! Our InsureGood Advisors can help you determine the most important coverages to protect you and your business and support your values.
General Liability Insurance is foundational coverage for most businesses, and if you are a tenant at your location, your landlord may require the range as part of your lease. Whether a tenant or owner of your building, we wouldn’t recommend that you operate without it.
General Liability Insurance would cover you in the event of a lawsuit from a non-employee who claims that they suffered either bodily injury or property damage as a result of your business operations. There are four significant areas of coverage on a General Liability policy. Bodily Injury and Property Damage, Products and Completed Operations, Damage to Rented Premises, and Medical Payments.
Restaurants are subject to frequent claims from slip and fall, foodborne illness claims, customer burns, or damages to customers’ personal property due to accidents. General Liability policies provide the coverage you need to cover the cost to defend a claim should it arise and pay any damages awarded.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial Property policies are often packaged with your General Liability Coverage, and it’s another coverage we highly recommend purchasing as part of your risk transfer program. You’ve invested a lot in the perfect presentation for your customers. In the event of a fire or other disaster, you want to make sure you haven’t lost out on that investment. Commercial Property coverage can cover the cost to replace part or all of:
- The building you occupy if you are a building owner
- Renovations you have made to an existing building or permanent improvements to the building you have invested in
- Specialty or General Restaurant Equipment
- Furniture such as tables and chairs
- Serving ware and linens
- Food and all ingredients
- Liquor and alcohol
- Point of Sale systems and other electronic equipment
- Loss of Business Income in the event of an interruption of operations
If you have any employees, it is required by state law to carry Workers Compensation Coverage.
This type of policy, while mandatory by law, also protects you from lawsuits from employees if they get injured on the job.
While it may be frustrating to buy insurance as required by law, it often does prevent you from getting sued if an employee is burned, twists an ankle (or worse) while on the clock. Whether they have separate health insurance, workers comp will cover the cost of their medical care and lost wages due to their injuries. It’s critical for restaurants because employees are constantly on their feet, often moving quickly, serving customers, and often performing job duties in which they could get hurt (hot stoves, sharp knives, and managing the obstacles of the dining area, to name a few).
Workers Compensation can be a daunting policy to juggle on your own without the assistance of an expert advisor who understands your business. Workers Compensation policies are auditable, employees need to be classified correctly, payroll amounts need to be estimated and adjusted, and each state has its own rules for Workers Comp. We can help you make sense of it all painlessly from the start! As your business evolves, we know just how to make sure your policy grows with you so you can stay focused on what matters most to you.
If your restaurant serves alcohol, Liquor Liability is crucial coverage to consider. A General Liability policy will not cover you in the event of bodily injury or property damage resulting from alcohol service at your establishment.
The most common claim that Liquor Liability policies can cover is bodily injury and property damage resulting from a drunk driving incident, in which the person at fault was served at your restaurant (at any point or in any amount that day). Some state laws, such as Connecticut, used to cap awards for suits to limit the risk to the restaurant or bar. Still, in the past few decades, these laws have been trumped by case law, often awarding multiple hundreds of thousands or upwards of millions to claimants. Therefore, a review of your serving practices as a preventative measure, as well as a Liquor Liability policy with appropriate limits, is highly recommended.
Another essential coverage to consider is Cyber Liability Coverage for your Restaurant. General Liability Policies only cover bodily injury and physical property damage claims. It will not protect you in the event of a cyber claim, so you need separate coverage to address this need. Most restaurants’ primary payment source is credit cards or debit cards from their customers. Mistakenly, many restaurants assume that their POS provider is the company that carries all the risk in this area. If there is an identity theft of a customer or a cyber breach, isn’t it the responsibility of the POS Vendor? After all, they are the tech company. Unfortunately, the answer is most often no.
Read the fine print on your contract…most of the POS companies will only assume as much risk for cost due to a data breach as what is equal to your price of subscription- which is minuscule compared to the actual cost of a cyber claim. Navigating a cyber liability claim without this coverage is something no business owner wants ever to encounter. We recommend leaving the work and the cost to the professionals and getting Cyber Liability coverage so you can stay focused on what matters most to your business.
Employment Practices Liability (EPLI)
If your restaurant has employees, we highly recommend an EPLI policy. A Workers Compensation policy will only cover you if your employees become physically injured on the job. It will not respond to claims of harassment, discrimination, or unfair labor practices. In today’s litigious environment, this coverage is paramount to a comprehensive insurance plan.
Even if you have all the best rules concerning employee treatment, anyone can still accuse a restaurant owner of mistreatment. State and federal laws protect many classes of employees- whether it be age, race, religion, etc. The best part of an EPLI policy is that it will cover your cost to defend these claims and provide you with the legal representation and expertise to do so. A quality EPLI policy can also offer you coverage if a non-employee (3rd party) brings similar claims against you; for example- a customer who claims harassment based on their race or a vendor who claims sexual harassment by a member of your staff.
Commercial Auto Insurance
If your restaurant owns or leases vehicles registered in the Business name, you will need a Commercial Auto policy to cover those vehicles. Like Personal Auto Insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance provides Liability and property damages to protect the business from liability claims and the cost to repair or replace physical damage to your owned vehicles.
But what about owners or employees using their cars to deliver food– what kind of policy covers that? Here’s where the advice of a professional insurance advisor at InsureGood comes in handy. Commercial Auto Insurance can provide liability coverage that follows vehicles owned by the business, vehicles hired by the company, vehicles not owned by the company, and more. How you build your Commercial Auto Insurance policy should be reviewed with an advisor at InsureGood to ensure that your restaurant is adequately protected depending on how you use vehicles in your business operations.
Is Business Insurance Required in Connecticut for Restaurants?
In Connecticut, the only mandatory Business Insurance is a Workers Compensation Policy if you have employees. The definition of “employee” for Workers Compensation purposes can differ from the definition of “employee” for tax purposes, so even if you only have 1099 contractors working for you, they may still be considered an “employee” for Workers Compensation purposes. We recommend a review with your InsureGood Insurance Advisor to ensure you are compliant in this area to avoid fines or worse.
Other states, such as New York, require additional insurance. For example, new York requires a particular New York State Disability policy in addition to the Workers Compensation Coverage. If you are a Connecticut Restaurant but have employees in New York, a review with your InsureGood insurance advisor will help to ensure you are compliant with State Laws.
How Much Does Restaurant Insurance Cost?
Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question. The answer is “it depends.” Many factors determine the cost of insurance, but all involve the amount of risk you ask an insurance company to take on if you have a claim. The more risk, the higher the cost. For example, a deli with one location, two employees, no frying operations, limited hours, no alcohol service, and in a sprinklered building will pay much less for their insurance policies than a larger restaurant with multiple locations, 30+ employees use deep fryers and multiple open flames, is open until 2 am, has 30% or more of their income from alcohol service, and is in a wood frame non-sprinklered building. In these examples depending on the coverages purchased the deli’s insurance costs may start as low as $1,500 while the multiple location restaurant maybe $20,000 and up.
When considering cost- it’s also essential to make sure you are getting what you pay for. A policy is only as good as responding to a loss if you need to make a claim. If your policy doesn’t cover you for the losses you think it will, the money you paid for the policy can seem wasted.
The best way to determine the cost of your insurance is to work with an advisor at InsureGood to establish the coverage package that works best for you and obtain a quote!
Do I need special insurance if we offer Food Delivery?
A Commercial Auto policy can provide you Liability coverage if you deliver food as part of your business services at your restaurant. However, just having a Commercial Auto policy does not guarantee that the policy will provide coverage. It is important who owns the vehicle doing the delivery and how your policy is structured- For more details on Food Delivery and Auto Insurance click here.
What insurance covers a Restaurant for Food Spoilage?
In general, a Commercial Property Policy (if the food is on location) or Commercial Inland Marine policy (if the food is in transit or off-site) would cover a food spoilage claim.
However, just having one of these policies in your insurance program does not guarantee reimbursement for any food spoilage claim. That’s why it’s essential to review the “Covered Causes of Loss” with your InsureGood Advisor to make sure your policy can cover all the reasons you might have a food spoilage loss as a power outage or mechanical failure in a freezer.
Will Workers Compensation cover my restaurant if an employee sues me?
Your Workers Compensation policy can provide coverage if an employee sues you, but only for precise reasons. The Employers Liability portion of your policy provides coverage, up to the limits you select, if an employee sues due to an on-the-job injury. It will only provide coverage after that employee has taken advantage of the health care costs and lost wages provided by the worker’s compensation policy.
It will not cover you if an employee sues you for harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, or any other claim besides an on-the-job injury. Coverage for claims like harassment, discrimination, or wrongful termination would require an Employment Practices Liability policy- also known as EPLI.
Reach out to your InsureGood Advisor to discuss these concerns and ensure your insurance portfolio includes the coverage you need!
Are there ways to reduce my insurance cost for my restaurant?
The best way to reduce the cost of insurance is to take as many steps as possible to prevent claims from happening at all. Insurance companies price policies based on the level of risk they think they are taking on when agreeing to cover you in the event of a claim.
If you take steps via a comprehensive loss control program, it reduces the risk, and hence the cost. Loss control programs include processes on safety training, equipment maintenance and cleaning schedules, strategic lighting plans, partnering with alarm and fire suppression technologies, and more.
Our Protect360 program can help you develop a custom loss control and safety program that lowers losses and decreases expenses and risk. Reach out to an InsureGood advisor to discuss how we can help you with a loss control plan!
How is InsureGood different from other insurance agencies?
InsureGood was built by small business owners, for small business owners – so we have a unique perspective on the challenges you face and how we can support you as you grow and scale your business. Our view on insurance is unique. We see insurance as a valuable business tool, not a necessary nuisance.
As an Independent insurance agency we’re able to provide you with choices on your coverage and costs but unlike most traditional agencies we’re built on modern technology and business platforms designed to meet the needs of the modern entrepreneur.
Lastly, we’re a mission driven company built on the idea of giving other entrepreneurs in our local Connecticut communities, particularly minorities – the same access to opportunities, education and capital that we’ve been blessed to receive. 20% of our profits go to providing cpatial, education, and mentorship to other female entreprenues. When we grow, so does our investment in community development.
What kind of service can I expect?
Every client receives a dedicated Advisor to act as the lead on their account. Your Advisor will perform your annual Business360 and Review360, coordinate any outside services you may need, answer your coverage questions and more. Think of them as a business partner.
To supplement our in-house expertise, we also partner with our carriers to provide weekend, after-hours and holiday service ensuring you always have what you need, when you need it.
We offer online proofs of insurance, credit card payments, cash-flow friendly payment plans and more to help make insurance easier and more busines friendly.
InsureGood’s technology enabled platform allows you to interact with us in whatever manner works for you from traditional communication such as phone or email to video chats, texting or chatbots. You also receive access to our mobile app and the MyProtect360 portal to seamlessly manage all of your insurance from wherever you are.