How to Choose the Right Insurance Agent for Your Restaurant

Insurance professionals, like attorneys and doctors, have a broad range of specialties and areas of expertise. Fortunately, restaurant insurance is one of them. According to the National Restaurant Association, there are 1 million+ restaurant locations in the United States employing 14.7 million restaurant industry employees.

Restaurants have unique needs and risk exposures that can be mitigated with insurance, including Workers’ Compensation, Employment Practices Liability, Business Property Insurance, Cyber Liability Protection, Business Continuity Coverage, Commercial Auto Insurance, Liquor Liability Coverage and more.

In addition, there are often multiple layers (and sometimes conflicting) legal and regulatory areas that are involved – federal, state, local.

Ownership has to be very diligent in selecting an insurance agent with experience in this area.

The insurance agent serves your restaurant by:

  • Reviewing your company’s documents, recommending the legal minimum insurance requirement, and recommending additional coverage that might be appropriate relative the unique risks.
  • Inspecting the physical location and identifying exposure that needs to be addressed.
  • Verifying the property values for replacement costs.
  • Obtaining premium quotations and helping the owners select the best program.
  • Educating ownership about coverage, exclusions, and limitations.
  • Providing certificates of insurance or evidence of coverage to lenders.
  • Helping ownership decide how claims deductibles will be processed.
  • Creating a claims procedure manual
  • Customizing a risk-management program
  • Reviewing the company’s claims at least annually and providing actionable recommendations on how to reduce future claims.

Choosing the right insurance agent for your restaurant is very important.  Although many people view insurance as a fungible commodity that varies little between provider, claims processing and service can vary widely.  If your pizza oven breaks down or delivery truck is out of service, it is your insurance agent and carrier who can make the difference between a minor inconvenience or a catastrophic business loss.

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