You're ready to bring your dream of opening a restaurant to life. While the vision of happily stuffed and satisfied customers is appealing, it's also important to consider the very real risks that come with opening a new restaurant. Having the right coverage in place from the start is the best way to protect yourself against the less fun parts, like financial losses and lawsuits.
And that's why we're here, to help you understand the restaurant insurance game in Georgia. Starting with a little background on restaurant insurance and moving into common exposures and risks specific to Georgia, we hope give you the info you need to get the protection your restaurant deserves. When you're ready, our independent insurance agents can help bring multiple quotes from different carriers to the table and help you pick the coverage, and price, that's right for you.
In short, restaurant insurance is a policy designed to cover all the components involved in your restaurant, from your property and supplies to your employees and customers. Obviously, serving food to the public ties directly into concerns about protecting their health, but restaurant operation comes with many different risks that are important to consider before setting up shop.
We'll get into specifics for your state in just a minute, but first, let's check out the type of coverage generally needed for restaurant owners no matter their location. A restaurant insurance policy typically includes the following:
The basics included in the restaurant insurance policy may not cover all of your business's unique needs. Your independent insurance agent will know what add-ons to set you up with, but here's a look at a few that you might need (or just really want to have):
Dram shop laws hold a business liable for serving alcohol to minors, as well as for harm caused by an individual who has been overserved by that business — even after they leave your establishment. A state's specific laws and set of associated penalties/fines for violating them can influence your liquor liability coverage needs, and the cost of your coverage.
In Georgia, as well as most other states, a guest who sustains injuries to themselves due to overintoxication may not sue the establishment, since it's considered the guest's personal responsibility to monitor how much they consume. So, liability coverage for first-party cases is mainly only required in the case that a minor is served, since minors are not legally allowed to drink in any state.
However, third-party liability coverage is crucial. In the case that another individual is harmed by an intoxicated guest, such as in a bar fight or auto accident, they may sue your establishment. For these cases, the third party will need proof that the intoxicated guest continued to be intentionally served past the point of visible intoxication by your restaurant.
Lawsuits can seriously cost you or your business, in the form of significant financial penalties, loss of employment or liquor license, or even jail sentences. Your agent will set you up with the proper liquor liability coverage based on Georgia's unique laws. They'll also explain the costs associated with each level of coverage.
Unfortunately, Georgia is frequently home to hurricanes. These intense storms just love that prime East Coast real estate, and they could do major damage to your restaurant. Since hurricane damage isn't usually covered by property insurance, it's absolutely worth at least looking into.
Talk to your agent about adding hurricane coverage. Georgia is one of 19 states that require a mandatory hurricane deductible as part of its homeowners insurance policies, so it's obvious that the storms here are no joke. Getting your business the protection it needs could save you a lot of headaches.
It depends on what kind of restaurant you run and a few other factors, such as if you've got employees, offer a delivery service, operate a drive-thru, or serve liquor.
A typical range for coverage starts on the low end at about $10,000/year for a smaller establishment with fewer employees, and hits the high end of more than $100,000/year for a much larger restaurant, like a chain.
A restaurant insurance policy is typically the cheapest and easiest way to go. This package offers most of the liability and property coverage you'll need, and you can always add on specifics as necessary. Your independent insurance agent will know exactly what to hook you up with.
Obviously, smaller is going to be cheaper. A food truck or corner stand downtown will be by far the cheapest option, since there won't be as many sales as in a larger chain, there aren't any other employees (that would require workers' comp), and you won't be serving alcohol. Coverage costs would most likely be in the low thousands each year.
On the other end of the spectrum, a large dine-in restaurant with tons of employees, features like a salad bar and buffet, and a liquor bar is by far the priciest/riskiest venture. All the required workers' comp, property and liability insurance drive up costs exponentially.
It ultimately depends on lots of specifics like the number of employees and the value of the property, of course, but we're talking BIG numbers, like more than $100,000 per year.
Insurance policies are often filled with lots of technical jargon. Additionally, it's a real process to hunt for the RIGHT policy. Fortunately, sifting through the available options and pinpointing the necessary coverage is a task that can easily be handed off to someone else. That's where independent insurance agents come in to save the day.
Independent insurance agents will not only help you get the best possible deal, but also the type of coverage that's right for you. They shop and compare insurance quotes for you, and even break down all that complex jargon into plain old English, so you understand exactly what you're getting.
Our wise and helpful agents will help you determine which type of Georgia restaurant insurance makes the most sense for YOU. They'll also compare policies and quotes from several different insurance companies to make sure they're setting you up with protection that's among the best around. In other words, they'll make it happen.
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