Making a reality of your calling to open your own restaurant in Virginia can be rewarding, but it can also be risky. Restaurant owners have to deal with potential threats, like lawsuits or natural disasters, just like anyone else. But don't let that deter you, because luckily restaurant insurance is available to help seriously diminish those fears.
Our independent insurance agents are here to break down all kinds of restaurant insurance in Virginia, from the coverage needed by country ham biscuit servin' diners all the way to large-scale steakhouses. Whatever your culinary vision, they'll help find the right flavor of coverage 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.
Before we take a look at some specifics that apply to restaurant owners in The Mother of States, we'll check out the basic coverage requirements across the map. A typical restaurant insurance policy includes the following:
While the basic restaurant insurance package is a great start, truth be told, it might not meet all of your unique needs. Your independent insurance agent will hook you up with the additional coverage that's right for you, but until then, we'll look over some of the most common add-ons:
Virginia is one of only eight states that don't have dram shop laws, which means that if a customer is overserved liquor at your restaurant and causes damage after leaving your establishment, your business can't be held accountable. That being said, anyone could still file a case against you because of a mishap with an intoxicated patron.
The lack of dram shop laws in Virginia could mean that a case would be much more likely to be ruled in your favor. However, there are still fees to pay when someone files against you. Court fees and any expenses for a lawyer are your responsibility. Liquor liability coverage is still important to have, to save you from paying out of pocket for any lawsuits.
Old Dominion's known for its historical charm and its proximity to DC. But it's also known to receive visits from hurricanes, thanks to its coastal location. These storms can be fierce, and they could seriously damage your restaurant. However, hurricane damage isn't typically covered under property insurance, so you'll want to have a discussion with your agent.
Your agent will know if you should add hurricane coverage. Virginia is one of 19 states that require a mandatory hurricane deductible as part of homeowners insurance policies, so clearly the storms here mean business. Setting your restaurant up with coverage could save you a lot of grief.
Of course, another side effect of hurricanes is often severe flooding, but hurricanes aren’t Virginia’s only soggy threat. Harsh winters are known to dump thick blankets of snow, which will later melt (and possibly cause even more trouble). So it's important to also look into flood insurance, to help keep your restaurant from getting into deep water.
If your restaurant is located in an area deemed to be high-risk (or even if it isn't, in certain cases), you may be required to have flood insurance. But no matter what, it's a good idea to get it, since flood insurance will cover your property (the structure of your restaurant and the merchandise inside) if natural water (i.e., rain, waves, snowmelt, etc.) wreaks havoc.
Once again, if you're unsure if you have it/need it, talk with your agent. They'll help make sure you're covered, because no one wants to get stuck paying out of pocket for flood damage. Trust us.
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. However, a typical range for coverage starts at the low end of 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 chain with tons of employees and features like salad bars, buffets, and liquor bars 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 restaurant insurance makes the most sense for you in Virginia. 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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