The days before opening are some of the most stressful for the owner of a restaurant. While business insurance may not be the first thing on your mind, it's an important part of running a successful business. Don't worry about learning everything there is to know about insuring a drive-in restaurant. Start with the basics and then let an expert help.
An independent insurance agent can help you find the right coverage for your drive-in restaurant and tailor it entirely to your needs. No matter what your restaurant specializes in, an independent insurance agent will help you shop multiple carriers and help find the right insurance so that your business and livelihood are protected. But first, here's a bit more background on the insurance needs of your restaurant.
What Types of Insurance Should a Drive-In Restaurant Have?
Even if your drive-in restaurant doesn't have a dining room, it's still a restaurant that serves food from its own property, and that requires protection. Most small businesses begin with a business owners policy (BOP) that offers you standard liability and property coverages. From there, your agent can help you tailor your protection to your own specific needs.
General liability insurance
This will help handle the bills related to covered events like bodily injury if customers get hurt while they are on your restaurant's property. Liability insurance is especially useful for drive-in only restaurants. If servers accidentally damage a customer's vehicle while delivering food, this type of insurance can protect you from significant repair costs.
Without the appropriate policies in place, your property insurance may not cover financially harmful damage resulting from floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes.
Hurricanes are especially devastating for small businesses. In fact, as of 2019, four out of five of the most expensive natural disasters in the United States were hurricanes.
If you live in an area where weather-related disasters are a concern, talk with your insurance agent about how to protect your business from the financially devastating effects of natural disasters.
What Other Coverages Are Recommended for a Drive-In Restaurant?
As mentioned, your business owners policy helps covers the property and liability risks associated with your restaurant, but what about the rest?
Cyber liability insurance
Any business that processes credit card payments from customers is in danger of experiencing a security breach. These incidents are expensive, and they may damage a restaurant's reputation in the community.
While you can do certain things to lessen your chances of experiencing a cyberattack, if it happens, it could represent a significant financial loss for your restaurant.
Data breaches are one of the biggest concerns for businesses in the United States. In fact:
- 43% of business owners said data breaches and IT failures are a huge threat to their businesses
- There were 1, 473 data breaches in 2019 alone
Cyber liability insurance is one way that you can help your customers recover financially from a security breach. Coverage could include necessary upgrades and repairs to your in-house online security system, identity theft assistance for customers, and claims made by customers against your business.
Workers' compensation insurance
A workers' compensation insurance policy provides your employees with disability and death benefits if they are injured while at work. This type of insurance may provide coverage for lost wages and medical bills as well. Each state has its own regulations about workers' compensation insurance, but it's required in most places.
Fast responses by employers when a worker is injured in a work-related accident translates to fewer incidents of attorney involvement and a faster return to work.
A well-designed business owners insurance policy can include coverage for the building where you do business, your equipment, the fixtures, and even your landscaping and signs. It could also offer coverage for expenses that arise as a result of lawsuits or theft. Your independent insurance agent can walk you through the options and help you find the right coverages for your needs and budget. Talk with them about your property protection options as well as asset protection.
Does a Drive-In Restaurant Require Certain Types of Insurance?
Keep in mind that in some states and cities, a certain amount of liability insurance may be required. Your independent insurance agent can help you learn about the regulations and make sure you have the right amounts of coverage as well as the proper documentation.
Insurance required by lienholders
If you have a loan for your building or vehicles, the lender requires certain insurance coverage to protect their investment. After a covered incident, the insurance company may issue a check to the lienholder to cover the outstanding amount of your loan. This prevents you from having to make payments on an asset that you can't use.
Your insurance agent can help you decide if you need additional coverage. Your loan amount may be more than the value of the building or vehicle, in which case you'd have to pay the difference out of pocket without the right amount of insurance.
Insurance required by landlords
Be sure to check your lease if you rent your restaurant's building. Your landlord may require certain types of liability or property insurance. While they probably have their own policy, it's crucial to follow the guidelines outlined in your lease.
They may ask to be added to your liability policy as an additional insured. Your insurance agent can help you get coverage to protect you from the financial consequences of being sued by your landlord if you or your employees cause damage to the buildings due to negligence.
Does a Drive-In Restaurant Need Equipment Insurance?
Operating a restaurant involves purchasing or leasing expensive commercial-grade equipment. You may need an industrial-sized ice machine, covered parking area, complex multiple-speaker setups, large deep-fat fryers, walk-in freezers, high-temperature ovens, and stainless steel fixtures.
Investing in restaurant equipment represents a large expense for owners, so it's smart to carefully insure these valuable assets. Work with your insurance agent to make sure that you have an up-to-date inventory of your equipment with enough coverage to immediately replace them if they stop working due to a covered event.
How to Find the Best Insurance for Your Drive-In Restaurant
Insurance policies can be complex, and searching through options can be confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating. An independent insurance agent's role is to simplify the process.
When it comes time to purchase insurance, they’ll break down all the jargon and explain the nitty-gritty so you understand exactly what you're getting.
And should you need to file a claim, you’re not alone. Your agent will be right there to help guide you through every last step and get your life back to where it all was. How great is that?
Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you. So instead of searching around from company to company, your agent can help simplify the whole process and let you focus on the business side.
Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Greg Safford
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