Many people have dreamed of opening their own restaurant, even if they’re aware of the many tasks and responsibilities that come with such a venture. On top of the overall design of the cuisine and interior, the menu, and selecting the best staff, there is one more crucial aspect that requires attention: the different forms of insurance needed for restaurants. If you’re running down your own checklist of restaurant business necessities, here is an overview of the different insurance forms you’ll need.
The Many Different Types of Insurance
As a restaurant owner, you’ll want to consider numerous forms of insurance. Before we break down each one, consider looking into property insurance, fire coverage, business expense coverage, personal property coverage, and (crucially) workers’ compensation insurance. Each of these protects your interests in different ways, and the types of insurance coverage you select can be based on other variables. This includes whether or not you own the building where your restaurant is located or if you’re renting the space. Additionally, you’ll want to keep in mind two major categories: liability and the value of your equipment and restaurant assets.
When it comes to your assets, consider that all of your restaurant equipment, every item in your kitchen and dining area is susceptible to damage. According to at least one Seattle restaurant store, restaurant owners are entitled to insure all of their business’ assets (especially restaurant supply) and should take that fact into account when researching insurance companies. For every appliance, refrigerator, piece of dinnerware, chair and table, you’ll want to ensure that you’re compensated should a fire or an accident occur.
Of particular importance, however, is your liability for work related injuries or personal injuries that could occur among your staff. Workplace injuries can be expensive, and you’ll want to be sure your chefs and wait staff have been provided with workers’ compensation benefits (as well as medical benefits, as illness can prove just as costly should you have to work with a smaller staff) prior to your restaurant’s opening. For this, you’ll not only want to consult a specialized insurance company, but also a law firm that has experience and expertise in restaurant insurance and workers’ compensation law.
Finding the Right Insurance and Law Firm
While building insurance carries its own responsibilities, many small business owners (particularly restaurant owners) need to consider the many variables when it comes to both protecting their employees and themselves from costly insurance claims. Workplace accidents are not only expensive, but as the owner, you want to always ensure the safety of your staff. Most insurance and legal teams that specialize in restaurant insurance workers’ compensation cases will offer a free consultation, informing you of the many elements you’ll want to protect: what constitutes a compensable claim, medical expenses and personal injury claims, and a good deal of other legal advice.
According to one workers compensation lawyer in Chicago, personal injury and workers’ comp can be two of the most costly expenses if the restaurant owner isn’t properly prepared or providing the best compensation benefits to their employees. However, by taking work-related illness and the rights of injured workers into account well before opening a new restaurant for business, an owner can not only provide their loyal employees with the best care and coverage they deserve, but also proactively protect their business’ bottom line in the long run.
Even if you’re building is up to code, and you’ve provided the safest working environment, the fact is that a work injury can always happen and is always unexpected. By consulting and employing the best employer’s insurance company and workers’ compensation attorney ahead of time, both you and your employees will be prepared for potential liabilities and medical bills.