Buffet Restaurant Business Insurance

Getting insurance for your buffet restaurant is essential.

Buffet restaurants need to be protected against claims arising from things like incidents of food poisoning, false advertising, and slip-and-fall accidents.

For example, multiple customers get sick after eating at your buffet, or a customer claims that your “all-you-can-eat” claims are false advertising.

We’ll help you find the most personalized and affordable coverage for your unique business.

Recommended: Next Insurance is dedicated to matching small businesses with the right policy at the best price.

Best Insurance for a Buffet Restaurant

General liability insurance is — generally speaking — one of the most important insurance policies for buffet restaurants.

Some of the risks general liability insurance covers are:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Medical payments
  • Legal defense and judgment
  • Personal and advertising injury

For many buffet restaurants, it is necessary to invest in some of the following additional policies in order to best safeguard themselves from the risks they face:

  • Product liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Commercial property insurance
  • Commercial umbrella insurance

Business insurance can be purchased from one of two general types of insurance providers, each with its own individual characteristics and benefits:

  • Traditional brick-and-mortar insurers — Such as Hiscox and Nationwide. These providers are known for their trustworthiness, operating out of storefronts, and employing insurance agents to assist customers. Due to the more expensive operational costs associated with their business structures, these firms also often charge much more.
  • Online insurers — Such as Tivly and Next. These providers are known for their relatively recent entry into the insurance industry, yet are rapidly becoming the more popular choice. This is due to their ability to offer similarly reliable insurance at far lower prices thanks to their almost purely digital business structure.

Find the Right Policy at the Best Rate

We’ve reviewed and tested the major business insurance providers. Let us help you find the best match for your business.

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Cost of General Liability Insurance

On average, buffet restaurants in America spend between $500 - $1,200 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.

Compare the average cost of general liability insurance for a buffet restaurant to other professional industries using the graph below:

Graph showing average price of general liability insurance prices per industry

Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:

  • Location
  • Deductible
  • Number of employees
  • Per-occurrence limit
  • General aggregate limit

You may be able to acquire general liability insurance at a discounted rate by purchasing it as part of a business owner’s policy (BOP) rather than as a standalone policy.

A BOP is a more comprehensive solution that includes multiple forms of coverage, such as business interruption and property insurance.

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Finding the most affordable premium starts with getting accurate quotes from highly rated providers.

Common Situations That General Liability Insurance May Cover for a Buffet Restaurant

Example 1: While rushing to the restroom, a customer slips on a wet tile, breaks her elbow in the resulting fall, and demands you pay for her medical care. General liability insurance would cover her medical treatment.

Example 2: Another buffet restaurant sues you for libel. While you disagree with the claim, you want to hire a lawyer to protect your interests. General liability insurance would pay for your legal defense and any required settlement.

Example 3: As an employee hauls a bus tub full of dishes to the dish pit, he accidentally knocks over a customer. The impact injures the customer who decides to sue your business. General liability insurance would cover your legal defense costs.

Check out our review of the Best Small Business Insurance Companies.

Other Types of Coverage Buffet Restaurants Need

While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all buffet restaurants should obtain:

Product Liability Insurance

While you strive to ensure your buffet features high-quality food and beverages, there’s always a chance someone might claim one of your products caused them harm. In the event of a lawsuit, product liability insurance would cover your legal fees and any required settlement.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Most states require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their part-time and full-time employees. This coverage protects your employees if they become injured at work or fall ill after a work-related accident. It not only covers an employee’s medical bills and lost wages if they need time to recover, but also any disability or death benefits stemming from a work-related accident.

Commercial Property Insurance

You made a major investment in your restaurant’s equipment and supplies. If you own the building in which you operate, commercial property insurance would cover the cost of repairing or replacing your business-related property in the event of a fire, theft, or natural disaster. This includes structural damage to your building as well as the equipment, furnishings, and other business supplies you store there.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

While your general liability insurance policy covers most claims, some accidents or lawsuits may be so catastrophic that they threaten to exhaust the limits of your primary coverage. Commercial umbrella insurance protects you from paying out-of-pocket for any legal fees and awarded damages that exceed your primary policy.

Additional Steps To Protect Your Business

Although it’s easy (and essential) to invest in business insurance, it shouldn’t be your only defense.

Here are several things you can do to better protect your buffet restaurant:

  • Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
  • Set up an LLC or corporation to protect your personal assets. (Visit our step-by-step guides to learn how to form an LLC or corporation in your state.)
  • Stay up to date with business licensing.
  • Maintain your corporate veil.

Business Insurance Is the Best Way to Protect Your Business

If you're starting a new business, then you need business insurance. It's as simple as that. The protection offered by an LLC will protect your personal assets, but your business's assets are still open to liability in the case of a lawsuit or other loss.

Be sure that everything you've built is safe by getting business insurance.

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Buffet Restaurant Business Insurance FAQ

Can I buy business insurance online for my buffet restaurant?

Yes, absolutely. You will need to first get a quote from an online business insurance provider like Next Insurance. Next allows you to then purchase a policy immediately and your coverage will be active within 48 hours.

What is included in a business owner’s policy?

A typical business owner’s policy includes general liability, business interruption, and commercial property insurance. However, BOPs are often customizable, so your agent may recommend adding professional liability, commercial auto, or other types of coverage to your package depending on your company’s needs.

What is the difference between business insurance and general liability insurance?

"Business insurance" is a generic term used to describe many different types of coverage a business may need. General liability insurance, on the other hand, is a specific type of coverage that business owners need to protect their assets.

Do I need insurance before I start a buffet restaurant?

Yes. Your buffet will be exposed to innumerable risks from the get-go — many of which are likely to threaten its financial stability. For this reason, it is essential to appropriately protect yourself with business insurance before operations commence.

Furthermore, it is possible that certain policies (e.g., workers’ compensation insurance) are a legal prerequisite for the legitimate operation of your buffet restaurant.

Will insurance protect my buffet restaurant from everything?

Not necessarily. Certain exceptions may be written directly into your buffet restaurant insurance policy, and some perils may be entirely uninsurable.

Do I need business insurance if I already have an LLC?

Yes, an LLC is meant to create a legal barrier between your business and your personal assets and credit. If you haven’t formed an LLC yet, use our Form an LLC guide to get started.

An LLC doesn’t protect your business assets from lawsuits and liability– that’s where business insurance comes in. Business insurance helps protect your business from liability and risk.

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