About General Liability Insurance

All businesses, regardless of industry, face risks that should be covered by insurance. The most common and comprehensive type of policy business owners invest in is general liability insurance (or CGL).

Some of the risks CGL insurance covers are:

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

While businesses aren't legally required to carry general liability insurance, operating without it is extremely risky. If your business is sued, you could end up facing fees totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more). Having a sufficient CGL policy in place to help compensate for these damages is the only way to prevent this type of event from devastating your business.

Learn more about the risks covered by general liability insurance.

COMMON SITUATIONS THAT GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE WOULD COVER FOR A FAMILY-STYLE RESTAURANT

Example 1: While loading a large catering order into a customer’s car, an employee loses control of the cart. The cart runs into the customer, who breaks a wrist and sustains a concussion in the resulting fall. General liability insurance would cover the customer’s medical treatment.

Example 2: As a group of excited Cub Scouts runs through your restaurant lobby right after you clean up a large spill, one child slips on the wet floor and suffers a serious injury. His father threatens to sue your restaurant because you didn’t display a warning sign. General liability insurance would cover your legal defense and any required settlement.

Example 3: As you accept a large delivery at your loading dock, the door malfunctions and slams into the delivery truck. The impact leaves the vehicle inoperable and damages the goods inside. General liability insurance would pay to repair the damaged truck and replace the damaged shipment.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of perils a general liability insurance policy will cover, and some conditions may result in a particular peril not being covered. It's always best to talk to your agent in-depth about the specifics of your policy to avoid blind spots in coverage.

Cost Of General Liability Insurance

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

Check out the chart below for a snapshot of average CGL expenditure across a variety of industries:

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.

Recommended action box icon

How much will the right insurance cost you?

See offers from our recommended professional liability insurance provider

Get a Free Quote

Other Types Of Coverage Family Style 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 family style restaurants should obtain:

Commercial Property Insurance

You made a major investment in the specialized kitchen equipment, food stocks, dining room furniture, point-of-sale system, and other supplies for your restaurant. In the event of a fire, theft, or natural disaster, commercial property insurance would cover the cost of repairing or replacing your business-related property. This includes structural damage to your building and the business materials stored there.

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.

Types Of Coverage Some Family Style Restaurants May Need

In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your family style restaurant may require depending on certain aspects of your operations. Some of these might not apply to you, so be sure to ask your agent which policies are right for your business.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Any vehicle you use primarily for business — such as for catering deliveries — requires commercial auto insurance to protect the vehicle, driver, and others on the road in the event of an accident. Be sure to select a policy that covers not only accident-related vehicle repair costs and medical treatment for anyone injured but also sufficient protection for any business materials you carry in your vehicle.

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 should not be your frontline defense. Yes, insurance will compensate for your business' financial losses after an incident occurs, but it's much better to avoid losses altogether.

With this in mind, here are three things you can do to better protect your business:

  • Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
  • Set up a limited liability company (LLC) to protect your personal assets. (Refer to our guide for step-by-step instructions on how to form an LLC in your state.)
  • Streamline your business' internal processes. This will remove unnecessary variables from common tasks and create a safe, consistent environment for conducting business.