It should go without saying that the main reason for carrying general liability insurance within the food services industry is because it is required by law. However, why is that? You might be surprised to understand that just as there are two sides to every coin, there are two sides to general liability insurance for literally any type of establishment or service within the broad scope of food services. With that said, let’s look at those two sides for just a moment.
Heads Up – Protecting the General Public
What most restaurant and food services company owners understand about why food services general liability insurance is required by law would be in terms of protecting consumers, the general public. General liability covers the most common injuries and losses customers can experience such as:
- Injuries due to slips and falls
- Foodborne illnesses
- Customer property damage
- Liquor liability unless otherwise covered in separate liquor liability insurance
These are the most common risks and losses sustained by customers and the insurance is there to cover the costs associated with each of these in the event that the food service establishment is unable to do so. These are not only the most common risks but the most common claims as well.
Tails Up – Protecting Your Company
Here’s the flip side of the coin. Do you know what would happen if you didn’t carry food services general liability and just one accident or foodborne illness came at catastrophic costs? You’d quickly lose everything you’d worked so hard to build so keep that in mind. Those insurance premiums you grumble about may be the difference between losing everything or continuing to operate and grow your business.
This is your livelihood after all, so this insurance coverage protects you just as much as it does those customers you really do care so much about. No, you don’t want to see them injured, but if they are, you want to protect yourself at the same time as you want to see them compensated for the injury or loss they sustained.
Common Sense Ways to Avoid Claims
When all is said and done, it would be in everyone’s best interest to avoid mishaps leading up to claims. For example, slips and falls are one of the most common injuries in restaurants so it is vital to keep a supply of those yellow “Wet Floor” tents on hand. Also, the moment grease or liquids are spilled, clean them up with hot water and/or degreaser. As for liquor liability, if your state doesn’t require liquor server certification, that is something you might like to require. The courses online are not expensive, and it helps to protect your establishment from injuries or death caused by serving an amount over the legal limit.
So, as you can see, food services general liability insurance covers your customers, the general public and your establishment as well. Always try to carry more than you think you might need, or the amount required by law, and you should be well protected.