5 key things to consider when you’re buying insurance for restaurants

Buying insurance for your restaurant is never easy.

For a start, your expertise lies in giving customers an amazing experience with great food, drink and entertainment. No one can expect you to be an insurance expert as well.

And even if you were an expert, how could you ever find the time to look into all the important details of an insurance contract? We know how hard restaurant owners and managers are having to work at the moment; we have the upmost respect for you but we certainly don’t envy you.

So for what it’s worth, here are five key things to think about when you’re buying restaurant insurance. Hopefully they’ll clear your thinking a bit and allow you to come to a better judgement, quicker.

1.      The price

Let’s start with the obvious, because it’s what most people will look at when they’re deciding which insurance broker to go with. In an industry where margins are getting squeezed more and more each day, keeping costs down can be vital.

And of course we’d never tell you to go with a higher price. We would however, warn you to not go with an offer that seems too good to be true. If they’re promising you the earth for next to no money, chances are there’s a catch involved.

We’ve seen too many restaurants be under-insured because they didn’t read the small print in their contract. Make sure that you get a quote from multiple brokers, and ask what each can do for you. At least then you can make an informed decision.

2.      What kind of cover

The policies we offer to restaurants are commercial combined and comprehensive, which means that the cover is there for every risk.

However, there is a possibility that you’re only looking for Public Liability, or Employers Liability.

In that instance, we’d suggest rethinking your insurance strategy. By slicing and dicing your policy, and only looking after certain risks, you’re creating more work for yourself in the long run.

The broker-client relationship should be one of trust. Let them look after your risks and take all the work on for you

3.      The location of your restaurant

Location, location, location. In insurance, location is very important.

For a start, there’s the weather issue. If your restaurant is in the Lake District, or the banks of the river Ouse in York, for instance, you’re more at risk of flooding and therefore might want to make that one of your priority risks.

However, if your restaurant is in Hackney, that might not be an issue. But regulations changes will be (see our recent blog about the pressures that Hackney council are putting on new venues).

When we talk about location, we’re really talking about risk. You need to consider which broker understands the risks that come with your location. Insurance can’t be a guessing game. You need a broker who knows.

4.      Your claims history

If you have a long history of claims, you might want to avoid a non-specialist broker. You need a broker who has been there, done that and got the t-shirt.

There’s one of two reasons for this:

  1. You need better risk management to avoid claims in the first place. Only a specialist who has experience in restaurant claims knows the full extent of the risk management you need.
  2. Specialists, like NDML, have better relationships with the insurers. Even if the specialist can’t reduce your claims, they’ll more than likely increase the chance that you’ll get your claim amount in full.

5.      Who is going to make your life easier?

As we said earlier in this blog, you don’t have time to become an insurance expert. That’s why you hire a broker to communicate with the insurers for you. 

It’s important that you study the history and makeup of a broker to work out whether they’re going to make life easier for you, or whether they’re going to be more trouble than their worth.

Take NDML for example. We have a string of experience account executives and handlers, an in-house award winning claims department, our own loss adjuster, an award-winning customer service team on hand as and when you need us…when you read all that, you know we’ll save you an awful lot of time.

But can the same be said for other brokers? If you don’t see an in-house claims team, or dedicated account handlers, you could end up doing most of the communicating with the brokers, despite paying a fee for your broker to do it for you.

If these 5 things still haven’t made it any easier for you, give us a call today and see if we can help you regain a bit of time in your busy diary.