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Business owner’s policy for restaurants, bars, and other food businesses

Business owner’s policy icon
Business owner’s policy

A business owner’s policy, or BOP, combines general liability insurance with commercial property insurance, typically at a lower rate than if the policies were purchased separately.

A BOP bundles policies to protect businesses

A business owner’s policy is the policy Insureon agents most often recommend for food and beverage businesses. It provides the best defense against common accidents in the food service industry. A BOP bundles general liability insurance with commercial property insurance at a lower rate than purchasing both policies separately. It can also include coverage for food spoilage, typically anywhere from a $10,000 to $100,000 policy limit.

General liability insurance provides protection in situations where you could be held liable for injury to other individuals or damage to their property. Commercial property insurance protects your business property from damage or loss. A BOP typically covers:

  • Damage to your business property
  • Customer injuries and property damage
  • Advertising injuries, such as slander

Customize a BOP to fit your business

Business owners can tailor a BOP to meet their specific needs. In the food service industry, useful add-ons might include liquor liability insurance, business interruption insurance, cyber liability insurance, or other endorsements. You can also add coverage for risks like cars parked with a valet service or items left at a coat check.

Small, low-risk businesses usually qualify for a BOP, including:

  • A restaurant that operates out of a small space
  • A food truck with minimal risks
  • A catering business with only a few employees

Talk to a licensed Insureon agent who specializes in the food service industry to learn more about how a BOP could benefit your business.

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What coverage can a BOP provide for food services?

Damage to your business property

A BOP includes commercial property insurance, a policy that protects:

  • Inventory, including perishable foods
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Your building if you own it

Commercial property insurance provides reimbursement if a fire damages your kitchen, even if the fire started in another building. It also covers vandalism, theft, and certain types of weather damage, such as burst pipes and hail damage.

Customer injuries and property damage

The general liability portion of a business owner’s policy protects against lawsuits related to customer injury or damage to a customer’s property that happened at your business. It provides coverage in situations such as:

  • A customer trips on a step and twists an ankle at your restaurant
  • A customer claims to have contracted food poisoning from a dish you served
  • A barista spills coffee on a customer’s laptop at your coffee shop

If a customer is injured, general liability insurance can help pay for medical expenses. If a customer’s property is damaged, it can pay for its repair or replacement. Finally, if a customer decides to hold you liable for either of the above, general liability insurance can help pay for court costs, attorney’s fees, and other legal expenses.

Advertising injuries

The general liability portion of a BOP provides coverage against advertising injuries, including:

  • Defamation, such as libel (written) and slander (spoken)
  • Accusations of copyright infringement

For example, if an employee writes a negative review about a competing restaurant and your business is sued for libel, general liability insurance could help pay the resulting legal fees. Even if you are not found liable, your policy could help cover the cost of having to defend your business in court.

Risks associated with serving alcohol

If your bar or other food service business sells alcohol, you may be required to purchase liquor liability insurance, which can be added to a business owner’s policy. It’s a recommended policy addition even if your customers bring their own beer or wine to your business. This coverage protects you in the event of customer injury or property damage caused by someone who consumed too much alcohol at your business.

Temporary closure

An unexpected closure for restaurants and other food service businesses could result in devastating financial losses. For example, a restaurant may need to close after a fire until restoration is complete. Business interruption insurance shields against lost revenue and other expenses related to closure caused by a covered loss. Speak with a licensed agent to discuss adding this coverage to your BOP.

Food spoilage and contamination

Whether it’s caused by a malfunctioning refrigerator or a power outage, damage to your stored food can be a big blow to your business. Food spoilage coverage can help reimburse the cost of replacing spoiled frozen, refrigerated, or shelved perishables.

Food contaminated by a supplier or by improper handling may also need to be thrown away. Food contamination coverage helps with replacement costs, along with associated costs such as cleaning or advertising to restore your reputation. Food spoilage and contamination coverage can both be added to commercial property insurance on your BOP.

Other important policies to consider

A business owner’s policy offers many protections for food and beverage businesses, but it doesn’t provide coverage for all risks. Business owners should also consider:

General liability insurance: This policy protects against common risks, such as customer injury or damage to customer property. It’s often a requirement for a commercial lease.

Commercial auto insurance: This policy can cover expenses related to accidents involving a business-owned vehicle. It also covers vehicle theft and vandalism.

Workers’ compensation: This policy is required in most states for businesses with employees. It can cover medical expenses and partial lost wages if an employee is injured on the job.

Liquor liability insurance: This policy covers risks involved with serving alcohol, such as an intoxicated customer damaging another customer’s property or causing an injury.

Get free quotes and compare policies with Insureon

Are you ready to safeguard your food service business with a business owner’s policy or another type of insurance? Complete Insureon’s easy online application today. Once you find the right policy, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.

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