Four Types of Insurance a Hospitality Establishment Should Not Go Without

Claire Waller

By Claire Waller, regional sales manager for Society Insurance

Running a business is hard enough; then add in the potential for fires, slips and falls, and cyber attacks, and you can quickly see that you need the best possible insurance and people in your corner. Thankfully, there are many policy coverages that exist to protect your livelihood. Society Insurance has detailed four critical types of insurance protection that your hospitality business needs

  1. General Liability Insurance (hint, hint—slips, trips and falls are an issue!)

The largest claim type is frequently those related to slips, trips, and falls – making up an outstanding 44 percent of all claims. In fact, slip and fall accidents on a level surface are Society’s number one source of loss for businesses. Business owners have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect customers from known hazards and to inspect their property regularly to find and remediate hazards that could cause injuries. General liability insurance provides coverage for general business claims involving injuries and property damage. 

Some insurance companies take a proactive approach to reduce the number of slip and fall accident claims and their severity. One example of this is a floor or walkway audit where risks are evaluated and a plan is developed to improve floor traction and help reduce injuries.

  1. Liquor Liability Insurance

Alcohol service creates unique risks and exposures. Failure to follow the appropriate laws and regulations for your business could result in fines, jail, license revocation and/or bad publicity. The DRAM Shop Act allows third parties or others to recover for damages caused by alleged over-service of alcohol. Even if your business is not liable in these complicated situations, your legal defense costs can add up quickly. Liquor liability insurance is critical for costly claims and litigation that arise because of alcohol service and damage or injury caused by an intoxicated person. 

  1. Fire Insurance

Every year between 2012-2016, fire departments responded to an average of 8,240 structure fires at eating and drinking establishments. These fires resulted in two civilian deaths each year on average, along with 115 injuries and $246 million in property damage. From major kitchen fires to electrical fires, making sure that you have the right fire coverage in place will help ensure that your business can recover.

While fire coverage is included in most business owners’ policies, of particular concern is when a fire strikes at a leased property. When landlords and tenants don’t pay attention to the details of a lease regarding who is responsible for what, there may be coverage gaps. For example, a tenant who does a build-out may be required to insure those improvements even if it will become the property of the landlord when the lease terminates. As a second example, landlords often require tenants to insure HVAC units and repair or replace them in the event of damage even if it’s not a unit the tenant originally purchased. These are not the kind of surprises you want to find out about after a fire happens.

  1. Cyber Liability Insurance

The risks associated with data security (both malicious and accidental) continue to grow in number and sophistication. Cyber criminals look for the quickest way to get in, get information and get out without being detected – and they have increasingly targeted small businesses, perceived as an easier target with less risk of being caught. Cyber liability insurance provides data security and privacy coverage that addresses direct losses for your business and third-party liability claims. Look for a comprehensive plan with breach response solutions from the moment a breach is suspected through restoration of your business operations backed by an expert team of claims, legal, forensic, and crisis management personnel.

What are other types of insurance you should consider and talk to your agent about?

  • Employment Practices Liability is designed to protect your business from employee-related claims and allegations, such as sexual harassment, discrimination, abuse or wrongful termination. In today’s litigious business climate, these are damaging claims that can put you out of business.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance provides protection for vehicles that are used for business purposes, like running errands, making deliveries, carrying supplies and more. 
  • An Umbrella Policy provides additional coverage and can protect your business against expensive, catastrophic losses. While you never expect the worst, you can plan for it.

Regretting that you didn’t get the right insurance should never be a reality for a business owner. A business can avoid major financial loss and costly litigation by selecting an insurance company that customizes coverage options based on unique business needs. 

Claire Waller is a regional sales manager for Society Insurance and oversees the Colorado market. She has 25 years of experience in the insurance industry as an independent agent, commercial lines underwriter, and in marketing.


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