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Restaurant insurance

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Why is restaurant insurance important?

You might have the cleanest of kitchens – and perfect tens from your last inspection – but accidents will happen. Unfortunately, slips and mistakes tend to come with the territory, but restaurant insurance is designed to protect the business you’ve built. From a customer injury to an employee dispute, wrap it all into one policy.

  • restaurant liability insurance from public and product to employers’ liability
  • peace of mind for you, your customers and employees
  • £1 million public liability cover minimum
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What does restaurant insurance cover?

We’ll start off with public and product liability insurance – a popular protection for the restaurant industry. It’s built to cover against someone getting injured or ill because of your business, or expensive claims for property damage. From there, you can add the covers that may suit your business, from employers’ liability to protection for expensive equipment and essential stock.

Public liability insurance for restaurants

In case you or your employee injure someone or damage their property.

What’s typically covered by public liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • damage to someone’s property, because of your restaurant business
  • an injury or illness caused by your business activities or products
  • accidental damage, illness or injuries caused by your employees

For example:

  • a waiter spills sauce on the floor and a customer slips on it, hurting their back
  • you accidentally spill hot coffee on a child, causing first-degree burns
  • a customer sues you after suffering an allergic reaction to the food you’ve served

What you’ll need additional cover for

  • if you do employ anyone, you’re usually required by law to have employers’ liability insurance too.

Read more about public liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance

In case anyone gets ill or injured while working for your restaurant.

What’s typically covered by employers’ liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • an injury or illness that comes as a result of working for you (including temps and casual workers)

**Employers’ liability insurance is required by law if you have people working for you. Without it, you could be fined up to £2,500 a day for each employee.**

For example:

  • [a waiter falls in your kitchen, breaking his leg
  • your trainee chef cuts themselves while prepping for the evening service

Restaurant building insurance

In case something happens to your restaurant premises.

What’s typically covered by restaurant building insurance?

  • the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your building (or rebuilding it from scratch)
  • damage to fixtures and fittings
  • damage to underground pipes and cables you’re responsible for

For example:

  • your building is badly damaged after a deep fat fryer catches fire, and your restaurant has to be completely rebuilt
  • a flood destroys your restaurant’s floorboards and internal doors, which need replacing

What you’ll need additional cover for

  • tenants’ improvements – changes to the property’s structure which you’ve organised and paid for yourself, like partition walls or wooden flooring

Read more about building insurance

Contents insurance

In case something happens to your restaurant’s fixtures and fittings or operational equipment.

What’s typically covered by business contents insurance?

  • accidental damage to your restaurant’s fixtures and fittings, or the equipment you use to run the business
  • theft, flood and fire damage

For example:

  • your pressure cooker, barbecue grill, dough mixer and toaster are stolen from your restaurant overnight
  • a new employee operates your dough mixer incorrectly, breaking the unit

Read more about contents insurance

Stock insurance

In case something happens to your prepared food, raw ingredients or other essential materials.

What’s typically covered by stock insurance?

  • loss, damage or theft of things like your fresh or frozen produce, prepared food items, branded goods and other materials you use to stock your restaurant

For example:

  • your fridge develops a fault, causing your fresh produce to go off
  • a burst pipe in your kitchen causes a flood, and the water destroys the dry ingredients you keep in your storage room

Read more about stock insurance

Legal expenses insurance

In case you have to pay legal costs while running your restaurant business.

What’s typically covered by legal expenses insurance?

  • legal costs associated with day-to-day operations, like an employee dispute
  • property damage, nuisance or trespass and associated legal costs
  • HMRC, tax and compliance issues, if they come up
  • includes a tax advice helpline, a 24/7 confidential legal helpline and crisis support to help you protect your reputation, as a popular restaurant

For example:

  • you get into a legal dispute with an employee over their contracted working hours
  • due to a random spot check on your tax affairs, you need to pay for legal representation

Read more about legal expenses insurance

Personal accident insurance

In case you or anyone you’ve covered has an accident – at work, or elsewhere.

What’s typically covered by personal accident insurance?

  • injury or death of anyone you’ve chosen to cover in your policy – whether this happens at work or elsewhere
  • lost income, hospital bills or other medical costs associated with the accident

For example:

  • you burn your hand while setting up your outdoor barbecue area
  • an employee you’ve covered breaks their ankle while playing football, keeping them off work

Read more about personal accident insurance

This content has been created for general information purposes. Make sure you have the right level of business insurance by checking your policy documentation for details. Read our full Terms and Conditions

How much does restaurant insurance cost?

Find out how much you’ll pay by comparing prices from a range of trusted insurers. You choose what goes into your policy, so you only pay for what you need.

Prices start from £6.77 per month

Get your quotes in 7 minutes – prices are guaranteed for 30 days.

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How we work out example prices We take the highest price from the bottom 10 per cent of all our customers paying in monthly instalments (based on data from 1 Jan 2021 - 31st August 2021). Most customers pay more than this but some pay less.

Example restaurant insurance quotes, real prices

£64.95 /month

£577.3 /month

A small, family-run licensed restaurant with live music once a week

  • 2-3 years' experience
  • Limited company
  • 2 employees
  • Based in Swindon

Public liability

£2,000,000


Employers’ liability

£10,000,000


Stock

£5,000

£121.86 /month

£1083.18 /month

A medium-sized restaurant using a fryer (serviced every year)

  • 5+ years' experience
  • Limited company
  • 5 employees
  • Based in Newcastle upon Tyne

Public liability

£2,000,000


Employers’ liability

£10,000,000


Stock

£10,000

How we work out example quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 10/09/2020). They’re based on a range of factors, like employees and location. Your own quote will be based on what you tell us about your business. Prices may go up or down from day to day, so the prices you’re quoted may differ to the ones you see here.

What kind of excess should I expect?

An excess is an amount you pay towards any claim you make on your insurance. For example, if your excess is £250 and you make a claim worth £1000, your payout will be a maximum of £750.

Insurance coverLowest excessHighest excess
Main building£200£4000
Stock£200£4000
Contents£200£4000
Employers liabilityNo excessNo excess
Public liabilityNo excess£750

The figures above are for guidance only and any excess applying to your quote may differ. You’ll get a breakdown of the excesses for each quote when you compare with us.

How it works

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We handle claims, so you can get on with business

How do I choose insurance?

Making sure you have the right type and level of business insurance can be the difference between getting a claim paid and having to cover the cost of an expensive accident yourself. Read our tips for guidance on what to consider when buying a policy.

Which type of workers do I need insurance for?

Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ people.

If you have people working for you, including bona fide subcontractors (BFSC), labour-only subcontractors (LOSC), part-timers, or full-time staff, employers’ liability insurance is required by law.

Read on for our simplified guide to the difference between labour-only subcontractors and bona fide subcontractors.

Does restaurant insurance cover my work correctly?

Make sure you're picking the right cover to protect you properly. It's important to know that if you have another trade or job, you'll need additional cover. For example, do you need to consider guest housing & hostelry in leisure trades or hotels & motel in leisure trades?

Do I need cover for other types of work?

If you provide these services alongside building work, make sure you’re covered:

Other types of insurance

Which public liability cover limit should I choose?

Think about the maximum possible loss your business could face in the event of a claim, and make sure you take legal fees and damages into consideration. You can choose from three levels of coverage – £1 million, £2 million, or up to £5 million.


Talk to an expert

Our team of UK-based insurance experts are here to help, Mon 09.00am - 05.30pm, Tues 09.00am - 05.30pm, Weds 09.00am - 05.30pm, Thurs 09.30am - 05.30pm, Fri 09.00am - 05.30pm, Sat 09.00am - 02.00pm

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FAQs

Find answers to common insurance questions

How do claims work?

Unlike price comparison websites, we take the hassle out of claims for you. We know how important it is to get your business back on track quickly – and with a minimum of fuss. That’s why you get access to your dedicated claims any time, day or night. Call them on 0333 207 0560 or claim online. They’ll do their best to be fair and supportive. The figure below is rounded across our range of products. Our claims process may vary for different products and operates on a ‘claim by claim’ basis.

£30 million in claims paid out in 2019

Paying 80% of settled claims within 24 hours in 2019

Example claim

Having restaurant business insurance through Simply Business has saved our customers thousands of pounds when the unexpected happened.

Mark saved more than £8,900

Mark (not his real name) was hit by a heavy injuries claim when his chef burned her hand while handling a pan full of hot oil. His employers’ liability insurance covered the cost of exposure to harmful substances.

Insurance payout

£8,901.00

Covering the cost of employers’ liability


Mark’s costs

£100

The excess amount stated in Mark’s policy terms

Chosen by 800,000 small businesses

We started out as a team of five back in 2005. We’ve grown since then with 600,000 customers across 1,500 trades now trusting us to provide their business insurance.

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Restaurant insurance FAQs

Whether you’re new to buying business insurance or you’ve been trading for a while, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about insurance for restaurants. You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

  • Public and product liability insurance is often an important cover for restaurants – it’s designed to protect you if someone is injured or suffers an illness, or their property is damaged, because of your business.

    Are you hiring staff? If so, you’re usually required by law to take out employer’s liability insurance, even if it’s for a contractor team member, or casual and temporary staff. You’ll face fines of up to £2,500 a day for anyone you haven’t covered correctly.

    From there, you can pick and choose from other specific protection for your restaurant’s stock, equipment, fixtures and fittings and the building(s) you use. Our restaurant insurance policies are flexible – you can bundle everything into one policy or go for just one or two covers, depending on what you need.

  • If you employ any staff, employers’ liability insurance is almost always a legal requirement for your business, and you could be fined up to £2,500 a day for anyone who isn’t covered properly.

    Alongside this crucial employers’ protection, a restaurant insurance quote will usually give you the opportunity to cover lots of different risks, specific to your business, from public and product liability – in case of things like food poisoning, injuries or damage – to personal accident and stock damage.

  • It can do – but you’ll need to make sure you take out public and product liability as part of your policy.

    Public and product liability insurance is built to protect you against claims relating to accidental injury or illness caused by your business. The “product’ part refers to the items a business sells, which for you means food and drink.

    And it’s important to know that if you employ people at your restaurant or takeaway (including family members), you’ll only be covered for their actions if you have employers’ liability insurance too.

  • A deep fat fryer is a high-risk piece of kit, so there are lots of safety measures you have to follow when you use one. If you’re claiming for unexpected costs through your insurance and you’re discovered not to have met these conditions, it could invalidate your policy. This means you wouldn’t get a payout.

    To avoid this, you’ll need to check the requirements for the make and model of the fryer you’re planning to use at your restaurant. If you don’t have access to the manual, you can call the manufacturer and ask them for the information.

    The top six criteria you may need to comply with are:

    1. cleaning schedule
    2. service record
    3. safety equipment
    4. volume of use
    5. replacement of oils
    6. contractors who are registered to work on fryers
  • A bar or pub carries different licenses and risks to a restaurant, but it’s easy to insure both. If your restaurant runs a bar, as many do, you’ll need to select “public houses / restaurant - licensed” in our trade/profession search box, when starting a quote with Simply Business.

  • This will depend on whether you have employers’ liability insurance in place. Public liability insurance is designed to protect your business against the consequences of legal action brought by members of the public for injuries or damage to their belongings. But when it comes to your employees causing injury or damage, this protection only activates if you also have employers’ liability insurance.

    If you employ people, you’re required by law to have employers’ liability insurance.

    There’s one exception here. Family businesses that aren’t incorporated as a limited company are not legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. The government defines a “family business” as one where all your employees are closely related to you (as a spouse, civil partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, step-parent, stepchild or half-sibling). So if you run an unincorporated family business and you choose not to get employers’ liability insurance, it’s important to know that your public liability insurance wouldn’t cover you against damage or injury caused by your team.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always check policy documentation for details and seek professional advice. Read our full Terms and Conditions

Helpful articles for restaurant insurance

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25 Jul 2019 • 7-minute read

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Restaurant insurance

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