Tavern Insurance Policy Information
Tavern Insurance. Adult libations, tasty morsels, and maybe even live music and events; there's nothing like a local "watering hole". If you're planning on opening up a tavern, you want to make sure that you set yourself up for success.
Taverns sell alcoholic beverages by the bottle, glass or pitcher which are consumed on the premises. They are generally open late into the night. There may be a full-service restaurant or some hot, house specialties. Contrary to taverns in the past, lodging rooms are rarely available at taverns today.
The tavern may feature contests, music, or other live entertainment, or promotions such as "happy hour" with discounts available during non-peak hours. A cover charge of minimum drink purchase requirement may be imposed at peak times. Some taverns have small dance floors.
While choosing the perfect location, ordering and setting up the furniture, making sure that you have a nice selection of ales and spirits, hiring and training a competent staff; there are so many things that need to be done before opening day.
When you're setting up shop, there's something else that's extremely important that you don't want to overlook: insurance.
Just like any business in any industry, taverns need to be properly insured. Why and what type of policies do you need to carry? Read on to find out more about the available types of tavern insurance.
Tavern insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked tavern insurance questions:
- What Is Tavern Insurance?
- How Much Does Tavern Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Taverns Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Taverns Need?
- What Does Tavern Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Tavern Insurance?
Tavern insurance is a type of liability insurance coverage that is specifically designed for taverns, bars, and other similar establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. It provides financial protection for the business owner against claims made by customers or third parties who are injured or experience property damage as a result of the tavern's operations.
Tavern insurance typically includes coverage for premises liability, liquor liability, workers' compensation, and property damage. This insurance helps to cover the costs of legal fees, medical expenses, and settlement amounts in the event of a lawsuit or claim.
How Much Does Tavern Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for taverns ranges from $67 to $99 per month based on location, size, revenue, claims history and more.
Why Do Taverns Need Insurance?
Tavern owners face many of the same risks that business owners in any other industry face; however, you face some unique risks, too. Slips and falls, theft and vandalism, and even the classic bar fight; there are so many things that can go wrong, and when they do, as the owner and operator of your tavern, you'll be responsible for the expenses that are associated with any mishaps that occur.
As you can imagine, repairing damaged property, legal defense fees, settlements, medical expenses, and various other costs that you could be held liable for can really add up. If you have to pay those expenses out of your own pocket, you could be looking at serious financial losses.
If you're insured, instead of having to pay for the costs that are related to any mishaps that might occur yourself, the company that carries your tavern insurance policies will cover the expenses for you. In other words, insurance can help to protect you from major financial devastation.
Plus, in order to legally operate, taverns are required to carry certain types of coverage, and if you fail to carry those policies, you could end up facing stiff penalties and there's a chance that your business could be shut down.
What Type Of Insurance Do Taverns Need?
In order to operate smoothly and efficiently, and to protect yourself, your staff, your customers, and anyone else who associates with your tavern, there are several types of insurance policies that you can invest in.
Some policies are mandated, while others are voluntary, yet are still a wise investment. While the type of coverage you'll need depends on where your tavern is located, the size of the facility, and what type of services you offer (among other factors), here's a look at a few examples of the basic types of tavern insurance you should invest in:
- Commercial Property: This policy protects your tavern from losses that occur as a result of physical damage to the property; damages that are caused by acts of nature, theft, or vandalism. Not only will it pay for any repairs that the physical structure of your tavern may require, but it will also help to pay for repairing or replacing any equipment and other items located within the building that may have been damaged or stolen.
- General Liability: This tavern insurance coverage will protect your tavern against claims or lawsuits that may be brought up by third parties, such as patrons or vendors. These claims or suits can include property damage or physical injuries that may be sustained on the property of your tavern. It will cover any legal defense fees, as well as any settlements or compensation that you may be liable for.
- Liquor Liability: General liability insurance won't cover claims that are filed against your business that relate to the sale of alcoholic beverages. That's why you need to have a liquor liability policy, which will cover legal fees, settlements, damages, and any other expenses that could be related to legal action taken against you that may be related to the sale of liquor.
- Workers Compensation: If your staff is injured on the job, workers' comp will cover any medical care that they may require. It will also reimburse them for any wages that your employees may lose if they are unable to work while they are recovering.
These are just some of the different types of tavern insurance policies that are needed. You can purchase individual policies; or, you might be able to invest in a package policy that bundles several different coverages together.
Tavern's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are high due to public access to the premises and the serving of alcoholic beverages, which can impair motor abilities and increase the likelihood of trips, slips, or falls. Spilled drinks should be cleaned up promptly. Floor coverings must be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Dance floors must be clean and free of debris.
Because lighting is normally subdued, any change of elevation must be carefully marked. All fire exits should be plainly visible from any part of the premises and kept unlocked from the inside during business hours. Backup lighting should be automatically activated in the event of a power outage.
Chairs, particularly bar stools, should be regularly checked for cracks and fatigue. Guests must not be permitted to climb on top of chairs, stools, bars, or tables.
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair, with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slip and falls. Outdoor security and lighting must be consistent with the area. Customers may carry weapons onto the premises. Employees should be trained in dealing with unruly or impaired customers to prevent violence.
Personal injury exposures include assault and battery, discrimination, and wrongful ejection due to bouncers escorting a patron out of the premises. Any bouncer activity should be documented and witnessed in case of future lawsuits.
Liquor liability exposure can be very high in states that hold bars liable for injuries resulting from alcohol consumption. The type and amount of alcohol served, and the type of clientele directly impact this exposure. Failure to comply with state and federal regulations can result in the loss of a liquor permit which will close the business.
There must be a set procedure to check ages of all who enter the establishment. All employees who serve liquor to customers must be trained in recognizing signs of intoxication.
A procedure should be in place to deny service to underage or intoxicated patrons. Programs that encourage designated drivers or offer free rideshare or taxi service can be useful.
Workers compensation exposures come from slips, falls, cuts, puncture wounds, burns, foreign objects in the eye, hearing impairment from noise, heavy and awkward lifting, and interactions with rowdy customers. Bouncers should be well trained in dealing with intoxicated or belligerent patrons.
Food and beverage handling can result in passing bacteria or viruses, resulting in illness.
While smoking is prohibited in bars in many states, others still permit this. In those states, workers can incur occupational disease from the ongoing inhalation of secondhand smoke. As with all retail businesses, hold-ups are possible, so employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner. Cleaning workers can develop respiratory ailments or contact dermatitis from working with chemicals.
The employees in many taverns tend to be minimum wage and turnover may be high. Company incentives to encourage long-term employment are positive signs of management control.
Property exposures are from electrical wiring, refrigeration units, cooking equipment, and heating and air conditioning systems. All wiring should be current, up to code, and well maintained. Cooking will likely be limited to microwave and toaster ovens. If there are grills and deep fat fryers, these must have automatic fire extinguishing protection, hoods, and filters.
The kitchen must be kept clean and grease free to prevent fire spread. Filters should be changed frequently. Alcoholic beverages are susceptible to damage from heat and smoke. A small fire can become a total loss if the FDA condemns stock due to potential contamination.
Where legally permitted, most taverns continue to permit customer and employee smoking. The proper disposal of cigarette butts as part of the closing procedure is vital to prevent fire from smoldering ashes or butts.
Theft is a major concern in taverns due to the attractive nature of alcoholic beverages. Liquor should be stored in areas inaccessible to customers. If food is served, spoilage can result from power outages.
Business income with extended time period coverage should be purchased. While clientele tends to be fairly loyal, they may switch to other taverns after a major loss due to the lag time between the re-opening and the return to full operations.
Equipment breakdown exposures can be high if operations are dependent on refrigeration equipment.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and money and securities due to the considerable amounts of cash, alcohol, and tobacco products on the premises. Criminal background checks should be conducted on any employee handling money. Employee dishonesty normally centers on the stock rather than the money.
The sale of lottery tickets or other gambling devices presents a major temptation for employees. Taverns tend to have significant cash sales, so cash drawers should be regularly stripped and moved to a safe away from the front of the store. Irregular drops during busy evenings are helpful in preventing a large buildup of cash.
Closing time is the most vulnerable time so security procedures should be in place to prevent holdups. There must be a separation of duties between employees handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements.
Inland marine exposures include computers for tracking inventories and valuable papers and records for employee and supplier information.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired or non-owned from employees using their vehicles to run errands.
What Does Tavern Insurance Cover & Pay For?
There are several reasons why taverns, also known as bars or pubs, may face lawsuits. Some of the common reasons include:
Liquor liability: If a patron at a tavern becomes intoxicated and causes harm to themselves or others, such as getting into a fight, causing property damage, or getting into a car accident, the tavern may be held liable for over-serving the patron. Insurance coverage for liquor liability can help pay for legal defense costs, settlements, or judgments resulting from such lawsuits.
Slip and fall accidents: Taverns are busy places with various hazards, such as wet floors, broken chairs, or dimly lit areas, which can lead to slip and fall accidents. If a patron or employee slips and falls in a tavern and suffers injuries, the tavern may be held liable. General liability insurance can provide coverage for such accidents, including medical expenses, legal defense, and potential settlements.
Assault and battery: Bar fights or other incidents of assault and battery can occur in taverns, resulting in injuries to patrons or employees. Taverns can be sued for negligent security or inadequate measures to prevent such incidents. General liability insurance may provide coverage for such claims, including legal defense costs and damages awarded.
Employment-related claims: Taverns can face lawsuits related to employment issues, such as discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, or wage and hour disputes. Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) can help cover the costs of legal defense, settlements, or judgments resulting from such claims.
Copyright or trademark infringement: Taverns may use copyrighted or trademarked materials, such as music, logos, or artwork, without proper authorization, leading to copyright or trademark infringement claims. Intellectual property insurance can provide coverage for legal defense costs and damages awarded in such lawsuits.
Insurance can help protect taverns from the financial burden of lawsuits by providing coverage for legal defense costs, settlements, or judgments. It is essential for tavern owners to carefully review their insurance policies, including general liability, liquor liability, EPLI, and intellectual property insurance, to ensure they have adequate coverage based on their specific needs and risks.
Consulting with an experienced insurance professional can also be beneficial in understanding the extent of insurance coverage and how it can protect taverns from potential lawsuits.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 5813 Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)
- NAICS CODE: 722410 Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 9084 Bar, Discotheque, Lounge, Nightclub or Tavern
5813: Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)
Division G: Retail Trade | Major Group 58: Eating And Drinking Places | Industry Group 581: Eating And Drinking Places
5813 Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages): Establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of alcoholic drinks, such as beer, ale, wine, and liquor, for consumption on the premises. The sale of food frequently accounts for a substantial portion of the receipts of these establishments.
- Bars (alcoholic beverage drinking places)
- Beer gardens (drinking places)
- Beer parlors (tap rooms)
- Beer taverns
- Beer, wine, and liquors: sale for on-premise consumption
- Bottle clubs (drinking places)
- Cocktail lounges
- Discotheques, alcoholic beverage
- Drinking places, alcoholic beverages
- Night clubs
- Saloons (drinking places)
- Tap rooms (drinking places)
- Taverns (drinking places)
- Wine bars
Tavern Insurance - The Bottom Line
To protect your business, employees and patrons, having the right tavern insurance coverage is vital. To see what types of policy options are available to you, how much coverage you should invest in and the cost - speak to a reputable commercial insurance broker.
Additional Resources For Food Service Insurance
Learn about restaurants, bars, liquor stores commercial insurance coverages. See how small business food service insurance help protect against accidents, oversights and lawsuits resulting from business operations.
- Bagel Shop
- Coffee Shop
- Concession Stand
- Farmers Market
- Grocery Store
- Ice Cream Shop
- Internet Cafe
- Liquor Liability
- Liquor Store
- Sandwich Shops
- Specialty Food And Restaurants
The food service industry is a vital part of the economy and plays a crucial role in providing food to individuals and businesses. However, it is also a high-risk industry that is prone to numerous potential liabilities and risks. That's why it's important for food service businesses to have insurance in place to protect themselves against financial losses and legal issues.
One of the main reasons the food service industry needs commercial insurance is to protect against liability claims. When running a food service business, there is a risk of someone getting sick or injured due to food poisoning or food allergies. Insurance can provide coverage for these types of claims, helping to cover the costs of legal fees and damages.
Another reason the food service industry needs insurance is to protect against property damage. This can include damage to the business's physical location, such as from a fire or natural disaster, or damage to equipment, such as kitchen appliances. Commercial insurance can help cover the costs of repairs or replacement, ensuring that the business can continue to operate smoothly.
Additionally, commercial insurance can provide coverage for losses due to unexpected events, such as theft or vandalism. This can be especially important for food service businesses, as food products and equipment can be expensive to replace.
The bar and liquor industry is highly susceptible to accidents and injuries. With the presence of alcohol, there is a higher risk of slip and fall accidents, fights, and other mishaps that could result in serious injuries to employees or patrons. Insurance can provide coverage for these types of incidents and help protect the business from financial liability.
In summary, business insurance is essential for the food service industry due to the numerous risks and liabilities that can arise. It can provide financial protection against potential losses and legal issues, helping businesses to operate safely and securely.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Spoilage, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Nonowned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Accounts Receivables, Bailees Customers, Fine Arts, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Environmental Impairment, Liquor Liability, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Garagekeepers and Stop Gap Liability.