How to insure a restaurant in NJ

Running a successful restaurant business involves more than just offering a wide selection of tasty meals. Restaurant owners face many of the same daily hazards as other businesses, which makes it all the more important to be equipped with the right protection. Working with a New Jersey independent insurance agent is the best way to get set up with the proper coverage. But first, here’s a closer look at restaurant insurance and why having coverage is so important.

What Is Restaurant Insurance?

Similar to all other areas of the country, restaurant insurance in New Jersey is essentially a special type of New Jersey business insurance customized to protect owners of restaurants. The agreement between the insurance company and the restaurant owner states that the insurer will cover financial losses that befall the business.

Of course, only specific perils stated in the policy will be covered by the insurance company. Restaurant insurance policies in New Jersey come with a list of specified non-covered perils as well. A New Jersey independent insurance agent can extensively review available policies with you to ensure that you get set up with the right coverage that does exactly what you need it to.

How to Insure a Restaurant in New Jersey

The thing about restaurant insurance coverage is that one policy won’t work for every restaurant or its owner. With the help of your agent, you’ll work together to assemble a package of different coverages to protect yourself and your business against risks unique to you. Restaurant insurance is designed to keep your business afloat following a huge disaster such as property destruction, theft, or lawsuits.

Your New Jersey independent insurance agent will help identify the right types of coverage for you as they learn more about your specific restaurant and its services and operations. Since restaurant insurance is so customizable, you’ll be able to work together to build a policy that fits not only your business’s needs, but also the needs of your bank account.

What Does Restaurant Insurance Cover in New Jersey?

Restaurant insurance is set up to protect business owners against potential threats. This includes restaurants in New Jersey. Your policy will include the basics of business insurance coverage with several specific coverages tailored to your unique restaurant added on. The more risks involved in your business, the more coverage you’ll need, but here are a handful of commonly selected coverages in restaurant insurance packages to start.

Your restaurant insurance package can be assembled from a combination of the following coverages available in New Jersey:

  • General liability: This coverage protects you against property damage or injury claims made by a third party. 
  • Workers’ compensation: If your employees become ill, get injured, or die from a work-related incident, this aspect of the insurance will cover the financial ramifications. This coverage is mandatory in New Jersey. 
  • Property Insurance: Covers loss of or damage to your physical property including your restaurant and often its equipment and tools. Protected mishaps include fires, storms, and more.
  • Commercial/business auto: Provides protection for any company vehicles against things like theft, vandalism, and damage from natural disasters.
  • Employment practices liability: Covers fees for lawyers and other financial ramifications if any of your employees are involved in harassment cases against coworkers or third parties.
  • Cyber risk & privacy liability: Covers the loss/theft of customers’ sensitive data, including credit card numbers and more. This coverage can also save your business in the event a deposit or money transfer is intercepted by cybercriminals.
  • Boiler & machinery: Also known as "equipment insurance," it covers electric equipment in the building (e.g., AC units and boilers) that breaks down due to power surges, etc. Property insurance may cover this stuff, but not always.
  • Utility services: In the event that production is halted due to an extended power outage and food spoils as a result, this coverage will take care of the financial losses. This aspect of the insurance can also be applied to the replacement or repair of your food, ingredients, and machinery as well as income lost due to suspended operations.
  • Liquor liability: An important coverage for any restaurant with a bar or that otherwise serves alcohol is liquor liability insurance, since general liability will not protect you if your employees overserve a customer who ends up with a DUI or another alcohol-related charge.

Your restaurant insurance package will be assembled by selecting the coverages that work for your unique business from a big list of available options. Coverage applies to everything from extra costs to potential legal/court fees and beyond.

What Does Restaurant Insurance Not Cover in New Jersey?

Though restaurant insurance covers a lot of components for their owners, it doesn’t cover just anything. The following are examples of commonly excluded perils under restaurant insurance policies in New Jersey:

  • Employee dishonesty
  • General wear and tear of equipment, etc.
  • Routine maintenance fees
  • Earthquake damage
  • Nuclear reaction and war
  • Power failure (unless it causes damage to computer systems)
  • Robbery
  • Pollution
  • Temperature/humidity changes
  • Inexplicably lost inventory
  • Flood damage*

*In a coastal state like New Jersey that’s prone to flooding, you’ll most likely want to purchase additional flood coverage for your restaurant, or you may even be required to have it by your mortgage lender. Your New Jersey independent insurance agent can give you more information about finding coverage.

What Are the Benefits of Restaurant Insurance in New Jersey?

Restaurant insurance provides protection to business owners in New Jersey in a number of ways. Beyond your physical assets and building, many components of your restaurant stand to be destroyed or otherwise harmed by common threats. There are three major benefits to having restaurant insurance:

  • Protection against legal trouble: A costly and damaging event like a fire could send a business into the red without the proper coverage. If the business was unable to pay off their loans, vendors, or employees, they could face serious legal consequences. Restaurant insurance helps prevent these ugly matters from surfacing.
  • Protection against a damaged reputation: Huge incidents affecting businesses of all kinds often end up in the media. When it comes to customers getting ill or injured or having their property damaged, word about their upset could spread quickly and even turn from gossip into media coverage. Having the right restaurant insurance can help prevent your business’s reputation from going up in flames.
  • Protection against bankruptcy: Imagine a severe storm or other terrible incident like an airplane crash that literally wipes out your entire restaurant. Without the right insurance, the business owner could easily be forced into bankruptcy. Restaurant insurance helps businesses stay open, stay afloat, or rebuild following massive destruction.

Your New Jersey independent insurance agent can help you review your restaurant insurance policy to answer any remaining questions about your coverage. They’ll also be able to help you figure out whether you’ve got enough coverage, or if you should purchase more.

How Much Does Restaurant Insurance Cost in New Jersey?

Truthfully, it depends. On quite a few things. Smaller restaurants that don’t generate a ton of business will pay a lot less than large-scale chain restaurants that serve thousands of people per day.

Of course, it’s hard to offer an average figure, since each restaurant is unique. But really, it all depends on a number of factors, like:

  • The type of restaurant: This includes more than just whether your menu features Greek or Mexican cuisine. The kind of equipment your restaurant uses and its daily operations will affect the level of risk involved. Obviously, more danger means more money for insurance.
  • The location of the restaurant: Larger cities tend to have higher costs for insurance, but it goes beyond that. Depending on where you are specifically in New Jersey, your location may be more subject to various weather-related risks. Restaurants right along the Atlantic Coast, for example, may have premiums up to 20% higher than in other areas of the state due to the increased risk of hurricane damage.
  • The number of employees: The more you've got, the more workers' comp you’ll need. Simple as that.
  • How much business you generate: Premiums are calculated based on business projections for the upcoming year. If your workload doubles, most likely your premium will too.

Your agent can work with you to find a policy that fits within your business’s budget. Have your financial restrictions in mind before you start shopping for coverage to help speed the process along.

Why Work with a New Jersey Independent Insurance Agent?

In order to get the protection you need and deserve, you’ll want to work with a trusted expert. And who could be better for the job than a local agent who shares your area code? Independent insurance agents act as your own personal insurance shoppers, offering you tons more options than one-policy companies. With just one call, they’ll hook you up with multiple quotes.

New Jersey independent insurance agents are armed with knowledge on what coverage is needed in your area, and they’ll get you set up with just enough of it — not too little, not too much. They’ll handle all the heavy lifting so you can rest assured you’ll be set up with the right coverage at the right price.

They’re not just there at the beginning either. If disaster strikes, your New Jersey agent will be there to help walk you through the claims process and make sure you’re getting the benefits you're entitled to. Now that’s thinking ahead.

Article Reviewed by | Paul Martin

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