It’s hard to believe that the country is at the one-year mark of the pandemic. When COVID-19 hit in March of 2020 and subsequently cause the immediately closure of restaurants and bars (as well as many other businesses), society changed immediately and many business owners have done everything they can to survive over these past 12 months. Now that the dust is starting to settle on the challenges and impact of the pandemic, it’s time for restaurant and bar owners to take a close look at their current insurance policies.
Since so much has changed during the course of the past year, many industry businesses may need to update and revise their policies. Anytime a policy is needing to be renewed is a good time to review it as well. Particularly in the past year, due to the impact the pandemic has had on bars and restaurants, it’s important to review policies that could likely use some updates. For example, many policies are based on the amount of sales done, which, for many businesses, likely dropped dramatically in the past year. Adjusting those policies to reflect current income can help restaurant owners save money on their insurance.
It’s also a good idea to take a look at policy endorsements, including new things that may have been implemented during the pandemic such as the sale of to-go liquor. While there has been a lot of leeway with that element over the past year, as restaurants are moving forward with their policies, its crucial to ensure that coverage for those sales are intact. Taking a close look at any contracts made with third-party services (such as delivery services) is also key. Since many restaurants teamed up with third party delivery services over the past year, it’s important to ensure that these partnership contracts clearly state the responsibility of each party.
Restaurateurs should also make sure they are adequately covered for things like inventory and employment practicing (such as hiring, firing and even not hiring, particularly considering the litigious state of today’s society). And new restaurant owners should make sure any property leases are reviewed by an expert.
Many restaurateurs may be hopeful for the future of business, but also in the back of their minds thinking the dreaded question, “What it something like the pandemic and subsequent closures happens again?” Unfortunately, there is no real coverage out there that covers an unforeseen virus. And if there was something remotely close to it, most small businesses and mom-and-pop restaurants likely wouldn’t be able to afford it anyway. But that’s why it’s extremely critical for business owners in this industry in particular to ensure they are properly covered in every other avenue to protect themselves, their businesses and their livelihoods. This starts with speaking with an experienced insurance agent that specializes in bar and restaurant coverage.
Out of his passion to serve the restaurant and hospitality industry, David DeLorenzo created the Bar and Restaurant Insurance niche division of his father’s company The Ambassador Group, which he purchased in 2009. He is an ASU graduate, an avid health and fitness guru, and a recent first-time author.