An insurance guide for Colorado restaurant owners
Worker injuries and accidents can happen at any moment at a restaurant. Unfortunately, there are far too many opportunities for these incidents, from knife accidents and oven burns to slips and falls.
Do you have the proper insurance to protect your restaurant and your employees from probable mishaps? You don’t want to overpay for unnecessary coverage either.
We’ll cover some of the best ways to create a safe environment and incentivize low-risk behavior. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to better reduce the likelihood of an accident and ensure that your employees receive proper care, all without bankrupting the business.
Restaurant insurance coverage in Colorado
State laws often require specific insurance coverage policies for businesses, including restaurant owners. Some of these policies are general requirements for all companies, while others protect against industry-specific risks.
Colorado requires the following insurance policies:
- General liability: General liability insurance is important for anyone in business. It protects your company during lawsuits from any damages or accidents occurring by the business. Food poisoning claims would fall under this category.
- Workers’ compensation: Workers’ comp is essential to all companies with employees. Burns, cuts, or injuries from falls are typically covered by workers’ comp.
- Property insurance: Property insurance covers damage to the building structure. You’ll be covered from natural causes, third-party damage, and against fires or floods.
- Business income: Within property insurance, your business income policy will protect you from income loss due to lost work from building damage.
- Equipment insurance: Protect your equipment from damage that may not be covered in your property insurance policy.
- Spoilage coverage: Spoiled food racks up expenses without creating income. Spoilage insurance covers the cost of food that goes bad due to power outages from storms or infrastructure problems.
- Communicable disease: Sometimes, employees cause illness in customers from unsafe practices or handling. Communicable disease coverage may cover a lawsuit in the event of unsanitary handling.
Additional policies you might need
The previous section covered required insurance for all restaurants in Colorado, but yours may need additional coverage.
- Commercial auto insurance: If you provide catering or delivery services, protect your commercial vehicles in the event of theft, vandalism, or other damage. You’ll also cover the business from any damage caused by the driver.
- Liquor liability insurance: Protect your company from lawsuits for overserving alcohol or improper handling. Research Colorado’s Dram Shop Laws to understand how you may be liable for serving minors and ensure all employees are properly trained to prevent underage drinking.
- Coverage for signage: Your property insurance policy won’t cover any signs in the event of weather damage or vandalism. If you have an exterior sign, particularly if you have a drive-thru, your signage policy could save you from expensive repairs.
Create an environment for success
Insurance is an excellent safety net for when the unthinkable happens, but prevention is always the best way to go. Here are some ways to protect your restaurant and employees.
Make safety easy
Sometimes the best accident prevention is simply ensuring your space is in good repair and has well-planned walkways. Fix uneven floors. Allow any running water to drain properly. Keep walkways clear without leaving boxes or supplies on the ground. Ensure equipment is replaced when unsafe. Keep surfaces clean, particularly anywhere you use fire or heat.
Clear safety habits standards
All employees should understand your expectation of safety. This can include communicating when walking with something hot or sharp, checking if food is at a safe temperature, following cleaning schedules, and more.
Plan to respond to emergencies
The chances of a fire or medical emergency are relatively low, but having proper supplies and procedures will help you minimize risk and damage.
- Have clear evacuation routes and meeting points for fires.
- Train employees on how to handle threats like robberies.
- Keep first-aid kits stocked and accessible.
- Ensure only trained employees provide first-aid to minimize further damage.
- Train on how to deal with hazardous materials, like sanitizing blood from a workspace.
Every restaurant will have its own risks, so know what risks you’re most vulnerable to and prepare for them in advance.
Incentivize employee safety
Keeping things clean and in good repair is easier when your employees feel responsible and motivated to maintain safety as well. Having an environment designed for success will make their jobs easier and allow them to focus on their work.
You can also create higher loyalty with reward programs for employees who go the extra mile to practice safety. For example, you can highlight employees who prevent accidents by offering additional time off or providing gift cards and other prizes.
Not only will a program like this help you to discourage risky behavior, but it also solidifies safety as a cultural priority.
Is your Colorado restaurant covered?
As a restaurant owner, it’s essential to have the right insurance in place to protect your business from potential risks. Fortunately, with the right types of restaurant insurance, your customers, employees, and property are better protected. Get a quote in minutes and save up to 30%. It’s as easy as pie.