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Bar Insurance

Bars, clubs, and taverns tend to be much more rambunctious than your average food and drink establishments. Late hours, a party atmosphere, drink menus that dwarf the food menu if they have any, and sizeable crowds aren’t just the lifestyle of running a bar; they are also the risks that set them apart from a standard restaurant operation. Regardless of how crazy things get, bars are held to a high standard of customer service, safety, and hospitality.

Of course, accidents and injuries can happen, and a bar is as financially secure as its insurance policy allows. Putting together and considering an insurance policy for a bar is a little different from a restaurant, but still just as important. 

As is the case with any business insurance, being overpriced with high premiums is the last thing one would want especially when trying to make a profit. Insurance Navy is here and ready to help you find the best Bar insurance coverage and help you save time and money! 

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Why do Bars, taverns, and nightclubs need good business insurance? 

Not just when it comes to bar’s, but business insurance of any kind is essential to carry even if it’s not required. There are several ways a single injury or damage claim from a customer or employee can put a business in the red and even out of service. A single claim can for thousands of dollars if not covered.

Any business can gauge the kind of insurance it will need based on the risks it regularly contends with in day-to-day operations. In the context of running a bar: bartenders, bussers, security personnel like bouncers, and patrons are regularly prone to the following hazards:

  • Accidental injuries to customers due to the usual hazards of running a business, such as slipping and falling on business property and parking lot –that’s why it’s important to keep bar floors clean and dry. 
  • Accidental injuries to customers caused by in-house attractions or games like a mechanical bull or a game of darts. 
  • Damage or injuries caused to or by a customer that has had too much to drink or was overserved. 
  • Injuries sustained by patrons who begin fighting on premises since the claim can be made against the bar –higher security and bouncers tend to offset this. 
  • Food improperly prepared can make a customer ill or require medical care. 
  • Damage to customers’ vehicles while they are in the care of a valet if the bar has one. 
  • Property damage if a driver were to hit the bar itself or plow through a window seat.   
  • Regular criminal damage like break-ins, theft, and vandalism that any business could be subject to. 
  • Injuries sustained by employees like bartenders, bussers, and servers while on the job. On-site entertainers may also count. 

These are just some of the hazards that a business owner can encounter in a tavern or nightclub.

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How much does Bar insurance Cost? 

Compared to other businesses, bars tend to cost more to insure overall because there are just more risks to running one. Like any type of coverage, every policy has different premiums with two rarely being the same because every pub requires a different amount of coverage. 

Still, it’s been reported that general liability coverage will cost a bar about $1,615 annually or $135 a month to be insured. Liquor liability insurance tends to be the most expensive insurance with an average annual premium of $2,060 along with workers’ compensation which tends to be about $2,215 annually to insure.

For each coverage, it’s recommended that bar is insured anywhere from $1 to $2 million dollars. There are several factors that determine how much bars pay for insurance –like the size, number of employees, location, amount of liquor they sell, and whether or not they offer full dinning.

The most important Bar insurance coverage to carry

There are a couple of different insurance coverage categories for the aforementioned hazards and risks that a pub can face. At the same time, every bar has its own unique sets of coverage needs and risks. Like any other type of insurance policy, two policies rarely have the same costs and coverage amounts. The following commercial insurances are the foremost that should be on a policy for a bar. 

General liability insurance coverage 

First and foremost, the main purpose of any kind of insurance is liability coverage. When people ask if you have insurance, they often refer to general liability in either a private or commercial sense.

Bars and taverns naturally need to have general liability like any other business in order to financially protect themselves from damage or injuries caused to or by customers. This typically includes medical expenses and any legal fees should it go to court. Even lost income or wages as a result of missing work because of said injury are covered. 

When dealing with something like alcoholic beverages, there are a lot more hazards to consider for customers other than the usual slip and fall. Bars are also responsible for any damages or injuries that occur in their parking lots, as that is considered part of the property as well. As previously mentioned, some may have entertainment features like a pool table, dart board, arcade, or mechanical bull.

Those under the influence of alcohol may have more difficulty navigating the cautions of such activities. This would be one of the first business insurance types that any owner would consider and more than likely add to a policy. 

Property damage insurance 

Of course, there’s also the matter of financially protecting the bar itself. Commercial property damage typically accounts for damages done to the building and any attached features inside. In some cases, this can include any brewing equipment if drinks are made in-house, along with any entertainment amenities like pool tables or arcade machines. The most imperative coverage that property damage insurance offers is protection from criminal and fire damage. Commercial property insurance is important to carries because where else and with what would a business be operating without its location and equipment working properly? 

While restaurants and other eateries are seldom targeted by thieves and vandals, bars might be worthy targets if they carry certain alcohol from the high-end menu, like wine or whiskey. Bottles are easy to steal in that regard. At the same time, some bars may set up shop in less-than-ideal areas based on crime rates.

But the most common property damage that bars face is out-of-control drivers colliding with the building. This is where the stereotype of not wanting to sit next to a window while at a bar comes from. If the location is rented rather than owned, like in a mini mall strip, then the landlord will handle the building coverage itself while the bars would be responsible for insuring everything inside is their property.

A business owners’ policy (BOP) combines general liability coverage and property damage insurance along with business interruption insurance which covers any lost income should the business close on account of certain damages –all at a bundled cost.       

Liquor liability insurance coverage

Now comes the more industry-specific insurance for bars and taverns. Bars ultimately get the final say on when a customer has had enough, but overserving sometimes still happens since everyone reacts to different amounts of alcohol differently.

Liquor liability coverage is specially made for bars and covers any claims of injuries or property damage caused by a patron who just had too much to drink. Bars have the option of getting this insurance as a standalone coverage or as an add-on to the commercial policy they already have. 

Liquor liability also offers other protections. If an intoxicated customer attacks and hurts another person, drunk driving can also be traced back to a location if property damage occurs or another driver is injured, and property damage from one pub patron to another.

As stated before, bars can get rambunctious, and this is the best insurance coverage. Any legal fees, settlements, repairs, and medical bills are all covered by liquor liability coverage in these cases. 

Workers compensation insurance 

The final type of commercial insurance that every business should consider is workers’ compensation. Not just because some states may require it but because a business is as successful and healthy as its employees, and their security is just as important as customers.

Bartenders, bussers, security, and even on-site entertainers are insured if they are injured while on the job. Workers’ compensation covers any medical treatments, legal fees if need be, and lost wages if the employee in question is unable to work for a period of time as a result of injuries. 

Bartenders are the powerhouses of any drinking establishment as they serve, take orders, and regularly interact with customers, much more so than waitstaff. Security and bouncers also play a vital role in keeping it civilized and also have to regularly interact and keep an eye on customers.

If a bar has a brewery on site, then there is also the matter of covering brewers as they work with industrial beer-making equipment on a regular basis. You never know what will happen to employees with customers under the influence of alcohol, along with the usual hazards of running a business. 

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Types of Insurance for bars and taverns

The proceeding insurance coverages are the foremost that make up the average bar insurance policy. While the following coverages are no where near required, they still fit the hazards and risks of running bars extremely well. Bars that offer much more that drinks should at least be aware of these great commercial coverages. 

Assault and battery insurance 

Customers don’t have to be intoxicated when they fight at a bar tavern setting. Someone can come to a bar just looking for trouble. Assault and battery insurance covers both physical and emotional altercations to customers by unruly guests. If a customer is hurt in any way while on the premises, they can press charges.

The assault part of the coverage is meant to cover verbal attacks while battery refers to physical ones. Unlaw ful touching is also insured. This is another reason why it pays off to have security personnel and additional insurance in a bae. 

Products and completed services coverage 

Products and completed services coverage may also be referred to as product liability insurance or professional liability insurance. Every business offers a service, and in a bar’s case, it’s serving drinks.

Alcohol isn’t the best thing for the human body, but we love it regardless. If a customer is sick because of the usual alcohol poisioning or even tainted beverages, this coverage insures any of the ensuing medical expenses, legal fees, and lost income. 

Food spoilage insurance 

Bars often serves food that involves preparation in a kitchen. Food spoilage can occur due to faulty refrigeration. It’s a lot to worry about if the bar specializes in burgers and other grill food. You also can’t make a good shrimp cocktail with spoiled shrimp.

A lot of the insurance that restaurants use such as this one are really well suited for bars. The aforementioned products and completed services insurance will cover a customer in the event they get sick from underprepared or contaminated food. 

Bar insurance FAQ’s

What are dram shop laws?

Dram shop laws are laws that exist in many U.S. states that place responsibility on bars, liquor stores, and other establishments that serve or sell alcohol to intoxicated persons or minors who later cause death, injury, or damage to others. The intention behind dram shop laws is to prevent establishments from contributing to the over-consumption of alcohol and the ensuing potential harm.

What can cause an injury in a nightclub or bar?

There are numerous potential causes for injuries in nightclubs or bars. Some of them include: 

  • Slips, Trips, and Falls
  • Overcrowding
  • Assaults and Fights
  • Intoxication
  • Broken Glass
  • Fire or Smoke
  • Faulty Equipment
  • Poor Lighting
  • Noise Exposure
  • Illegal Drugs

What are the top lawsuits regularly filed against nightclub and bar owners?

Nightclubs and bars are frequently the subject of various lawsuits. Here are some of the most common types of suits filed against nightclub and bar owners:

  • Premises Liability: These suits are filed when a patron is injured due to unsafe conditions on the property. This could include things like slips and falls due to spills or poorly maintained facilities, injuries from broken furniture, or harm caused by inadequate lighting.
  • Negligent Security: If a patron is injured in an assault, fight, or another crime that could have been prevented with better security, they may sue the bar or nightclub for negligent security. This could also extend to inadequate crowd control or failure to properly handle rowdy patrons.
  • Dram Shop Liability: In many jurisdictions, bars and nightclubs can be held liable for damages caused by patrons who were over-served alcohol. This could include injuries caused by drunk driving, assaults, or other harm resulting from intoxication.
  • Wrongful Death: In tragic cases where a patron dies due to unsafe conditions or negligent actions on the part of the bar or nightclub, the deceased’s family might file a wrongful death suit.
  • Food Poisoning: If a bar or nightclub serves food, they can be sued for food poisoning or other illnesses caused by improper food handling or storage.
  • Violation of Health and Safety Regulations: Nightclubs and bars can face lawsuits for violating local, state, or national health and safety regulations. This could include things like overcapacity, fire code violations, or failure to maintain clean facilities.
  • Copyright Infringement: Bars and nightclubs sometimes face lawsuits for copyright infringement, usually related to playing music or broadcasting sports events without the proper licenses.
  • Noise Nuisance: Bars and nightclubs can be sued by nearby residents or businesses for causing a noise nuisance, particularly if the noise levels consistently violate local regulations or ordinances.
  • Employment Disputes: Like any business, bars and nightclubs can face lawsuits from employees over issues like wage disputes, discrimination, sexual harassment, or wrongful termination.
  • Failure to ID/Underage Drinking: Nightclubs and bars can also face serious legal trouble if they fail to adequately check IDs and end up serving alcohol to minors.

Bar insurance from Insurance Navy 

Most bars tend to be a small business and not a large franchise or corporate location. In fact, the best drinking scenes are local ones. Insurance Navy got our start as a small business specializing in cheap car insurance and now operate in more than 10 states striving to set a new low-cost average for every kind of insurance.

We proudly take the same approach to commercial policies. We understand the need for the growth and match businesses with policies that save them money to do so. Get a bar insurance poloicy quote from us today and see how much you can save as an Insurance Navy policyholder.   

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