General Liability Insurance for Food Services

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How does General Liability insurance protect food & beverage businesses?

General liability insurance helps to protect against risks faced by businesses in the food service industry every day. Accidents like a server spilling coffee on a customer’s laptop or a customer getting food poisoning from undercooked poultry would be covered by this policy.

This is the most common insurance coverage for small businesses and self-employed professionals, including restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, food carts, catering businesses and personal chefs. In addition, food service businesses may be required to have general liability coverage when applying for licenses or permits.

consumer survey restaurant customers

What does General Liability cover for food services?

General liability insurance for restaurant owners and other food service entrepreneurs covers workplace accidents that affect someone other than an employee.

You could be held responsible for financial damages if there’s an injury or damage to a customer’s property, which is why this type of insurance is essential.

Depending on the type of work you do, you may want to add professional liability coverage, also known as errors and omissions (E&O), to your general liability policy. If someone claims you made a mistake that cost them money or failed to deliver the services you promised, this type of insurance will help cover the costs of defending yourself.

Food business liability insurance coverage applies to a variety of situations, including:

  • Injuries to people who are not employees
  • Damage to someone else’s property
  • Accusations of libel and slander

Learn more about what general liability insurance covers.

Why do food businesses need General Liability insurance?

Businesses in this industry face some inherent risks that come from serving food and beverages. Food preparation mistakes could potentially cause harm to a customer, for example. And if something happens to a customer while they’re visiting your establishment, you could be held responsible.

If someone were to sue you for damages, it could cause serious financial stress. To protect your food service business, you need general liability insurance, which covers these types of incidents up to the policy limit.

Some cities and states have specific insurance requirements for the food service industry. You may need restaurant liability insurance in order to obtain a license or permit.

What are some common risks faced by food businesses?

These are some of the common risks that food service businesses may face:

Damage to someone’s property

A server in your restaurant spills a tray of drinks on a table, damaging several customers’ cell phones. Restaurant general liability insurance will help cover the cost of repairing or replacing the phones.

Accidents that hurt someone

The wheel of your food cart accidentally rolls over a customer’s foot, fracturing their toe. Your food cart business liability insurance will help pay for their medical expenses.

Remember that this type of insurance only covers accidents affecting customers and other third parties. Workers’ compensation insurance covers workplace injuries involving you or an employee.

Court and legal fees

A catering customer claims that you didn’t provide enough food for the guests at their event. With food service or restaurant liability insurance coverage, you’ll get help paying for the costs of defending yourself or reimbursing the customer.

Libel, slander and defamation

A competitor claims that your advertisements have damaged their reputation, even if you didn’t mention their business by name. With general liability insurance, food business owners can get help covering the legal costs to defend themselves.

How much does General Liability insurance cost for food businesses?

NEXT offers custom insurance policies to help businesses get the insurance they need while keeping costs low.

The amount you’ll pay in premiums is based on a number of factors, including what type of food service business you operate. For example, the minimu restaurant liability insurance cost is $25 per month at NEXT. Overall, 44% of our customers across all industries pay between $66 and $85 a month for general liability insurance.**

Some of the factors which affect the cost of liability insurance for food business owners include:

  • How many employees you have
  • Where your business operates
  • How high you set your limit
  • How long you’ve been in business
  • Your claims history

NEXT offers tailored liability insurance for food businesses

With NEXT, it’s easy to get insurance for food and beverage businesses such as restaurants, food carts and other food service businesses. We make it easy to get professional liability insurance in just minutes. We’re here to help you find coverage that’s right for you and your budget.

Use any computer or mobile device to access our online service. You’ll be guided through each step so you can compare liability insurance for small food businesses, purchase coverage and get a certificate of insurance.

Get an instant quote online today.

More about General Liability insurance

We specialize in business insurance for food and beverage services

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Bakery, Butcher Shop, Catering, Coffee Shop, Farmers Market, Food Cart, Food Truck, Grocery Store, Personal Chef, Restaurant

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I was looking around trying to compare insurance and I am so lucky I found NEXT. I was able to compare levels of coverage, and all the options, without pressure from a salesperson or time limits. I was able to check out prices and it was more coverage for less than the “traditional” company I looked at.
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Let’s find the coverage you need for your business
Business insurance is divided into different policies. We offer seven types so it's easy to design the coverage that fits your business.
General Liability insurance
General Liability
Protect yourself from accidents that cause physical injury or damaged property.
Professional Liability or Error and Omissions Insurance
Professional Liability/E&O
Shield yourself from lawsuits that claim your work errors caused financial losses.
Workers' Compensation Insurance
Workers’ Compensation
Cover medical bills and lost wages if your employees have an accident at work.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial Auto
Stay on the road with coverage for dents, tows and damage to someone else’s vehicle.
Tools & Equipment Insurance
Tools & Equipment
Upgrade your general liability coverage to protect any gear that’s stolen, damaged or lost.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial Property
Keep your building, inventory and equipment protected from fire or water damage.
Business Owner’s Policy Insurance
Business Owner’s Policy
Combine general liability and commercial property into one policy to protect your business.
* To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.
**The cost data presented here are based on minimum price, which is based on general liability insurance’s lowest monthly price for food service businesses operating in Texas. These data should not be considered a substitute for obtaining a quote specific to your business. These data were updated in July 2022.
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Issuance of coverage is subject to underwriting. Not available in all states. Please see the policy for full terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage examples are for illustrative purposes only. Your policy documents govern, terms and exclusions apply. Coverage is dependent on actual facts and circumstances giving rise to a claim. Next Insurance, Inc. and/or its affiliates is an insurance agency licensed to sell certain insurance products and may receive compensation from insurance companies for such sales. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance company. Refer to Legal Notices section for additional information.

Any starting prices or premiums represented before an actual customer quote are not guaranteed and are representations of existing premiums of active policies as of December 6, 2023. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.