Workers’ Compensation for Food Service Businesses

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How does Workers’ Compensation insurance protect food service businesses?

Workers’ compensation insurance helps protect food service businesses when an employee is injured on the job. This insurance helps pay for certain types of injury-related expenses like medical expenses and lost wages, which can prevent significant financial losses after a workplace accident.

In most states, food services with employees are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Penalties like fines or criminal charges may apply to business owners who fail to comply with state workers’ compensation laws.

workers compensation for food services

Why do food services need Workers’ Compensation insurance?

Workplace injuries are relatively common, especially in the fast-paced food service industry.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 93,800 injuries and illnesses among restaurant workers in 2019, with more than a third of those cases requiring injured employees to take at least one day off from work.

When an employee gets hurt, the costs can add up quickly. In addition to their medical care, they may also lose out on wages if they have to take time off to recover.

Your food service business could be held liable for those expenses. Workers’ comp insurance helps pay for medical bills and lost wages, which protects your business financially. In the event of a serious accident, workers’ compensation insurance can also help cover permanent injury and survivor benefits.

Some examples of food service accidents that workers’ comp can help cover include:

  • A restaurant server trips over a customer’s foot and fractures their wrist in a fall.
  • A cook gets burned by hot oil in the kitchen and needs medical attention.
  • A grocery store display topples over, causing an employee to sustain a concussion.

Beyond the financial protection that workers’ comp insurance provides, it may also fulfill important legal requirements. Depending on where your business operates, you may need to show a workers’ comp insurance certificate to comply with state laws and obtain a license for your establishment.

Learn more about restaurant workers’ compensation insurance and licensing:

What does food services Workers’ Comp insurance cover?

Workers’ compensation insurance for restaurants and other food service businesses helps cover injury-related expenses when an employee gets hurt at work. If you don’t have employees, you can get business owner’s coverage to protect yourself.

If a cook accidentally gets cut by a sharp knife, for example, restaurant workers’ comp insurance can help cover their medical bills along with the employee’s lost income while they heal.

Besides restaurants, many other food service businesses can benefit from this type of coverage. At NEXT, we offer workers’ compensation insurance for mobile food truck workers, food vendor insurance, workers comp insurance for catering businesses and more.

Workers’ comp can help pay for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Retraining
  • Permanent injury
  • Survivor benefits
  • Employer liability

Learn more about what workers’ compensation insurance covers.

What are some common risks faced by food service businesses?

Here are some of the common risks that food service businesses may be exposed to:

Dangerous accidents

A barista slips and falls on a mopped floor, injuring their shoulder. Workers’ comp coffee shop insurance can help cover the medical bills.

Lost wages

While restocking products on a high shelf, a grocery store employee falls from a ladder. They break their leg and need six weeks off to recover. Workers’ comp insurance can help cover their lost wages during that time.

Permanent injury or death

Even if you take safety precautions and train your staff thoroughly, accidents can still occur at your food service business.

In the unfortunate event of a serious accident that results in permanent impairment or death, workers’ comp can help pay for long-term benefits, burial expenses or survivor benefits for an employee’s family.

Employer liability

If an employee gets hurt at work and believes that your actions contributed to their injury, they could file a lawsuit against you. Workers’ compensation insurance can help pay for your legal expenses.

How much does Workers’ Comp insurance cost for food service businesses?

NEXT offers customized workers’ compensation policies to ensure you get the right coverage for your business. For 50% of NEXT customers, workers’ comp insurance costs between $25 to $150 monthly.*

The premiums for workers’ comp policies are determined by a number of factors, including how many employees you have, the type of work you do, the location of your business, and your insurance claims history.

At NEXT, the monthly median workers’ compensation insurance cost for restaurants is $111.**

NEXT offers tailored business insurance for food services

NEXT makes it convenient for food service business owners to get affordable workers’ compensation insurance. Our services are straightforward, so you can easily find the coverage that’s right for you.

You can complete the entire process online using any computer or mobile device. Just go to the NEXT website to apply, compare insurance options, purchase coverage and get a certificate of insurance. It only takes a few minutes and can be done according to your schedule.

Get an instant quote online today.

More about Food Business 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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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.