Where to Get Restaurant Insurance Quotes: Carriers or Brokers? 

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

As a restaurant owner, protecting your business from potential risks and liabilities is crucial. One way to do this is by obtaining a restaurant insurance quote. But what exactly is a restaurant insurance quote, how does it work, and should you get it from a carrier or a broker? This article explains the details of restaurant insurance quotes and provides you with some insights on where to get them. 

What is a restaurant insurance quote? 

A restaurant insurance quote is an estimate of the cost of an insurance policy that is tailored to the specific needs of a restaurant. It takes into account various factors such as the type of restaurant, location, number of employees, and more. By obtaining a quote, restaurant owners can get a sense of how much they would need to pay for insurance coverage.

Factors affecting a restaurant insurance quote

There are several factors that can affect a restaurant insurance quote. Understanding these factors can help restaurant owners make informed decisions when it comes to insurance coverage.

Type of restaurant

The type of restaurant can have a big impact on the cost of insurance. For example, a fine dining restaurant may have higher insurance costs compared to a casual dining restaurant. This is because fine dining restaurants often have more expensive equipment and a higher level of risk.


The location of the restaurant can also affect insurance costs. Restaurants in high-crime areas or areas prone to natural disasters may have higher insurance costs compared to those in safer areas.

Number of employees

The number of employees a restaurant has can also affect insurance costs. Restaurants with more employees may have higher workers’ compensation costs.

Sales volume and revenue 

The sales volume of a restaurant can also affect insurance costs. Restaurants with higher sales volume may have higher property and liability insurance costs.

Previous claims

If a restaurant has had previous insurance claims, it may affect the cost of insurance. Restaurants with a history of claims may be considered higher risk and may have higher insurance costs.

Liquor sales 

Liquor sales can affect restaurant insurance costs because serving alcohol increases the risk of liability for accidents or injuries that may occur on the premises. Alcohol can impair judgment and increase the likelihood of fights, slip and fall accidents, and other incidents. As a result, restaurants that serve alcohol may be required to carry higher liability insurance coverage to protect against these types of incidents. Additionally, if the restaurant serves a large volume of alcohol or has a history of alcohol-related incidents, it may be considered a higher risk by insurance companies, which can result in higher insurance premiums.

The percentage of liquor revenue to total restaurant revenue 

If liquor revenue accounts for less than 50% of total revenue, insurance companies assess the business as a primary restaurant business and the premiums will be lower. If the liquor revenue is more than 50% of total revenue, insurance companies will classify the business as an alcohol business that serves food. This would increase the premiums substantially. 

It is often advised that common restaurants should try to limit their liquor sales to less than 50% to save on insurance costs. However, this rule has an exception for fine-dining restaurants that serve high-end liquor that may cost a lot but not as much in volume. Insurance companies usually classify fine-dining restaurants differently. 

Where to get restaurant insurance quotes? 

There are several options for obtaining a restaurant insurance quote. Restaurant owners can choose to go through a carrier or a brokerage firm.

Pros and cons of getting a restaurant insurance quote from a carrier

  • Pros: Going through a carrier directly may save time and money. Carriers often have a variety of insurance options available, and may be able to provide a quote quickly.
  • Cons: Going through a carrier directly may limit the number of options available. Carriers may also have higher prices compared to brokerage firms.

Pros and cons of getting a quote from a brokerage firm

  • Pros: Brokerage firms often have access to a wider range of insurance options from different carriers. This can provide restaurant owners with more options to choose from.
    – If you want to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you, you should work with a brokerage firm. 
  • Cons: If you prefer a particular insurance company that the brokerage firm doesn’t work with, you may need to look elsewhere. 

We recommend the following carriers and brokerage firms that you can work with to find the cheapest quotes for you: 

  • Simply Business: Best brokerage firm to find cheap coverage 
  • CoverWallet: Best brokerage firm to compare several quotes from top-tier carriers
  • Smart Financial: Best brokerage firm if you prefer working with an experienced agent
  • NEXT: Best carrier if you only want to get affordable liability coverage and prefer a completely digital carrier 
  • The Hartford: Best carrier if you prefer comprehensive coverage from a top carrier 

What do restaurant owners need to know when getting a restaurant insurance quote? 

  • Be prepared to provide information about the restaurant, such as the type of restaurant, location, number of employees, and sales volume.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about previous claims or losses.
  • Be prepared to discuss the types of coverage needed.

What do restaurant owners need to pay attention to when comparing several restaurant insurance quotes?

When comparing several restaurant insurance quotes, restaurant owners should pay attention to the following:

  1. Coverage: Make sure that the insurance policy provides the coverage that you need. For example, if you serve alcohol, make sure that the policy includes liquor liability coverage.
  2. Limits: Check the limits of the coverage to ensure that they are high enough to protect your business in case of a claim.
  3. Exclusions: Review the policy exclusions to ensure that there are no coverage gaps that could leave you vulnerable to a loss.
  4. Premium: Compare the premium rates of the different policies to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.
  5. Deductibles: Consider the deductibles of the policy, which is the amount you will have to pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in.
  6. Reputation and financial stability of the insurance company: It is important to check the insurance company’s reputation and financial stability to ensure that they will be able to pay out any claims you may have in the future.
  7. Additional coverage: Some insurance policies may include additional coverage such as business interruption coverage, workers compensation, and employee dishonesty coverage. Make sure you understand these coverage and if they are necessary for your business.

What insurance coverages do restaurants need to have?

Running a restaurant is actually quite complicated and its operations are exposed to several types of risks. To protect a restaurant’s operations properly, restaurant owners can choose from several following insurance coverages:

  • Property insurance: This is a commercial property insurance policy that covers damage or loss to the restaurant’s physical property, such as the building and equipment.
  • General liability insurance: General liability insurance covers third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage.
  • Liquor insurance: Liquor liability insurance provides coverage for accidents and injuries that may occur as a result of serving alcohol, such as a patron getting into a car accident after leaving the restaurant. 
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: This type of insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees injured on the job.
  • Business interruption insurance: This type of insurance covers loss of income due to a covered event, such as a natural disaster or power outage.
  • Food contamination insurance: This type of insurance covers loss of income and liability claims due to food contamination.
  • Cyber liability insurance: Cyber liability insurance covers data breaches and other cyber-related incidents.

How much is the average cost of restaurant insurance per month? 

The cost of restaurant insurance can vary depending on the factors discussed earlier such as the type of restaurant, location, number of employees, and sales volume. The average cost of a restaurant liability insurance policy is $120 per month, or $1,440 per year.

If you add more coverages, you’ll pay more. Below are the average cost of different restaurant coverages:

Restaurant insurance coveragesAverage costs
General liability insurance$120 a month
Commercial property insurance$135 a month
Business Owners’ Policy (BOP)$210 a month
Commercial auto insurance$175 a month

These are just the averages. Your quotes will be different. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or work with a broker like Simply Business, CoverWallet, Smart Financial, or Tivly to get and compare several quotes to choose the cheapest one.

What can restaurant owners do to reduce their restaurant insurance costs? 

Restaurant insurance can be quite expensive. Below are some tips for restaurant owners to follow to reduce their premiums: 

  • Implement safety measures to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Regularly review and update the insurance policy to ensure it is still adequate for the needs of the business.
  • Bundle insurance policies to save money.
  • Shop around for the best rates and coverage.
  • Consider a higher deductible to lower the premium costs.

In conclusion, obtaining a restaurant insurance quote is an important step in protecting a restaurant business from potential risks and liabilities. Understanding the factors that affect the cost of insurance, as well as the types of coverage needed, can help restaurant owners make informed decisions when it comes to insurance coverage. By taking steps to reduce insurance costs and regularly reviewing and updating the insurance policy, restaurant owners can ensure that they have the coverage they need at a price that is affordable.

Restaurant liability insurance

Restaurant liability insurance is a type of insurance that protects a restaurant from financial losses due to claims of bodily injury or property damage that occur on the restaurant’s property. It covers the cost of defending against a lawsuit as well as any settlement or judgment awarded to the plaintiff. This can include things like slips and falls, food poisoning, or damage caused by a kitchen fire. It may also include coverage for liquor liability if the restaurant serves alcohol.

In addition to covering claims of bodily injury and property damage, restaurant liability insurance may also cover other types of losses. For example, it may provide coverage for:

  • Advertising injury: This covers claims related to defamation, invasion of privacy, or other types of injury caused by advertising or promotional activities.
  • Product liability: This covers claims related to injuries or illnesses caused by food or other products sold by the restaurant.
  • Cyber liability: This covers losses related to data breaches, hackers, or other cyber-related issues.

It is important to note that coverage and limit amounts may vary depending on the specific policy and insurance company, so it’s important to review the policy details carefully and work with an insurance agent to make sure that the restaurant has the coverage it needs.

Best restaurant insurance companies

Hundreds of insurance companies offer restaurant insurance, which can be overwhelming for you to find the best one for your restaurant business. We have done intensive research and here are our recommendations for the top providers:

  • NEXT: Best for affordable liability insurance
  • Simply Business: Best for finding cheap coverage from reputable carriers
  • NEXT: Best for comparing several quotes from top-tier carriers
Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at realtor.com, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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