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What are the insurance requirements for a restaurant?

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Check the following:

1. Yourself or your attorney review your lease or mortgage regarding property and liability insurance requirements. (Property and Liability Risk Exposures)

2. Review any contracts you may have with Franchisors, Property Managers, Lessors of Leased Equipment, Government (normally permits), Utilities, Neighbors, and other contracts such as Independent Contractors or special service vendors.

3. Contact your Department of Industrial Relations, Department of Insurance, Labor Board, or similar government agencies to see what requirements exists for workers compensation (workman's comp).

4. Contact your state agency and local jurisdictions to see if there are financial posting requirements for sales tax.

5. Contact all the utilities you will be dealing with as to their credit requirements so see if they will require a bond.

6. One area that is often overlooked is the Named Insured's (owners, partners) own requirements. A good rule of thumb is to insure the liability limit equal to the owner's collective net worth plus a modest cushion; a minimum liability limit would be $1million in today's market.

Overall, your best resource really is an experienced insurance agent that specializes in insuring restaurants, and your legal counsel. Get together a "team" including accounting, insurance, legal, marketing, human resources that can advise you. Often, experienced restaurant vendors can recommend other service providers.

Once all of your requirements are in place, let your insurance representatives help you by binding coverage to meet their requirements and sending evidence of insurance to satisfy those contractual needs.
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