No restaurant, bar or tavern wants to pay a dollar more in insurance premiums than they have to. Smart brokers know the programs and strategies that deliver savings. Here are a few of their secrets:
How Smart Brokers Deliver Big Savings to Their Hospitality Customers
1. Clean up the website
Everybody wants to promote their restaurant, bar or tavern as the place to go. Here’s a little secret – insurance underwriters use the Internet, too. Dancing on the bar, lining up the shots, extended happy hours and premium bottle service are exciting activities, but insurance underwriters take a dim view of all of them. Compounding the error by calling yourself a nightclub practically guarantees a higher rate and more expensive premiums. Don’t feel like you have to exaggerate your party credentials - just advertise good food and good times, and you’ll save yourself insurance dollars and probably get a better class of business too.
2. Train the staff
Alcohol server training is very inexpensive through the state licensed beverage associations; sometimes less than $25 per employee. Courses can even be taken online. Training for the managers can cost a little more but is still well worth it. Without these completed training certifications, insurance companies charge more, if they even offer coverage at all. Why pay the extra premiums when you can pay less and have better employees in a safer establishment?
3. Make video surveillance a priority
Many restaurant, bar or tavern owners think video surveillance is only good for catching a bad employee stealing from the cash register. Otherwise, in a fight or dram shop claim, they think video just proves their guilt. But that’s wrong – here’s a little secret -- any tape is better than no tape. The courts will instruct a jury to infer the worst if there is no video. For a slip/fall claim, either inside the establishment or outside in the parking lot, a good time-stamped video is the best defense and frequently exposes exaggeration and outright fraud. Insurance companies know the benefits of good video surveillance and can take a quick look at any restaurant, bar or tavern’s loss history and see if they are smart about protecting themselves. If they are, they are going to enjoy insurance savings.
4. Work with a specialist
Restaurants, bars and taverns are a huge market, sometimes attractive to financial risk entities looking for a quick shot of revenue. Stick to the AM Best “A” rated or better programs that have been around for years. They are the specialists who know the hospitality business, are endorsed by your state associations, and offer the stability and consistent pricing that you need to protect and grow your business. Also stick to the programs that have comprehensive coverage, with no warrants, restrictions or sub-limits. Surprises can be very expensive.
Smart brokers earn their hospitality customer’s loyalty by getting them the best bang for their buck. It’s not easy, but understanding both the insurance business as well as the restaurant, bar, and tavern business is how savings can be squeezed from this essential expense.
*Patriot National Hospitality is an insurance program distributed through the licensed insurance agency Patriot Underwrites, Inc.