Restaurant Insurance Ontario

Restaurant Insurance Ontario

Customized protection for restaurant owners in Ontario to cover their assets from liability risks

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Business insurance for Ontario restaurant owners

From busy downtown kitchens to authentic farm-to-table eateries, restaurant owners across Ontario deliver an ever-evolving multicultural variety of delicious gastronomic experiences.

Whether bustling restaurants located in big cities like Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga, and Kingston or charming grills and diners in smaller cities and rural areas like Guelph, Windsor, Huntsville and Bancroft, Ontario’s restaurateurs offer a variety of culinary options to explore.

However, restaurant owners also face considerable liability risks. From slip-and-fall accidents to a customer suffering an allergic reaction to the threat of fire, every restaurant of any size in Ontario needs a comprehensive restaurant insurance policy to help them recover from unexpected accidents, damage, and loss.

Every restaurant insurance policy is customized to cover a business’s liability risks. In general, a typical restaurant insurance policy might include the following coverages:

  • Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance: CGL, or general liability insurance, covers risks involving bodily injuries or property damage to third parties visiting your establishment, such as your customers. It’s designed to cover your legal expenses if sued or pay for an injured customer’s medical fees if, for example, they slip, fall, and are injured on your premises. General liability insurance may also include product liability insurance to protect against claims alleging third-party property damage or bodily injury caused by a product or food you create, distribute, or sell. If your general liability insurance doesn’t include product liability coverage, you can add it to your policy as an endorsement.
  • Commercial Property Insurance: Essential for protecting your restaurant, commercial property insurance covers the costs of damages to the building, contents, and inventory if impacted by fire, water damage, a natural disaster, theft, or vandalism. Commercial property insurance may include business interruption insurance, which covers your business’s overhead expenses if you’re forced to close for repairs following an insurable loss. If not, you can add it to your policy.
  • Liquor Liability Insurance: If your establishment sells or serves alcoholic beverages, liquor liability is a legal requirement. Furthermore, if a customer becomes intoxicated at your restaurant and injures someone else or damages their property, and their alcohol consumption is deemed a contributing factor, you can be liable for damages.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Think of the appliances and equipment in your restaurant’s kitchen: fridges, freezers, stoves, and other commercial kitchen equipment. Any sudden malfunctions because of an unforeseen electrical or mechanical issue are costly to repair or replace. Equipment breakdown insurance is designed to cover those costs.
  • Cyber Liability Insurance: We might refer to the internet as the World Wide Web, but in the age of cybercrime, call it the world wild web. After all, no small business is immune to the threat of a cyber-attack or data breach that compromises your data and your customers’ privacy and security. Moreover, small businesses, including restaurants, are primary targets for cybercriminals. That’s why it’s vital to have cyber liability insurance as part of your policy. If your restaurant’s website is taken over, confidential data is compromised, or your point-of-sale (POS) system is hacked, and customers’ payment data is stolen, cyber liability insurance can help you recover.

Many factors influence the cost of a restaurant insurance policy. Insurance providers determine the cost of insurance based on the following factors:

  • The location of your restaurant
  • Years of experience as a restaurant owner
  • The equipment you have on the premises
  • Whether or not you serve alcohol
  • Annual and projected gross revenue
  • How many employees you have
  • Previous insurance claims

Any restaurant or eatery in Ontario needs a comprehensive restaurant insurance policy, including:

  • Casual dining restaurants
  • Upscale dining establishments
  • Fast food eateries
  • Bars, pubs, and taverns
  • Cafes and bakeries
  • Food trucks
  • Caterers and chefs
  • Bistros
  • Diners
  • Steakhouses
  • Roadhouses
  • Gastropubs
  • Supper clubs
  • Pop-up restaurants

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Common claims scenarios

A woman trying not to fall on a snowy sidewalk

Problem: A customer entering your restaurant in Stratford trips over an uneven surface, falls, and is injured.

Outcome: Your commercial general liability insurance may cover the injured customer’s medical expenses.

Firefighters extinguishing a blaze

Problem: A fire ignites in the kitchen of a steakhouse in Chatham-Kent overnight, inflicting significant damage to the building and contents. You’re forced to close for several weeks while repairs are underway.

Outcome: Your commercial property insurance may pay for the damages to repair and restore the kitchen and its contents. If you also have business interruption insurance, it may cover your overhead expenses while closed for repairs.

motor vehicle accident

Problem: A customer becomes intoxicated at your bar in Thunder Bay. While driving home, they’re involved in a car accident that injures another motorist.

Outcome: Your liquor liability insurance may cover the injured motorist’s medical and rehabilitation fees up to the policy’s coverage limit.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get coverage for delivery drivers or food delivery services?

Yes. If a delivery driver is an employee driving your vehicle, you will need commercial auto insurance. However, if the employee uses their car to deliver food from your establishment, you will require hired and non-owned commercial auto insurance to cover them if they are involved in an accident.

Are my employees covered if they get injured while working at my restaurant?

Injuries to employees while on the job are covered by your provincial workers’ compensation insurance program. You can include employers’ liability insurance in your policy to protect against claims for injuries or illnesses to employees not covered by your provincial workers’ compensation board.

What happens if my restaurant needs to shut down for repairs or renovations temporarily?

If you have business interruption insurance as part of your policy, it may cover your operating expenses up to the policy limit while repairs or renovations are underway. Business interruption insurance is designed to replace lost income during restoration and cover expenses such as rent, utilities, and other fixed costs.

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