How to insure your hospitality business

October 23, 2023

Not sure where to start getting your business appropriately protected without breaking the bank? We get it. By its nature, hospitality is a diverse and varied sector and so too are the risks you face and the cover you may or may not need. As a result, insurance for hospitality businesses can be quite a jungle to navigate.

No matter what industry your business falls under, it’s crucial to get your insurance right. Throw in the curveballs of working with food and beverage, electrical equipment, and patrons and you could be up to your eyeballs in policies. That’s where an experienced Insurance Advisor can save you time and money. Let’s start by looking at some key risks you might face in the hospitality industry.

What are the most important risks to manage in a hospitality venue?

While the sector has a great deal of variety, and the scope of risks unsurprisingly wide, there are some common ones we come across. Many key risks relate to the likelihood of fires. Do you operate deep fryers in your venue? Do you have an extraction system, and how often is this cleaned and maintained? Does any of your equipment or fitout contain expanded polystyrene?

Another common risk to stay vigilant about is that of trip and fall hazards. Are your floors and thoroughfares kept clear? Is your flooring or stairways likely to contribute to an accident?

Think about these risks and make a list of any others you think are relevant to your business. This is an important step in making sure your risks as a venue are managed and will help inform the kind of insurance you need. Sitting down with an experienced Insurance Advisor can make this process more efficient and effective.

What kind of insurance do you need for a hospitality business?

Once you’ve got a good idea of your risks, you’ll be able to figure out which policies you’ll need to protect your business. The type of insurance your venue needs will vary greatly depending on your business activities. For example, a bar may require less machinery breakdown cover than a restaurant or café but want higher value theft cover. They also might have a harder time finding a competitive public liability insurance than a wholesale bakery, who in turn may require more product liability cover.

An Insurance Advisor will work with you to analyse your unique risks and provide expert insight on the types of cover that suit. That said, it pays to understand the key types of insurance out there for your hospitality business.

1) Public liability

Public liability insurance provides financial protection for situations where someone is injured or has their property damaged as a result of your business activities. For hospitality businesses, it is a critical policy to have as it can cover food-related illnesses as well as safeguarding you from mishaps involving intoxicated patrons.

2) Property 

Property insurance is designed to cover your assets against loss or damage arising from tangible events. These may include fire, storms, floods, vandalism, and more. It can be a critical cover for your hospitality business as many ventures face heightened fire risks and rely on expensive, specialised equipment or unique assets to do business. For those who own their business premises, you’ll be looking specifically at commercial property insurance.

3) Business interruption

Business interruption insurance safeguards you against loss of earnings caused by specified events. Exactly what is covered is up to the individual policy, but it could be anything from a total shutdown due to a severe weather event, or having to run a reduced menu while your equipment is down.

4) Machinery breakdown

Don’t let the name fool you, machinery breakdown insurance can cover all manner of equipment that is critical to your business or costly to repair. This could include fridges and freezers, cooking equipment, and other electrical goods like audio systems or computers. It can even cover loss of stock.

5) Theft and burglary

Theft and burglary insurance provides financial protection against loss and damages resulting from forced entry. This can include stolen equipment, stock, or even the cost of repairs to your premises. As you may have experienced, break-ins can be a real threat to hospitality businesses.

hospitality insurance

How do I find the best insurance for my venue?

With a better understanding of the key cover options available to hospitality businesses, and knowledge of the risks your particular venture faces, you’ll be in a better place to determine the various policies that are right for you. There are business packs out there you can buy that offer a more “one size fits all” approach, although these can be a pitfall if you’re not absolutely across everything you need and don’t need. It’s also a lot of policy wording to read over on your own.

Perhaps the greatest next step you can make to getting well-fitting cover for your café, bar, restaurant, or any manner of other hospitality business, is to talk with a broker from a reputable brokerage. Our job is to save you time and stress by identifying and comparing cover options that suit your individual situation.

At East West Insurance Brokers we have nearly four decades of experience and work with clients on all sides of the hospitality industry, all around Queensland. Our friendly and knowledgeable Insurance Advisors are here to help. Get in touch today.

1800 809 132  | |

Explore more

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our blog and newsletter and stay connected for insights and updates from the team at EWIB.