Common Restaurant Insurance Claims and Tips to Avoid Them

The restaurant industry encounters 6,000 to 8,000 fires per year. Many of these fires are preventable through proactive disaster preparedness planning. Fire is a complex topic with insurance companies because of the various ways fires can start.

Here’s a look at fire and other common restaurant insurance claims in Seattle, WA.

    1. Kitchen fires

Kitchens are where over 60 percent of restaurant fires begin, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires are commonly associated with cooking or other heating equipment. Another 7 percent of fires relate to lighting devices and electrical wiring issues. Fortunately, restaurant fires have decreased since 1980, when there were over 23,000 fires.

One of the most basic ways to prevent a kitchen fire is to clean all cooking equipment regularly. That means wiping off grease, which can create a fire if it accumulates in ovens, grills, or fryers. Employees should be trained to understand why regular kitchen cleaning is critical for health and safety.

    1. Slip and Fall Injuries

Another common restaurant claim involves slip and fall injuries. Restaurant management must ensure the establishment is safe for the public, or it can face heavy fines and litigation. When a floor is covered with a slippery material, it becomes easy for anyone to accidentally slip and get hurt. Uneven surfaces can also cause a visitor or even employee to fall. An ideal solution is to install a slip-resistant floor. Outdoor walkways should regularly be cleaned, whether it means removing leaves, dirt, rocks, ice, water, or objects.

    1. Work-related Injuries

Over 90,000 nonfatal injuries and illnesses occur per year in restaurants. Typical cases involve burns, cuts, sprains, and strains. Establishments that serve hot food have higher risks because of how heat is distributed through equipment, metal, plates, oil, and food. It’s advantageous for restaurant managers to train employees on how to transport heavy objects safely.

    1. Foodborne Illness

You don’t want your restaurant to be known for foodborne illness. Sometimes all it takes is one negative story about food poisoning to hurt a restaurant’s business for years. It can also lead to serious insurance claims and lawsuits. If someone dies from consuming your food, the claim might not cover all the damage unless you set high liability limits.

Again, proper employee training is one of the ways to reduce the chances of spreading foodborne illness to patrons. Employees who handle food should be trained about good hygiene, such as washing their hands. Additionally, they should understand how to store food at appropriate temperatures. Requiring your kitchen team to get food handler licenses helps ensure you’re dealing with workers who value public safety and the company’s image.

    1. Equipment Failure

Any type of mechanical failure of kitchen equipment such as a stove or refrigerator can slow down your business. The last thing you need is a sudden surprise that your cooking equipment is malfunctioning. Proper maintenance and possessing backup equipment will help reduce disruptions.

Some of the routine duties that can reduce the risk of equipment breakdowns include periodically changing hood filters and inspecting equipment door gaskets. Proper ventilation will help reduce heat concentration in one area.

Your restaurant insurance solution should reflect your establishment’s capacity and risk factors. Paying attention to public safety as a top priority alone will help reduce disasters. Our team of insurance professionals at Humble & Davenport Insurance Brokers, Inc. helps businesses meet their coverage needs. Contact us today for more information about getting the right restaurant insurance in Seattle.

By Humble & Davenport Insurance

At Humble & Davenport, we’re experienced in identifying the unique needs of the men and women who live, work, and play across King County. We have the ability and the skills to custom craft coverage for each client, whether the need is for personal or commercial coverage.

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