Fine Dining Restaurant Insurance: The Details Brokers Need

Fine dining experiences set themselves apart by attending to the details. Every bite, ingredient, and placement on the dish has been carefully considered so that the customer just has to sit back and enjoy. When shopping for insurance, restauranteurs expect the same level of professionalism — every policy, price, and coverage needs to perfectly complement the fine dining restaurant it’s written for.

Brokers looking to make a name for themselves in fine dining restaurant insurance need to be prepared to serve up something special and unique for their clients. With our 30 years of experience in the industry and unparalleled claims service, Distinguished can be the x-factor you need to sell more insurance packages to fine dining clients. This guide will walk you through the coverages that fine dining restaurants need and show you how Distinguished’s restaurant package is the right choice for your discerning clientele.

What Coverages Do Fine Dining Restaurants Need?

Your average everyday restaurant needs a lot more than a basic GL and commercial property policy — fine dining restaurants even more so because they deal with more expensive ingredients and guests. Here’s a list of coverages fine dining restaurant insurance policies need to include.

General Liability

It’s no surprise that fine dining restaurants need a comprehensive GL policy. When flames, spills, and lots of money interact, your client will feel good knowing they’re covered in case of lawsuits.

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Whether it’s food poisoning or injuries due to a collapsed deck, GL will cover the costs of defending the insured in court and then the penalties if they’re found liable.

Commercial Property

Like any other business with a physical premise, commercial property is another necessary coverage for fine dining restaurants.

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Commercial property insurance provides coverage in case of damages to the restaurant itself. Anything from a driver crashing through the restaurant wall to the theft of a vintage wine collection will be covered.

Liquor Liability

Speaking of wine, serving alcohol opens restaurants to all kinds of liability suits requiring specific insurance coverage — liquor liability. Liquor liability provides coverage to restaurants when they get sued for incidents caused by overserved customers.

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For instance, a man successfully sued a restaurant for $5.5 million after he was allegedly overserved and then injured in a drunken fight in its parking lot. Without this coverage, your client’s restaurant could be financially at risk from similar lawsuits.

Employment Practice Liability Insurance (EPLI)

It’s easy for clients to write off EPLI as not necessary because they’re not bad people. They treat their employees with respect and always follow the law. However, EPLI is still a good idea because misunderstandings do happen. In 2019, a former employee sued two Michelin-starred restaurants alleging pregnancy discrimination. The owner’s attorney says she had been “dismissed because of performance issues” and “misconstrued pleasantries as a formal job offer.”

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Regardless of the truth, in this case, it illustrates a potential risk to restaurants. Former employees could sue for discrimination or wrongful termination, even when that’s not the case. Without EPLI, the restaurant could be on the hook for the legal bills, regardless of whether they’re in the wrong.

Cyber Liability

Cyber liability covers restaurants if their websites, social media accounts, or internal databases get hacked. At first blush, it may not seem like a necessary coverage for restaurants, but it’s a crime that’s only growing. For instance, in 2019, a New York chain of fine dining restaurants was hit by malware that may have collected customer credit card info. The problem was luckily contained, but it could’ve affected the chain’s customers and reputation.

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A cyber liability policy gives restaurants coverage if a cyberattack hampers their business. It also gives them access to an expert team to help them contain the threat and minimize potential liabilities. Learn more on our cyber liability program page.

Deadly Weapons

It’s an unfortunate reality, but shootings in the US can happen anytime, anywhere — including in an upscale restaurant. In 2021, a burglary quickly turned into a shooting at a Chinese restaurant on the Upper East Side. One man was shot in the leg while the other diners fled the scene.

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Deadly weapons coverage helps pay the costs of property damage, funeral costs, crisis management, and more. Learn more about Distinguished’s Deadly Weapons add-on.

The Benefits of Distinguished Restaurant Insurance

Distinguished’s restaurant insurance program is perfect for fine dining restaurants looking for complete coverage at an affordable price. Not only does it offer a compelling choice for clients, but it’s also highly convenient for brokers looking for a one-stop shop for their more discerning clients.

Years of Experience in the Restaurant Industry

Distinguished has been in the insurance industry for a long time and has insured fine dining restaurants across the country. Our 30+ years of experience mean we’ve seen everything and know what kinds of coverages upscale restaurants want and need from brokers. You can benefit from this experience by allowing us to help you get your top-tier restaurant clients the insurance policies they deserve.

Coverages Perfect for Fine Dining

With our restaurant industry expertise, we can add coverages that restaurants often want in their policies. These add-ons include:

  • Food Contamination: Reimburses restaurants if their ingredients are contaminated before arriving at the restaurant.
  • Food Spoilage: Covers costs if food spoils after an equipment breakdown, such as a fridge dying overnight, or if the power cuts.
  • Equipment Breakdown: Covers the cost of kitchen equipment breaking down. This includes the cost of repairs or losses due to the break.
  • Business Interruption Coverage: Covers operational costs if the restaurant has to shut down because of events like fires, floods, or storms.

For clients looking for complete business coverage, we also offer enhanced coverages through our Hospitality Plus Endorsements program. These include:

  • Employee theft
  • Valuable paper and records
  • Guests’ property
  • Fine arts
  • Plus much more

To complete your client’s coverage, Distinguished offers high-limit umbrella policies for restaurants. Instead of paying more for higher limits on other policies like GL or EPLI, your clients can get an affordable umbrella policy that tops up liability coverage where needed. So, if your client’s restaurant is threatened by a high-cost lawsuit or multiple litigations in a year, they’ll be covered up to a far higher limit than they would otherwise. Learn more in our restaurant umbrella brochure.

Rush Quotes and High Limits Available

Distinguished is ready to help you make the sale from the word “go.” We offer rush quotes and high-limit insurance policies even for new ventures that other insurance companies might balk at.

We’re ready to help you make the sale by:

  • Getting you a bindable quote in as little as 24 hours
  • Offering up to $140 million in coverage
  • Working with coverage written on an admitted basis with an A+ XV-rated carrier
  • Accepting restaurants nationwide (except in Alaska)

We also want to help you by giving you the resources to educate your clients. If they have questions about the costs of restaurant insurance, you can share our breakdown of what different restaurant insurance coverages cost (and why).

How to Sign Up Today

Contact one of our insurance experts to learn more about our fine dining restaurant insurance programs and policies.

If you’d like to submit new business, register your agency and submit an application for restaurant insurance. We can get you a bindable quote in 24 hours.

Distinguished Fine Dining Insurance FAQs

Do you have any ineligible risks?

We don’t insure Class 8–10 properties. We also don’t insure cocktail lounges or risks with more than incidental entertainment.

Do you have a minimum premium?

We have a minimum premium of $5,000 a year.

Which states are eligible for Distinguished restaurant insurance?

We insure restaurants in all states except for Alaska. Our restaurant umbrella policy is available in all 50 states.

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About Distinguished Programs

Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Real Estate, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished Programs’ high-limit umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its areas of specialty for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation, stemming back to 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.

View a full list of our programs and submit business with Distinguished.

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