Insuring Success: A Guide to Restaurant Insurance in California

According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), California boasts more than 85,000 restaurants and drinking establishments throughout the state, bringing in an estimated $135.8 billion in sales in 2022. From bustling city streets to quaint coastal towns, each restaurant faces a unique set of risks that require thoughtful consideration. In this article, we uncover the nuances of restaurant insurance in California, exploring the essential coverage options and risk management strategies that can help protect from unforeseen setbacks in this competitive culinary landscape.

With Distinguished Programs as your partner, you can tap into the thriving restaurant business in California. We offer a complete menu of insurance products to safeguard your client’s properties and assets.

On Our Plate

Our Restaurant package is underwritten with an admitted A+ XV-rated carrier and includes:

  • Commercial Property: Protects against property damage to the building (if the insured owns the building) and its contents. Common causes of property losses include fire and water damage.
  • General Liability: Protects against premises liability exposures, with slips, trips, and falls

The most common causes of restaurant liability claims.

  • Liquor Liability: Provides coverage for legal fees, settlements, and medical costs associated with bodily injury or property damage caused by an allegedly intoxicated person served or sold liquor by the restaurant. Businesses are typically legally required to get this coverage before they can get a liquor license or a commercial lease.

Beyond the Main Course

Additional must-have coverages are also available through Distinguished, including:

  • Employment Practices Liability (EPLI): Protects a restaurant against allegations related to employment practices, such as discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and other workplace-related allegations. EPLI provides defense coverage and will pay a settlement or judgment if the insured is found liable for these types of claims.
  • Cyber Liability: Protects establishments in the event of a data breach or other type of cyberattack. Distinguished offers two Cyber insurance options, one for small restaurant accounts and another for midsize to larger restaurants with higher limits. The higher-limit option provides risk management services to help mitigate losses and a 24/7 claims line. Business Income and Cyber Extortion coverage are also available.
  • Umbrella Insurance: Extends coverage provided by primary policies and provides additional limits that may be needed in the event of a large liability loss. Up to $140 million in limits is available.

Whom We Serve

Our Restaurant insurance program in California covers various establishments, from fine dining to family/casual dining, fast casual, wine bars, off-premises caterers, and ghost restaurants. We will also consider sushi and raw bars; restaurants with hibachi-style cooking exposures; restaurants with incidental entertainment exposure; and new ventures with experienced, professional management.

Having a program that will provide coverage for new ventures gives you a competitive edge as more restaurants open up and add locations.

On the Menu: 30 Years of Expertise

Distinguished’s 30 years of experience in providing specialty Restaurant insurance enables you to offer tailored coverages to your clients. We understand that a fine-dining restaurant has a different risk profile than a fast-casual establishment and consider this in our underwriting process. For example, for fine-dining restaurants, we provide a Wine Valuation endorsement that will pay for damage to the wine for a covered claim based on the retail price (menu price), not the wholesale cost.

Partner with Distinguished Programs

Expand your reach and protect your client’s businesses with Distinguished’s comprehensive, customized insurance policies.

Get started with us today by registering your agency. The process takes about five minutes. You’ll then be eligible to submit business for our restaurant program and any other programs. Our dedicated underwriting team works diligently to review your application swiftly and provide a response within 24 to 48 hours.

If you run into any issues using the Portal, reach out to an underwriter or watch this broker tutorial video.

For more information, check out some of our restaurant insurance resources below.

About Distinguished Programs

Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Fine Art and Collectibles, Environmental and Construction Professional, Executive Lines, Inland Marine, Real Estate & Builder’s Risk, 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’s high-limit Umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its area 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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