What Insurance Do I Need for a Restaurant?

What Insurance Do I Need for a Restaurant?

Running a successful restaurant involves numerous responsibilities, and one crucial aspect for a business owner is ensuring adequate insurance coverage.

Understanding the various types of insurance required and what is recommended for your restaurant is essential to protect your business from potential risks and liabilities.

Whether you're operating in Australia or New Zealand, having the right insurance can provide peace of mind and financial security in case of unexpected events.

Why Does a Restaurant Need Insurance?

Restaurants are bustling establishments with inherent risks that could lead to financial loss or legal liabilities. From accidents in the kitchen to customer injuries on the premises, the potential for mishaps is ever-present.

Insurance helps mitigate these risks by providing financial protection against property damage, legal claims, and other unforeseen circumstances.

Landlord Vs. Tenant Responsibilities

Understanding the division of responsibilities between landlords and tenants regarding insurance is crucial for restaurant owners.

While landlords typically have insurance covering the building business premises, tenants are responsible for insuring their contents, equipment, and liabilities within the leased premises.

Tenants should scrutinise their leases to find out what the exclusions contained in their cover are so they can backfill their liability with a business insurance pack which may potentially require add-ons.

Compulsory Restaurant Insurance Covers in Australia

Having compulsory restaurant insurance covers in Australia is crucial for protecting both the business and its employees (particularly small businesses) against general liability. 

Workers Compensation, for instance, ensures that employees are supported with their financial situation in case of work-related injuries or illnesses, thereby fostering a safer workplace environment and fulfilling legal obligations.

Compulsory Restaurant Insurance Covers in New Zealand

While it's not compulsory in New Zealand, there are compelling reasons to invest in such insurance cover options.

It helps protect the significant investment restaurant owners have made in their businesses, mitigates financial risks associated with general property damage and workplace accidents, and demonstrates a commitment to employee welfare and legal compliance.

Additionally, having insurance coverage can safeguard against unexpected financial burdens that may arise from legal claims, employee dishonesty, personal accident, or property damage, providing peace of mind and enabling business continuity.

Workers Compensation Insurance

It is mandatory for employers to ensure the protection of their employees in cases of work-related injuries or illnesses, which includes providing coverage for medical expenses.

This essential requirement not only prioritises the well-being of workers but also provides financial support to address any healthcare needs arising from such incidents.

By having compulsory insurance in place, businesses demonstrate their commitment to the safety and welfare of their workforce, ensuring that employees receive the necessary medical care without bearing the burden of expenses incurred due to workplace injuries or illnesses.

This coverage forms a vital component of ensuring a safe and supportive work environment, fostering trust and security among employees while fulfilling legal obligations as responsible employers.

Third-Party Personal Injury Insurance for Owned Vehicles

Another important aspect for a restaurant owner to consider is third-party personal injury insurance for owned vehicles.

This type of insurance provides coverage in case of personal injuries to third parties, such as pedestrians or other drivers, resulting from accidents involving vehicles owned by the restaurant.

Ensuring adequate coverage for such incidents is essential to protect against potential legal liabilities and financial losses.

Recommended Restaurant Insurance Covers

In addition to compulsory covers, restaurant owners should consider the following recommended restaurant business insurance options:

Business Interruption Insurance

This insurance cover is essential for restaurant owners as it protects against loss of income due to unforeseen disruptions to business operations, such as fire damage or equipment breakdown.

In the event of a covered incident that forces the restaurant to temporarily close its doors, Business Interruption Insurance ensures that ongoing expenses, such as rent, wages, and utilities, can still be covered while the business is unable to operate.

Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance is vital for restaurant owners as it provides protection against claims of injury or property damage to third parties while on the restaurant premises and provides assurances to loyal customers.

Public Liability Insurance covers legal costs and compensation payments associated with such claims, whether it's a slip and fall accident by a patron or damage to a customer's property.

By having this insurance in place, restaurant owners can safeguard their business assets and reputation while demonstrating their commitment to the safety and well-being of their patrons.

Management Liability Insurance

This coverage provides for legal costs and damages arising from management decisions or actions.

This type of insurance, often referred to as Statutory Liability in New Zealand, provides coverage for legal costs and damages arising from management decisions or actions, ensuring comprehensive protection for restaurant owners in the event of poor management practices.

Stock, Asset and Product Liability Insurance

This type of insurance is crucial for restaurant owners as it safeguards against loss or damage to perishable goods, inventory, and valuable assets.

In a restaurant setting, where perishable ingredients are essential for daily operations and valuable equipment is constantly in use, unforeseen events such as theft, damage, or spoilage can have significant financial implications.

Stock, Asset, and Product Liability Insurance provides coverage for these assets, ensuring that any losses incurred due to theft, accidental damage, or other covered perils may be reimbursed.

By protecting their stock, assets, and products, restaurant owners can maintain business continuity and minimise disruptions to operations, thereby safeguarding their investment and profitability.

It can help in the replacement of kitchen equipment such as expensive coffee machines and can provide cover loss due to power outage.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Professional indemnity insurance is of paramount importance for restaurant owners, serving as a safeguard against potential legal claims arising from professional negligence or errors in service provision.

In the highly competitive and customer-focused hospitality industry, the risk of dissatisfied customers lodging complaints or lawsuits due to issues such as food poisoning, misrepresentation of menu items, or breach of contract is ever-present.

Professional indemnity insurance provides financial protection by covering legal costs and compensation payments in the event of such claims, thereby it will provide protection for restaurant owners from substantial financial losses and reputational damage.

It offers peace of mind, allowing restaurateurs to focus on delivering exceptional dining experiences while mitigating the inherent risks associated with their business operations.

Commercial Property Insurance

This product covers accidental damage or loss to the restaurant building and its contents due to specified events like fire, theft, or natural disasters.

Add-ons to consider

Consider adding these optional covers to enhance your restaurant's insurance protection:


Protects against theft of cash, stock, or equipment, often available as an add-on under asset or property insurance.

Malicious Damage

Covers damage caused intentionally by third parties, such as vandalism or sabotage.

Cyber Insurance

Guards against cyber threats, data breaches, and financial losses resulting from cyber-attacks.

Glass Insurance

Covers repair or replacement costs for broken glass windows or doors.

Machinery Breakdown Insurance

Provides coverage for repair or replacement of essential equipment, such as refrigeration units or cooking appliances.

Can you get a combined hospitality insurance policy? 

Every business is different therefore there is no "one size fits all" insurance product. Many insurance providers offer combined hospitality insurance policies tailored to the needs of restaurants, bundling various covers into a single bespoke package for convenience and cost-effectiveness.

Business Insurance Pack

A business insurance pack policy offers comprehensive coverage tailored to the specific needs of restaurant businesses, bundling multiple insurance covers into a single, convenient package.

For restaurant owners, this type of policy can provide a wide range of protections, including coverage for property damage, liability claims, business interruption, and more.

With a business insurance pack, restaurant owners can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their business is safeguarded against common risks such as fires, theft, customer injuries, and unexpected interruptions to operations.

By consolidating various insurance covers into one policy, business owners can streamline their insurance management, reduce administrative burden, and often benefit from cost savings compared to purchasing individual policies.

Ultimately, a business insurance pack policy is a valuable asset for restaurant businesses, offering comprehensive protection and financial security in an ever-changing and unpredictable operating environment.

Risks restaurants need to be aware of

Restaurants face various risks, including:


Kitchen fires or electrical faults can cause extensive damage.

Food Poisoning

Mishandling or contamination of food can lead to illness and legal claims.


Slip and fall accidents or kitchen injuries can result in liability claims.

Security Threats

Theft, vandalism, or assault incidents can impact business operations and reputation.

What information will insurance companies need about your restaurant?

When applying for restaurant insurance, insurers typically require information such as:

  • Business details (name, location, size)
  • Nature of operations (type of cuisine, seating capacity)
  • Revenue and financial history (turnover documents)
  • Details of property and assets to be insured (risk assessments)
  • Number of employees and their roles
  • History of insurance claims or incidents (previous claims)

Obtaining competitive quotes for comprehensive insurance coverage tailored to your restaurant's specific needs is crucial for safeguarding your business against potential risks and liabilities, and potentially save you money.

By understanding the various insurance options available and working with a reputable insurance broker and insurers, restaurant owners can protect their investment and focus on delivering exceptional dining experiences to their customers.

Book a demo today and find out how you can satisfy your customers with the help of ResDiary.

Book a demo

Disclaimer: *The information contained in this article is a guide only and does not take into account your financial situation, business operations or requirements. Always consult an insurance agent for the most accurate advice for your business needs.