Raising the Bar: Essentials of Pub Insurance

Running a pub or bar is a wonderful way to create a sense of community, make lasting relationships, and of course earn a significant…

Running a pub or bar is a wonderful way to create a sense of community, make lasting relationships, and of course earn a significant living. According to market research conducted by IBISWorld, the UK pub trade sees revenue of £18bn, making it a hugely popular industry, both for the UK consumer and potential business owners.

With figures like that, it is easy to see why so many enter the pub and restaurant trade, however ensuring you have a comprehensive pub insurance policy is the only way to protect yourself from the pitfalls that some can come across during the day-to-day running of a business.

Types of Pubs in the UK

Do you run an upmarket gastro pub? Or is yours more of a classic ale and darts style? The type of pub you run influences what kind of insurance you will need, and there are currently 3 venue categories for pubs: standard, non-standard and bespoke.

These categories may seem vague which but they do have large differences between them and it is best to categorise your establishment before you look at quotes, so you are aware of the levels of cover each type of pub/venue requires.

  • A standard pub is your regular, run-of-the-mill pub; think well-established village local. It will focus mainly on alcohol and won’t operate outside the standard pub hours (usually 11am-11:30pm).
  • A non-standard pub, however, might offer regular music acts and perhaps a dance floor. It may operate outside the normal hours, with a late license, and also may have a working kitchen offering food.
  • A bespoke venue, on the other hand, is more likely to be a nightclub, private member’s club or the like. It will cater to a late-night crowd of drinkers, diners and dancers and will stay open late, often until 3am depending on the license.

Legal Insurance Requirements

When it comes to running a pub or restaurant, there are some legal requirements to take into consideration. With the amount of footfall within the industry – both in terms of customers and staff – it is imperative you make sure you have everything necessary to protect both yourself and your customers and staff. Apart from a license to sell alcohol, which you can apply for with your local authority, you must ensure you have the legal minimum standard of insurance to keep trading.

Types of Liability Insurance

  • Employers’ Liability: If you employ staff, you must have employers’ liability insurance to be legally protected. Regardless of whether they are full or part time, or even volunteers, anyone who works for your business is an employee, and you have a legal responsibility to make sure their health and safety at work are looked after. You can be charged up to £2500 each day you do not have employers’ liability insurance, and £1000 if you do not visibly display your certificate.
  • Products Liability: If one of your customers were to get sick from food or drink served to them in your premises, your products liability insurance would cover any damages from claims of this type. This could be something as simple as leaving nuts on the bar and having someone suffer an allergic reaction to being in their vicinity.
  • Public Liability: Protection from third party claims is also important if you are running a pub or bar, and protects you from claims made by any visitors to your premises, including customers and suppliers. You can be liable for a range of damages, for example, if a customer slips on a step and injures themselves. With alcohol involved, there can often be an increased risk of injury as those under the influence may not be as stead on their feet. Regardless of whether they are intoxicated or not, you need to make sure you can pay out should they make a successful claim against your business.

Important Questions about Pub Insurance

There are some key questions you will need to answer so you are fully armed with your business requirements before you start searching fora quote.

A few key questions we have answered for you are:

  • How do I make sure my building is safe? You need to know everything that sits inside your premises, as well as the value of the whole building itself, is covered against anything that might happen – this means employing a policy with buildings insurance
  • Do I need to cover what’s inside? Bars and kitchens have a lot of equipment, from beer taps and fridges, to POS systems and kitchen equipment. You need to make sure all this is looked after as it will seriously affect your business if they become inoperable
  • What if you have to close your doors? In the event of a flood or electrical damage for example, your doors may have to close to the public. In this case, you need to have money coming in to keep afloat. This means utilising business interruption insurance to cover the costs of getting back to normal, and ensuring you have an income during this time. Bear in mind that up to 70% of business that suffer a major fire can fail within three years, most probably due to lack of this type of insurance
  • What happens if I lose my license? Having a legal license is obviously imperative. Unfortunately, there may be occasions where your licence is revoked, either due to not being renewed by your local authority, or a legislative change, and you need to be covered during a time when you are not operating.

What else do you need to know?

The pub/bar industry is exciting and vibrant and, as such, there is always the chance that some things may not go according to plan. With a pub insurance policy that is well thought out and dedicates to the aspects that make your business unique, you can run your pub with the highest levels of confidence.

With Christmas and the New Year around the corner, it is a better time than ever to make sure you have the right cover to make this festive season a safe and successful one. And we can connect you to trusted specialist brokers for the best deal on a pub insurance policy.