Profit margins for restaurants can be razor thin, so when shopping for insurance, it is important to find affordable coverage that will help your business when you need it. Using our proprietary rubric focusing on the carrier’s financial stability, whether the carrier offers insurance throughout the country, customer service, convenience, the quality of the policies, and affordability, we evaluated over 15 different carriers and determined the five best insurance companies for restaurants:
- Next Insurance: Best overall provider for restaurant insurance
- FLIP: Best for food trucks and food vendors
- Thimble: Best for seasonal and special event coverage
- Travelers: Best for restaurants with catering services
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing quotes from top providers
Best Restaurant Insurance Providers Compared
Offers Workers’ Compensation
Hours of Operation
Policy Purchase Process
Online or over the phone
Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time
Online or over the phone
Online or over the phone
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mountain time
Online or over the phone
Online or over the app
Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time
Online or through the app
A- to A (Excellent)
Through a local agent
24/7 call center
Through a local agent
Online or over the phone
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Over the phone
A- to A+ (Excellent to Superior)
Next Insurance: Best Overall Provider for Restaurant Insurance
- Revenue cap of $5 million
- No restaurants larger than 7,500 square feet
- No 24/7 call center
- Custom insurance packages specifically designed for food and beverage industry
- Commercial app to conveniently manage your policy and any claims
- Create and share a COI instantly with any landlord or vendor
- Liquor liability automatically included with general liability for restaurants
Financial stability: Founded in 2016, Next Insurance is a fairly new insurance company. However, it has maintained a solid financial position while growing, and Next Insurance’s AM Best rating is A- (Excellent).
Next Insurance is a direct-to-consumer carrier with a heavy emphasis on integrating the convenience of technology into its policyholder services. Its model of working directly with consumers translates into savings, sometimes as high as 10%.
As a dedicated insurer for small businesses, one of the key industries it has chosen to focus on is food and beverage—and it currently insures more than 10,000 restaurants. For restaurants, it offers tailored packages that include all the essential coverages: business owner’s policy (BOP), general liability, professional liability, and workers’ compensation.
In addition, it has a resource center for restaurants that are starting out. Free resources include tips, license permits, healthy and safety posters, and point-of-sale (POS) reviews and recommendations.
While Next Insurance is digitally very convenient, it does not have a 24/7 claims line. You can file a claim online or over the app 24/7, but if you have an emergency and want to speak with someone immediately, there is no way to do so. If that is important to you, then consider Travelers, the only provider on this list that maintains a 24/7 line for claims and customer service.
Usually, Next Insurance will offer a quote with three options or tiers of coverage. The tiers are broken down into basic, premier, and deluxe. While researching this article, we received the following quote:
- Basic: $62.34 monthly with $1 million in general liability, $25,000 for employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), and $25,000 for foodborne illnesses.
- Premier: $255.55 monthly with the same coverages as basic but also $65,000 in property coverage and equipment breakdown.
- Deluxe: $300.42 monthly with $2 million in general liability and $50,000 in EPLI. The property coverage is the same as the premier, but it also includes $10,000 in utilities coverage.
Next Insurance’s restaurant insurance package takes the industry into account by automatically including things like EPLI coverage or liquor liability with its general liability insurance.
Next Insurance has strong customer reviews on its website. Currently, there are over 5,000 reviews with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks complaints filed against insurance companies at the state level—and Next Insurance’s complaints are below the national average.
The provider has an app where you can manage your policy, file a claim, and create and instantly share a COI. The app in many ways functions like a 24/7 call center for its policyholders and is available on both iOS and Android.
FLIP: Best for Food Trucks and Food Vendors
- Does not offer workers’ comp
- No 24/7 availability
- Claims handled by a different company
- Insurance program designed for the food industry with key, core policies
- A simple and easy quote system guides you through the process in 10 minutes or less
- Purchase a policy online or over the phone with a noncommissioned agent
- Policy dashboard to manage your policy and download policy documents
Financial stability: FLIP works with the Great American Insurance Company for its food program. AM Best rated Great American a financial rating A+ (Superior).
FLIP, short for Food Liability Insurance Program, is a program targeting the food industry, specifically food trucks, food carts, and food vendors. The way FLIP works is it has curated coverage to target what those businesses need in the food sector.
When you purchase a policy, you are given several coverage options that you can choose to add to build out the overall policy for your business. The process is quick, simple, and affordable, with the policy starting at $299 annually.
FLIP isn’t an actual provider so, while you can manage your policy entirely through it, it does not handle any claims when one arises. Given this, you’ll need to go directly through the carrier to have that resolved. If you prefer to have one point of contact throughout the life cycle of a policy, then consider Next Insurance, which has similar coverages but handles claims too.
A policy with FLIP starts at $299 per year. From there, you can add coverage and adjust limits, and the price will change to reflect whatever choices you make. The policy can be purchased online in about 10 minutes, or you can call and speak with agents it has available.
The policy comes with a general liability of $2 million aggregate and a product liability of $2 million aggregate. It also carries $300,000 in damage to rented premises and between $5,000 to $10,000 for inland marine/property coverage.
FLIP is available in all 50 states. You can email or chat with a representative, and if you wish to call, its hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. MST. Once you become a customer, you’ll have access to an online dashboard to manage your policy, including filing a claim or creating and sharing a COI.
Thimble: Best for Seasonal and Special Event Coverage
- No 24/7 call center
- Nearly impossible to reach someone over the phone
- Does not directly handle claims
- Commercial app to manage your policy, and claims and create a COI
- Get a quote and purchase a policy online or over the app
- Short-term coverage available for special events or seasonal businesses
- Core policies, including workers’ comp, are available for businesses
Financial stability: Thimble is a managing general agent (MGA) that works with over a dozen carriers with ratings from A- to A (Excellent).
Thimble Insurance is a dedicated insurer of small businesses, and one of its standout features is it offers short-term liability coverage. This makes it an ideal option for restaurants that run seasonally (excluded by a number of carriers) or someone who serves food at a number of special events off-site and needs coverage.
Its app makes creating and sharing a COI easy and fast, which is a bonus for any type of food business that works in the special event space. As an MGA, Thimble does not handle any of your claims—which go directly through the carrier. It also can be very difficult to reach over the phone. If you’d like a provider that handles the claims and is accessible, then check out Travelers, the only company listed in our guide with a 24/7 call center.
For this article, we received a quote for a three-day catering event at a hotel. The policy was a $1 million general liability policy and included liquor liability insurance. This policy costs $382 for three days of coverage.
A nice feature was this provider had same-day coverage available—even for a special event. So if you need coverage at the last minute, odds are you can purchase it through Thimble.
For restaurants, Thimble offers a BOP, general liability, workers’ comp, and professional liability.
Thimble is a newer company, but its offerings continue to expand. It is currently available nationwide, and you can get a quote and purchase a policy both online and via its app.
However, it is nearly impossible to reach anyone over the phone, though that hasn’t impacted customer reviews. On Trustpilot, there are over 1,400 reviews with 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The company has an app for iOS and Android. This app lets you manage your policy, file, and track claims, and create an instant COI. It also will quote your insurance and let you purchase a policy. So if you need insurance for a special event at the last minute, you can get it over the app.
Travelers: Best for Restaurants With Catering Services
- Quote process is through a local agent
- Cannot purchase a policy online
- Must be open 8 months a year
- Coverage for restaurants with high annual revenue
- Industry-specific policy package with more than 40 enhancements
- Nationwide availability and strong customer service
- Over 100 years of experience in the property and casualty insurance space
Financial stability: Travelers is a 150-year-old global insurance company. It has a history of proven financial reliability, and AM Best’s rating of Travelers A++ (Superior).
Travelers Insurance is an established carrier offering insurance to small, middle-market, and enterprise-level companies. For restaurants, it has developed a policy package called IndustryEdge®. Travelers’ target industry is those in fine dining, family style, fast casual, or restaurants with catering services.
Many providers will not cover off-site functions or restaurants with catering being more than 30% of the business but Travelers will, making it a great option for restaurants that cater a lot. It prefers businesses that are not open after midnight.
However, it does not offer any type of online quotes and has limited online policyholder services. If that is important to you, consider Thimble as an alternative for your off-site coverage needs.
To get a quote you will need to contact an agent in your area that works with Travelers. It does offer a way to find one through a locator using your ZIP code.
Its IndustryEdge® package offers coverage for businesses with a maximum yearly revenue of up to $10 million. Some features are an optional liquor liability endorsement and $5,000 for food spoilage coverage.
If your restaurant currently doesn’t offer much in the way of catering but you’re interested in learning more about expanding into a catering business, be sure to review our easy 10-step guide on how to start a catering business.
Travelers is available in all 50 states and maintains a 24/7 call center for both claims and customer service. Online, you can manage your policy, but the services are much more limited than some other options on our list.
Complaints tracked by the NAIC are lower than expected. It also works with independent agents to sell insurance, providing more widespread availability for its services.
CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Quotes
- Unavailable 24/7
- Does not handle claims directly
- Usually have to call to purchase the policy
- Compare quotes from top-rated providers
- Save money by comparing quotes in real-time and finding the policy that is best for your business
- Create and download a COI for any landlord or vendor spaces
- Purchase core policies for your restaurant including a BOP and workers’ comp
Financial stability: CoverWallet works with multiple top-rated providers for restaurant insurance, including The Hartford. AM Best rated The Hartford (A+ Superior).
Online digital broker CoverWallet is a great option for finding all of the key policies you need for your restaurant while also letting you save money. It works with a number of top-rated providers in the restaurant space—including The Hartford, Chubb, and Liberty Mutual—to deliver multiple quotes simultaneously.
The quotes are laid out with coverage limits and costs, so you can compare which one would be best for your business. As a broker, CoverWallet will help you manage the policy but does not handle any type of claims directly.
We received four quotes from CoverWallet. The prices ranged from $2,545 to $6,385 annually. However, the coverages were fairly similar (in some cases nearly identical). Each quote was for a BOP with $1 million per occurrence, $2 million aggregate for general liability, and at least $65,000 in commercial property.
The best coverage and price was for a BOP from Chubb, which cost $3,081 annually. It was the best because it carried $70,000 in property coverage with a deductible of $500.
None of the policies could be purchased online. To finish the process, you will need to call and speak with one of its agents.
CoverWallet is available in all 50 states. In terms of convenience, as the only broker on this list, it is the only one that will provide multiple quotes simultaneously for you to review your options. It offers an online account called “My Wallet” where you can manage your policy, request a COI, and initiate the claims process.
Customers are pleased with their experience with the broker. On eKomi, CoverWallet has 4.7 out of 5 stars from nearly 800 user reviews.
How We Evaluated the Companies for the Best Insurance for Restaurants
Drawing on over a decade of experience working in small business insurance, I determined the best restaurant insurance companies using our in-house proprietary evaluation system. We have developed separate and distinct systems for insurance providers and brokers.
In both cases when evaluating them, we focused on the customer’s needs. We paid particular interest to convenience, financial ratings (AM Best), customer service, types of policies offered, and the overall experience as a policyholder for a specific provider or broker.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Restaurants should ensure their general liability carries the hired non-auto (HNOA) endorsement. This will help protect your delivery drivers’ liability if they are involved in an auto accident and it is the delivery driver’s fault.
Restaurant insurance is a policy, or combination of policies, that protects a business owner from the financial loss of a claim. This can include liability insurance like general liability or first-party coverage like commercial property. These are also the two most common policies for a restaurant. Nearly every state mandates workers’ compensation insurance, so if you have employees, then consult your state’s requirements for it.
If you’re thinking about starting a restaurant, it is important to ensure you’ve got a well-thought-out plan that you can execute. The first step will be to research your market and consider the location options. The next step will be to choose a name and the concept. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our in-depth rundown on how to start a restaurant.
A COI is proof of insurance. However, many times, a landlord or event space will want to see a COI or even be added as an additional insured. In those situations, it is helpful to have a carrier that makes it easy to change and request a COI.
Owning a restaurant can be stressful: your hours are often nontraditional, and your profit margins may be slim. While insurance can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve done the work for you and reviewed the top providers for restaurant insurance to find the five best. Next Insurance is our leading recommendation because of the range of coverages, convenience, and tailored policy packages. You can see if it is right for you in ten minutes or less.