Calling all Restaurant Owners!
Many things have changed in the last few months. Not just in the way of business but also with our place in the world. We find ourselves quickly wondering what the future will look like, both as business owners and as human beings.
It goes without saying that, if you own a restaurant – you have undoubtedly found yourself trying to strategize new ways to generate a profit and have a better shot at successfully coming out on the other side of this thing.
The changes you have made are most likely centered around either temporarily closing your doors or leaning heavily on your delivery and take out options. Some of you weren’t offering these things prior to the pandemic and would like to incorporate these options amidst our current situation.
While it’s a solid continuity plan and a way to stay engaged in your respective community, there are also exposures that need to be taken into consideration. My recommendations to any food service business who already has or is thinking of implementing new ways to serve their customers are as follows:
- If you already have delivery as an option, with company vehicles – make sure your vehicle and drivers list is up to date on your current business auto policy.
- You need to make sure your current policy has coverage for Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability.
***The key to this coverage is that it is designed to cover liability for your employees who might be driving their own vehicles for delivery. However, it is not designed to cover physical damage and your employees personal auto policy will react first should an incident occur. It is designed to act as excess coverage to the employee’s personal auto policy.
- Verify that your employees have a personal auto policy, which is current and has adequate limits. Proof of coverage should be verified with minimum split limits of $100/$300/$50 or a $300,000 combined single limit.
- Youthful / inexperienced operators should not be permitted to perform delivery services if this can be avoided. Drivers under age 18 should be prohibited.
- All drivers must have a valid driver’s license. A current MVR should be reviewed to verify a favorable driving record.
- All delivery drivers should be required to sign an agreement that outlines expectations while operating their vehicles in the course of business. The attached Tips for Employers technical bulletin provides direction in this area.
- Your employee needs to verify that their personal auto policy does not have an exclusion for “business use” of the insured vehicle.
Nothing is ever easy or so it seems but, making sure that these items are in place can help reduce exposures for your restaurant due to a claim, during a time when virtually no business can stand to lose more money than they possibly already have.