Few companies have escaped unharmed from the COVID-19 pandemic; perhaps no one has been affected more than our beloved restaurants and eateries in New York. Although this state has responded to the prescribed constraints with finesse and new ideas, new COVID-19 strategies created unknown risks. Here's a look at how the pandemic continues to transform exposures and how NY restaurants can approach these risks in an innovative way.
Risks with the highest liability
Before COVID-19 became a household name, restaurants faced many risks. Among these vulnerabilities are property damage, personal injury or personal injury and third party litigation, to name a few. With such heavy pedestrian traffic, restaurants face this risk even more. In addition, restaurants are not immune to natural disasters or accidents, such as windstorms or fires. Cash transactions and digital marketing force restaurants to think about cybersecurity more than ever before. In addition, concerns about food safety and employee practices are all the time. Apart from the greatest liability risks, COVID-19 has unfortunately caused new risks.
New risks created by COVID-19
Restaurants across the country have adjusted their business operations to comply with COVID-19 restrictions and prevent terrible shutters. Fortunately, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers restaurants and bar considerations to help these companies navigate exposures caused by pandemics. Nevertheless, new risks continue to emerge.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shut down indoor food in December last year, and many restaurants are likely to stick to that strategy. Think about outdoor serving structures and the vulnerability that this approach entails for customers (and restaurant owners). On the one hand, this idea responds to CDC guidelines for proper social distancing, ventilation, and breathing etiquette. On the other hand, temporary structures can cause accidents and injuries, recreate indoor risks, meet non-compliance with local laws and codes, etc.
To serve alcohol or not to serve alcohol? This question is what Governor Cuomo forces restaurant owners and staff to answer every day. After making strict demands on restaurants in NY several months ago, he asked them to be kind enough to only serve alcohol to people who ordered food. Although the alcohol-to-go concept was a flop, restaurants still have to face some tough decisions about who to serve. Of course, these choices are not always crystal clear.
Maintaining employee safety has always been on the restaurant owners' to-do list; now, however, it is raised to the top. With new fleets of delivery drivers, sidewalk services, mandate masking and skeletal workers, restaurants in NY have a lot to navigate.
Of course, several insurance policies protect employers and employees against some of these risks, such as employee compensation, internship liability, and rented and non-owned car insurance. But are the limits of liability sufficient to cover these new risks? Or have restaurant owners even considered the necessity of these coverages?
Navigating old and new liabilities
Covering new risks created by COVID-19 strategies is a high order. The task can seem daunting, and yet an attentive approach can help mitigate the blow. The following are questions that help restaurants in NY navigate in responsibility, whether they are new or old:
- What new responsibilities does your restaurant have?
- Are the liability limits sufficient for the current risks?
- Does active insurance cover employees and customers against COVID-19 exposures?
- What new strategies require new or additional coverage?
- Have you reviewed your online exposures in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions?
Moving your business forward in such uncertain times can be a confusing process. In addition, more than 10,000 restaurants across the country have closed their doors permanently due to the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, restaurants in restaurants have declined significantly, making the future seem bleak for many NY restaurants.
At BNC Insurance, we are here to help you navigate this crisis with smart insurance strategies. Read our information on restaurant insurance in New York and contact us for more information.