2014

Workers' Compensation Insurance for Food Services Professionals
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Workers' Compensation Coverage
for Restaurants and Catering Businesses

In the food service business, there are plenty of ways for employees to get hurt on the job, from slipping on wet floors and carrying heavy equipment or food trays to suffering burns or cutting themselves on knives or broken glass. If your employees travel to other locations for delivery or catering jobs, there are even more opportunities for injury while driving and moving heavy equipment. Catering or delivery employees may also be at risk for robbery and assault, as they often carry cash. Covering your employees with workers' compensation insurance is an excellent way to protect your business from the high costs associated with on-the-job injuries.

What Workers' Comp Covers

Also called workman's compensation insurance or workers' liability insurance, workers' comp pays your employees' medical expenses and part of their lost wages if they are hurt on the job or suffer a work-related illness. If your restaurant or catering business has employees, your state's laws may require you to purchase workers' compensation insurance. As the business owner, you can cover yourself for any injuries or illnesses you may sustain on the job as well.

Be sure to check your state laws regarding workers' compensation requirements. Some states require businesses of all sizes to carry workers' comp coverage, even if the owner is the only employee, while others have established a minimum number of employees to trigger coverage mandates. If you or your employees cross state lines for business – for a catering gig or delivery, for example – be sure you're meeting workers' comp insurance and payroll estimation requirements in these other states as well. If you don't, your employees may not be fully covered.

Locate your state below to visit your state's insurance web site for information about worker's compensation insurance rules and requirements.

If you're not sure about your state's laws, or impact of the laws of other states in which you or your employees do business, Business Insurance Now's licensed food service business insurance experts can help. Contact us today.

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Workers' Compensation Tips

  • Conduct regular training sessions with staff on proper lifting and carrying techniques for heavy or awkward items.
  • Provide proper chef and line tools, including a sharps storage area and process as well as heat-protection gear such as pan and pot holders.
  • Mandate proper or acceptable footwear and attire that minimizes risks of injuries.
  • If you're the sole employee of your food service or catering business, you still might need to get workers' comp coverage. Some state laws require businesses with just one employee to get covered, so be sure you are familiar with the workers' comp laws in your state.
  • If you don't have full-time employees, you might be still required by your state laws to cover part-time employees or contractors with workers' comp insurance.
  • In some states, owners, officers, partners and other company principals can exclude themselves from workers' compensation coverage, saving money on premiums. Ask your Business Insurance Now agent to help you determine if this would be a good choice for you.