Bar / Tavern Insurance Program

Since 2000, we have written an exclusive program on restaurants, bars and taverns in Alaska, Oregon, Washington and, more recently, in Colorado. We’ve written approximately 10,000 policies and over $50 million in premium in this class of business and we’ve done so profitably – enough so that we haven’t raised our base rates in almost ten years.

We Haven’t Raised Our Rates In Almost 10 Years, Can Your Current Restaurant, Bar / Tavern Market Make that Claim?

There’ve been some minor tweaks along the way and credits have moved up or down a bit, depending on the market. But with a nine-year loss and loss expense ratio of under 40%, we haven’t had to take the big rate increases that have plagued our competitors. As such, we have great pricing flexibility and our hit ratio exceeds 50%. To the extent that our final pricing has increased, we have been following the market up, not forced by poor results to lead it there.

We Specialize in Managing Risk for Establishments Such As:

  • Restaurants, Bars, and Taverns
  • Brew Pubs and Distilleries, with on-site service
  • Dinner Theaters
  • Fraternal Organizations (Fraternal Order of Eagles, American Legion, etc.)
  • Upscale Pool Halls (requires more food receipts than pool receipts)
  • Highway Road Stops (multi-exposure accounts that include a restaurant bar or tavern and might also include a few motel units, a mini-mart, a gift shop, a package store, up to 40% gasoline sales, camp sites, etc. No vehicle repair.)
  • Most premises-driven exposures that are incidental to the above.

Please Note: We do not write insurance for nightclubs (establishments with limited entertainment are acceptable), casinos or mini-casinos (most card rooms are okay), or adult entertainment.

Substandard & Distressed Business

We take a quasi-preferred market approach as to pricing and form so we cannot consider accounts with liquor service issues, or significant claims – especially liquor / assault and battery claims. We do require that our accounts meet normal fire and life safety requirements. If the account has too many critical inspection recs, we may get off the account rather than seek compliance.


  • Strong Policy Form
  • Premises Limitation Endorsement
  • 25% Minimum Earned Premium Provision
  • Minimum & Deposit (M&D) Provision
  • Deductible on the CGL or Liquor Liability Coverages
  • Exclusion for Theft Coverage if the insured does not have a fully operational and monitored Central Station alarm.
  • Firearms and weapons exclusion – much less one so broad that it excludes firearms and weapons over which the insured has no control.


  • Assault & Battery exclusion or sub-limit on the CGL for most accounts with 75% or less liquor, and a significant sub-limit on most accounts with more than 75% liquor.
  • Limited Blanket Additional Insured Endorsement – at no charge.
  • Med Pay – and we can delete exclusion (f) on request.
  • Terrorism (TRIA) – at no charge.

A Meaningful Property Broadening Endorsement

Historically, we have never used audits to determine the correct receipts, preferring instead to attempt to secure the correct figures up front. However, we reserve the right to audit those accounts that we suspect of having understated receipts, and we will be using this tool more often in the future.

A Word About Our Online Application

We prefer our own full application or at least our own supplemental application but for fastest quote service, and up to 15% commission please use our online application below.

Download Our Single Location Application Now!

Coverage Advantages

Price should only be a part of your buying decision. Coverages matter every bit as much and sometimes much, much more.

The purpose of this checklist is to identify some of the coverages that we are offering that you may or may not have with your current policy or with a competing proposal. We are NOT saying that your current proposal is deficient, only that, before you buy elsewhere, we would like to make certain that you understand some coverages that you may be giving up.

Commercial General & Liquor Liability Coverage

  • We almost NEVER use a deductible on either CGL or Liquor.
  • We almost NEVER use a Participants Exclusion.
  • We almost NEVER use a Firearms & Weapons Exclusion.

Some carriers seek to exclude liability (and defense costs!) arising out of any shooting, be it by a drive-by shooter, a jealous spouse, and even an armed robber. And watch out for the weapons exclusion, “weapons” are often not just items designed to be weapons, but also things such as pool cues, beer bottles, and even chairs! Technically, even a fist could be construed as a weapon, under some definitions. So you may purchase Assault & Battery coverage and, if you’re not careful, lose much of it again with a Firearms & Weapons Exclusion. We don’t have one.

  • We ALWAYS provide Medical Payments (Med Pay) coverage and we can delete exclusion (f).

The food and liquor you sell for consumption on premises is considered to be a “Product” and Med Pay exclusion (f) excludes injury caused by your Products. As a result, a chipped tooth is technically not covered under Med Pay and the customer has to prove that you were negligent. Removing the exclusion allows for “no-fault” coverage without putting you in an adversarial position with your customers, their friends, and the social media community at large.

  • We almost NEVER use a Premises Limitation Endorsement and we almost ALWAYS provide a Limited Blanket Additional Insured Endorsement (at no charge).

A Premises Limitation Endorsement takes away coverage for off premises events such as special events, street fairs, catering, etc. You can usually buy back coverage for each special event, if you learn about it in time. But, by not adding this exclusion in the first place, we give you automatic off premises coverage at no charge.

A Limited Blanket Additional Insured Endorsement gives automatic Additional Insured status to landlords, property managers, lenders and most others who require it of you in a lease or other written agreement. So if you have that special event, and if the sponsor requires (in writing) an Additional Insured endorsement, then you most likely have automatic coverage for the off premises event AND the sponsor most likely have automatic Additional Insured status. No more last minute hassles and more paying $100 to $250 for the privilege of participating in a fund raiser for a little girl who was hit by a car (or whatever).

  • We are USUALLY (but by no means always) silent on Assault & Battery coverage.

What that means is that we don’t normally exclude Assault & Battery from the CGL. We may put on a sub-limit, especially if the account is more than 75% liquor (counting food and liquor only). But we don’t write heavy nightclubs so we rarely exclude Assault & Battery from the CGL altogether.

Just for clarity, you don’t need a sub-limit if you don’t exclude Assault & Battery from the CGL in the first place. If you don’t exclude it, full policy limits apply, and they are far higher than is a (say) $100,000 / $300,000 sub-limit.

  • We RARELY audit.

What have the right to do so but generally rely instead on your financials and then only audit if we appear to have a lack of cooperation or if we are suspicious that the receipts figures that we were given were understated.

Property Coverage

  • We almost ALWAYS cover theft of contents, including target items like liquor.

Many of our competitors will refuse to write theft coverage if there isn’t a fully working and monitored Central Station Alarm. And we’ve even seen a few instances where a carrier wrote the Property coverage (“including theft”) but then added an endorsement that excluded Theft of Contents unless there was a fully working, and monitored, Central Station Alarm, when there wasn’t one.

  • We ALWAYS include (unless you reject it) Food Borne Illness (with a sub-limit of $50,000 of Business Income / $5,000 of Extra Expenses)
  • We ALWAYS include (unless you reject it) Equipment Breakdown coverage.
  • We ALWAYS include (unless you reject it) an outstanding Broadening Endorsement, with:



Our Limit

Accounts Receivable $25,000
Arson Reward $5,000
Electronic Data Processing Equipment & Media – Off Premises $10,000
Electronic Data Processing Equipment & Media – On Premises $20,000
Employee Theft $10,000
Fine Arts $15,000
Fire Department Service Charge $5,000
Fire Protection Device Recharge $1,000
Money & Securities $10,000
Outdoor Property $10,000
Outdoor Signs $15,000
Personal Effects and Property of Others $10,000
Property in Transit $15,000
Sewer, Drain or Sump Backup or Overflow $15,000
Spoilage or Contamination $25,000
Valuable Papers & Records other than Electronic Data $25,000
New! Off Premises Power (Direct Damage, including transmission lines) $5,000
Most of our Broadening Endorsement coverages require a $500 down payment.
Increased limits are available for some, but not all, of the above coverages.


And Even More Greatness!

  • We offer a GREAT financing plan, with a down payment of about 9%, and 11 monthly payments. Your down payment will only be about 1/4th of what you would need with most competitors.
    And if you finance with us, but are forced to cancel midterm:

    • We will issue the policy without a 25% Minimum Earned Premium provision.
    • We will prorate Broker & Inspection fees instead of making them fully earned at binding.
  • Our carrier is rated “A VIII” by AM Best Company.

Coverage descriptions are necessarily general, imprecise and incomplete. They are shown for discussion purposes only, and do not govern coverage. Only the policy itself governs actual coverage. Copies of individual forms are available on request.

February 6th, 2019 by Benson Insurance Group