While every business faces a range of risks, public houses and the hospitality industry seem to suffer a broader range of perils. As pubs come in all shapes and sizes, many have the same risks while all will have their own specific risks that make the pub unique and the insurance vital.
It is no mistake that running a pub is challenging in itself. On average, 21 pubs close every single week and incredibly 30,000 pubs have closed since the 1970s alone. With this in mind, it has never been more critical to protect your outlay, investment and livelihood with robust pub insurance.
Of course, landlords and public house owners are facing increasing pressure with pubs losing out to cheap supermarket alcohol and high and ever-increasing business rates. However, there is so much to celebrate when it comes to pubs across the nation. In fact, Roger Protz, the editor of the Good Beer Guide states; “Above all, the British pub, both ancient and modern, has character and an atmosphere that could never be replaced.”
Whether pubs have thatched roofs, are grade-listed, contemporary, gastropubs, converted barns, stables or coaching inns, it is on the landlords to protect the institution of the great British pub and with that comes sensible business acumen. Pubs need to protect their costs, investments and revenue and ensure they have protection for every eventuality and with that the right insurance is key.
If you believe that pub insurance is just another cost to your ever-growing list of outgoings, here are seven quintessentially British reasons why you need pub insurance.
Seven British reasons why pub insurance is a must-have:
- The Great British Weather
One could not start a list of British reasons without mentioning the weather first and foremost. While the weather may be the most prominent topic of conversation in your pub, it can also be a significant reason for the decline and closure of your pub.
Flooding and high winds can cause significant damage to pubs, especially those in exposed environments or those which are old and more fragile in nature. It is vital to protect your pub with buildings insurance so that you can make the necessary repairs should the weather take a turn for the worst and cause damage to your pub.
For these freak events such as floods and fire, business interruption insurance is also wise. Business interruption insurance can help you to make payment and maintain cash flow while your business is closed for necessary repairs.
Weather can also cause a wealth of hazards to your pub too. When BBQs do not go to plan or all your outside diners come straight inside when the rain starts to pour, you may find yourself with a wet floor or old slippery steps. These can be hazardous to your patrons and could cause an accident. With this in mind, public liability is essential to protect your guests and your business.
- That’s Entertainment
Pubs are the perfect meeting point and a place for socialising, forming new friendships and maintaining old. If socialising in your pub centres around a pool table, dart board, fruit machine or the karaoke stand, it is essential to protect those key elements that draw a crowd and keep your pub busy.
These key pieces of equipment may be part of the furniture but can be very expensive to replace. If your entertainment is critical to your locals and is a selling point for your pub, then you will want to make sure that they are always available and in full working order.
Pub insurance can help to protect your entertainment equipment such as your billiard tables and quiz machines. With the right coverage, you can make sure you have a speedy replacement or money for a new entertainment facility as quickly as possible.
It is worthwhile considering a replacement basis when covering contents such as entertainment facilities. The pool table or fruit machine that you bought ten years ago may be much more expensive now. A replacement basis cover on your insurance will make sure that you do not lose out when it comes to replacement.
Top tip: Replacement basis insurance for contents is also crucial for till points too as an old cash register will not have high value and a new till system is likely to be very expensive. You will need to make sure that your insurer replaces the system rather than gives you a cash value for an old machine that is likely to be worthless.
- The Big Match
Footfall in pubs will fluctuate daily and seasonally. For specific events such as the World Cup, a major boxing match, sporting finals or special gigs and performances, you are likely to see an increase in demand. This is also likely during seasonal events. For example, pubs with a large beer garden can expect to be busier in the summer while gastropubs may peak during national holidays such as Christmas and Easter.
When it comes to seasonal increases, landlords will prepare by increasing the amount of stock needed to fulfil every guest requirements. It is likely that pubs will need more stock during busy periods and may stockpile during national holidays when deliveries are less frequent, such as bank holidays.
When you are increasing the amount of stock that your premises hold, many people do not consider the additional insurance they will need to cover these special events. While you may want to lower your stock to reduce premiums, it is wise to increase your cover for the stock by around 50% to cover the times when demand and your stock increases.
Without giving yourself extra coverage, your insurer may refuse to pay out and only provide compensation for the expected amount of stock you have on a normal day. It is also worth noting that thieves will be aware that you have extra stock and may even see significant deliveries which can then make robberies more likely. Having insurance is a vital protection of your inventory.
- Tipsy Punters
It is not surprising that with the addition of alcohol there is an increase in the likelihood of injury. If some of your locals have one too many, then injuries can occur. While they may not be your pub’s fault, small faults such as tripping on the welcome mat or slipping in the bathrooms can lead to huge compensation payouts. In fact, some personal injury claims can be worth several million pounds.
When it comes to those who feel the effects of alcohol, you need to make sure that you are covered, and they are protected. While you must refuse drinkers who have had too much to drink, you cannot control everyone who is feeling tipsy. By having personal injury and public liability insurance, you can make sure that any injuries or accidents in your pub are covered, and you will not have to shell out personally.
- Bank Holidays
It may not be wise to go to a bank safe at night, and you may not want your employees to take the risk of walking in the dark to your local bank deposit which is why many pubs wait until daylight to deposit money. However, thieves will know that after a busy Friday or Saturday night that there is likely to be a lot of cash on the premises making the opportune moment for a robbery.
Unsurprising, most pub thefts take place in the early hours when there is money left in the till or safe waiting to be taken to the bank. This risk is heightened during bank holidays when there can be as much as three days’ worth of takings on the premises waiting to be deposited safely.
To cover this amount of cash on the premises, you will need appropriate insurance. The insurance will need to cover money in the safe. For this, you may need to upgrade your safe to comply with the insurer’s regulations. You will also need to make sure you choose the highest coverage for the highest amount your safe will hold, for example, three or four days’ takings during bank holidays.
You will also need insurance for the movement of cash when you are taking money in and out of the bank. Insurers may also provide protection for money that is in the till or change float which is separate to the money in the safe. Make sure you always have extra provisions in place for peak trading times and when banks are closed, and your business is more vulnerable to theft.
- Licence revoke
A mistake by one of your employees can quickly lead to a loss of licence. Losing your license to serve alcohol can be the death of your pub and can be catastrophic regarding the loss of revenue and reputation. Often the loss of licence will lead to a pub closure.
By having a loss of licence cover, you can make sure that your business is compensated for the loss of earning. It can also help when it comes to the devaluing of your business if the licence to serve alcohol is revoked.
There are many reasons why your licence may be revoked from crime, public nuisance or safety and the sale of alcohol to minors. While it is up to you to make sure your business complies with licensing laws, loss of licence insurance can significantly help should the unimaginable happen.
- Staff welfare
For many bartenders, the job is a lifestyle not just a form of employment. As a landlord, you will know that excellent customer service comes from happy team members. By having employer’s liability insurance, you can help to protect their wellbeing and ensures that they are covered should any accidents occur in the workplace.
From changing a barrel to stocking up the fridges to waiting tables, accidents can happen almost anywhere in your pub and you will want to make sure that your pub insurance has the right level of protection so that your staff members get the attention and financial support that they need.
By looking after your staff, you will be looking after the success of your business.