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Friday, June 8, 2018

fRisky Friday - Risk Management for Restaurants - How Far Does Restaurant Liability Reach When Third Party Delivery Services Are Involved?

Restaurant Insurance

How Far Does Restaurant Liability Reach When Third Party Delivery Services Are Involved?

With the advent of online and mobile food ordering, restaurateurs are able to reach far beyond the borders of their own four walls, helping to increase revenue, consumers, and the customer experience. While this new shift in services undoubtedly has many upsides, restauranteurs are increasingly faced with new questions about how to protect their business, and the importance of knowing just how far their liability coverage reaches.
Some of the concerns that we have heard voiced from restaurateurs working with third party delivery services are the potential for foodborne illnesses, accidents during the delivery process, or criminal acts committed by the delivery driver.
Though several larger third-party delivery companies offer partnership agreements with the restaurants they work with, that does not necessarily mean your restaurant is free and clear of any claims that may arise as a result of an incident. At the very least, your restaurant may still be a responsible party in the eyes of customer.

Ways restaurants can protect themselves:

  • Require proof of insurance by the delivery service company or driver
  • Require the third-party service to carry insurance coverage that names your restaurant as an additionally insured party
  • Provide a disclaimer on your website or order form on the relationship with your restaurant and the delivery services
  • Require the third-party service to follow the industry standards for food safety, including the acceptable amount of time that can pass before food is considered no longer safe
  • Partner with third-party services that use tracking technology

Commercial General Liability Policy

A Commercial General Liability Policy covers a business for physical damage and bodily injury rising out of the operations of their business. The insurance industry for decades has been worried about slips, falls and food poisoning. Third-party delivery services now bring new challenges to the Commercial General Liability Policy. While there is no language to deal with outside delivery services, in most cases liability does not end once the delivery service picked up the food. The liability ends when the consumer eats the food.
Mobile food ordering is not going away anytime soon, and as this level of convenience technology and service grows, we can expect more personal injury and other consumer protection lawsuits that involve third-party delivery services. It is important to be aware of what coverage you have, the relationship you have with your delivery service, and work to mitigate the risk to your business as much as possible.
Contact us for all your Insurance needs! (321)725-1620 
Bob Lancaster Insurance
                                                                         Serving Florida since 1964

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