Restaurant Insurance – Part 9 EPLI

This is part 9 of our 10 part series on how to insure your restaurant.  This section deals with an insurance policy that is not well understood and even less often purchased.  This is the EPLI insurance policy and EPLI stands for Employment Practices Liability Insurance.  This is a coverage that every restaurant owner with employees should consider purchasing.

EPLI coverage nicely fills some gaps in coverage that your business owners policy or your commercial package policy leaves.  Specifically these have to do with some intentional actions that you take with your employees for which you may later be found liable and owe for damages.  The most common types of EPLI claims are for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and discrimination.  Now you might say to yourself that you don’t need this coverage because you would never do any of those things.  But what you must consider is that you might be accused of doing one of these acts.  And if so, then you will have to defend yourself and the defense is not a cheap process.  So even if you didn’t want to purchase the insurance for the judgment because you think you would never commit one of these acts, consider that you might want to purchase the insurance to pay for your attorney to defend you.

EPLI can be purchased as a separate policy, or in some cases can be added to your existing package or businessowners policy.  If you purchase it as an add on, be sure that you understand if the protection has a sublimit of coverage that is lower than your general liability limit and also check in to be sure that defense costs are included.  Last of all, if defense is included, be sure to find out if that is unlimited and outside of the policy limit, or if defense costs are counted against your total liability limit.  

There is one more thing to consider.  Most EPLI policies are claims made based policies, whereas your general liability protection is usually occurrence based.  With a claims made policy, you need to report the claim within the policy period so if the claim rears its head after you have cancelled the policy, then you will find yourself without coverage.  To protect yourself from this situation, you should laundry list your potential claims at the end of each policy term and submit that list to your insurance carrier.

EPLI protection may seem like a real specialty coverage for just a few but the truth is, with the layoffs that many restaurant owners have had to resort to in the past few years, this is a must have protection.  At Clinard Insurance Group, in Winston Salem, NC, we want all of our clients to be informed insurance consumers.  We encourage you to call us and ask questions regarding this or any other blog article that we have posted.  We specialize in helping restaurant owners buy insurance for their restaurants and we understand that not all restaurants are the same.  We don’t want your insurance policy to a square peg jammed into a round hole, so we have created 5 different restaurant insurance programs to help you better select the one that meets your needs.  We have a fine dining restaurant insurance program, a casual dining restaurant insurance program, a fast food restaurant insurance program, a bar and grill and tavern insurance program and a special insurance program for caterers.  If you need help with your restaurant insurance, please call us, toll free, at 877-687-7557 or visit us on the web at