Why your wine bar can’t afford not to have insurance

For small business owners, managing a business is often about choices and trade-offs. When it comes to insurance, however, it’s important to choose the widest cover you can afford to make sure you’re covered for every eventuality.

For small business owners, managing a business is often about choices and trade-offs. For example, you may choose to work weekends to avoid having to pay high staff wages. And, you may choose to buy your wine from a supplier who doesn’t have a huge range but offers good prices or great service.

When it comes to insurance, however, it’s important to choose the widest cover you can afford to make sure you’re covered for every eventuality.

A wine bar is a significant investment. As well as your premises and, potentially, very expensive stock, there is also specialist equipment to store the wine and make food, clean glasses, crockery and cutlery, and more.

As well-run as your business is, it’s still a fine balance between operating as normal and being thrown out of commission by a burst pipe, a fire, or a break-in. If you don’t have the right insurance in place, events like this could put you out of business either temporarily or permanently.

Some business owners choose to self-insure (read: not have insurance) because they think the risk they face is low. However, most businesses are unlikely to have the amount of cash on hand that could be needed if they suffer an incident that would normally be covered under insurance.

These incidents could include risks around people or your premises and there are no second chances.

People risks

Wine bars rely to a large extent on their staff. It’s important to employ people who know what they’re talking about and who can provide friendly, efficient service to customers. However, employing people in your business comes with risks such as:

  • They may continue to serve a clearly-intoxicated customer who then goes on to suffer (or cause) an accident, and could potentially be held liable under liquor licensing laws.
  • A staff member may steal from your cash register or your stock, or may steal customers’ credit card details and use them fraudulently.
  • Your wine bar may be so dependent on one person, possibly you as the owner, that it would be unable to operate if something happened to that person.

Any of these scenarios could cause losses for your business and could be insured against.

Premises risks

Your wine bar depends on its premises to be able to trade. Customers must be able to find it, access it easily, and tell others where to find it. Here are some of the key risks that could put your premises out of action:

  • A power outage could shut down cool rooms and fridges, causing food to spoil and preventing wine from being stored and served at the correct temperature.
  • An ongoing issue with power could make it impossible to open the bar.
  • An incident occurring near the bar could create a safety hazard, delay the bar from being able to open as normal or prevent customers having access to the bar.
  • A fire could gut your premises, destroying everything from bottles of wine and ingredients to tables and chairs.
  • A flood or burst water pipe could damage your premises, requiring a costly clean-up.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the risks your wine bar could face. However, it does provide a sense of just how disruptive an incident could be, not to mention expensive. If you don’t have enough cash in the bank to cover the costs of starting your business all over again, then it could make sense to consider speaking to an insurance broker who has experience with other hospitality businesses.

An experienced broker will be able to understand your wine bar’s unique needs and recommend the most appropriate insurance options. And, if you need to make a claim, your broker can streamline the process for you and increase your chances of success.

To find out more, contact a NZbrokers member today.