Policyholders

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Pay Online

Pay Your Premium Online

Hospitality Insurance Group is excited to announce that we’ve recently partnered with Xpress-pay, a leading ePayment solution provider, to provide our policyholders with a faster, more convenient way of making premium payments. We’re confident this will be a great addition to the service we provide you!

Hospitality Mutual Insurance Co.

MA Policyholders

Hospitality Insurance Co.

CT, NH, NC, PA, RI & VT

Download ACH Form

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Online Payments

Which link should I use to submit payment?
Hospitality Insurance Company
For policyholders in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania & Vermont
Hospitality Mutual Insurance Company
For policyholders in Massachusetts.
What payments are accepted?
We now accept payment by Electronic Check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
Am I able to set up an account to save my payment information?
 Yes, when you make payment, you are asked if you would like to set up an Xpress pay account.  If you check yes, it will allow you to create a password and your credit card or check information will be saved to your account.
Am I able to set up recurring payments?
Yes. Once an Xpress pay account is set up you can also set up recurring payments as well.
What if I don’t have my recent billing statement or have questions about your online payment system?
Please contact our office at 1-877-366-1140.
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Why The Cheapest Restaurant Insurance Isn’t Always The Right Plan

Why The Cheapest Restaurant Insurance Isn’t Always The Right Plan

Why The Cheapest Restaurant Insurance Isn't Always The Right PlanAs the saying goes, “you get what you pay for!” This adage has been around forever and it is as true now as the first time the statement was made.  Let’s face it, nobody wants to pay more for an item than they have to. However, usually, when you opt for the cheapest restaurant insurance, it could put your establishment at risk to lose everything you’ve worked so hard to build. 

Your insurance coverages fall into this category of purchases.  What makes it even more difficult to spend more money on this purchase is that insurance is an intangible product, meaning it can’t be seen, touched, sniffed or otherwise handled by the consumer. You purchase insurance and hope you never have to use it.  Insurance is a product you purchase to provide you with peace of mind, knowing that if you ever do have an insurance claim you will be properly covered and able to resume/continue normal operations.

The problem with purchasing the wrong insurance coverage is that you won’t usually find out until you’ve had a claim and it doesn’t provide you with the coverage you thought it would.  Maybe your building is underinsured and your payment won’t be enough to properly rebuild or make repairs. Maybe you have a general liability claim that isn’t covered because of an exclusion in the policy.  Having the correct limits and coverages in a policy are reasons some policies cost more than others. The best way to compare insurance policies is to look at them from a value perspective. Value is an assessment that includes not only a comparison of the price but also looks at what the product includes for features and benefits.  Along with coverage limits, coverages provided, exclusions and deductibles, you should look at the company providing the coverage. Is the company financially stable, meaning will they be available to pay claims when you need them? Does the company know about my business? This can impact their ability to properly settle claims that are specific to your industry.  

Working with an independent agency that knows your business can help you make a proper value assessment as they represent multiple insurance companies and they are skilled at determining the differences in multiple insurance proposals.  So, the next time you renew your insurance don’t be pennywise and pound foolish and make your decision based on who has the lowest price. That could cost you so much more in the event of a claim. Base your decision on which proposal offers the best value, meaning a combination of price and the proper coverage for your business.

 

You’ll sleep well knowing that you have the insurance coverage you need to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build.

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Bar Room Brawls: 3 Assault & Battery Situations That Could Happen At Any Bar

Bar Room Brawls: 3 Assault & Battery Situations That Could Happen At Any Bar

Bar Room Brawls 3 Assault & Battery Situations That Could Happen At Any BarFor any establishment that serves alcoholic beverages, a fight possibly breaking out is always in the back of any owner’s mind.  

According to Insurance Magazine, about 30% of losses at bars, taverns, and nightclubs arise from assault and battery claims.  

 

Out of the thousands and thousands of claims filed, here are three situations we’ve worked with our policyholders when an assault and battery occurred at their establishment.

 

Case #1   

A patron alleged that he was repeatedly assaulted while exiting the establishment after the last call.  

The policyholder had purchased an assault and battery endorsement as part of their liquor liability policy issued by Hospitality Insurance Group.  

The defense attorney, hired by Hospitality to defend the establishment against this plaintiff’s lawsuit, obtained a defense verdict on behalf of the policyholder.

Case #2  

This establishment was not the type of bar that you would think would have an altercation of any sort.

A gentleman entered our insured’s establishment and was served a single drink.

During the night, the gentlemen casually conversed with other patrons until he randomly started violently attacking patrons with weapons concealed underneath his sweatshirt.

None of the injured customers could recall any signs that would have forewarned them of the assailant’s violent propensity.

This incident was a sudden and unforeseen violent crime that occurred on the insured’s premise and was covered by the assault and battery endorsement on their liquor liability policy, issued by Hospitality Insurance Group.  

Case #3

A patron appeared to have entered our policyholder’s establishment already intoxicated.

While inside, the man was said to have disturbed three different groups of patrons and was later struck by a patron inside the bar, causing him to fall and suffer a head trauma.

This policyholder had purchased an assault and battery endorsement as part of their liquor liability policy issued by Hospitality Insurance Group.  The defense attorney, hired by Hospitality to defend the establishment against the plaintiff’s lawsuit, obtained a defense verdict on the policyholder’s behalf.  

As also advised by Nightclub & Bar, general liability insurance with assault and battery and liquor liability coverage is usually the best way for restaurant owners to protect themselves in the event of a fight at their business.

When examining your insurance policy, it’s important to ask if you have assault and battery coverage. It’s not uncommon for an insurance carrier to apply a specialized exclusion for assault & battery exposure as we explain in our blog, “Assault & Battery: Where’s the coverage?Exclusions may occur, and in the event of a bar fight breaking out, a restaurant owner could be denied coverage if an incident like one of these occurs.

Not sure if you have the proper coverage? Hospitality Insurance Group is a liquor liability insurance group writing insurance for bars and taverns in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. For more information about how you can work with Hospitality Insurance Group as an Independent Insurance Agent or obtain a quote for liquor liability insurance, click here to request a call from us, email or office visit from one of our local representatives near you.

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Why Bars Should Keep Surveillance Footage For Insurance Claims

Why Bars Should Keep Surveillance Footage For Insurance Claims

Why Your Bar Should Have Surveillance (Even If You Don’t Have Thousands Of Dollars To Spend)

Every bar owner wants to prevent a liquor liability claim from occurring which is why having surveillance footage is invaluable should an incident be alleged.

Fights, theft, and vandalism are all unfortunate responsibilities of a restaurant owner. In addition to security and staff training,  having a surveillance system installed is one thing that can protect you from a possible lawsuit that could potentially shut down your entire operation.

Many will agree that when surveillance is installed and noticeable by patrons, behavior amongst patrons tends to change. Some cities have even passed ordinances that require new alcohol licensees to install surveillance cameras before the restaurant can officially open for business.

At Hospitality Insurance Group, once a claim is filed, one of the first questions our Claims Examiner will ask is if there is any surveillance footage on the date of the incident. So if the inevitable does happen, having proper surveillance footage can make your life, and your insurer’s life, a lot easier.

We even send a claim acknowledgment letter to policyholders once a claim is reported instructing them to preserve tapes and other evidence relating to the case because around 70% – 75% of policyholders do not preserve their tapes.

If something happens at the bar, the insured should review and safeguard the tape until the statute of limitations runs out, which is usually around three years.

But what happens if you’re a small operation? One common objection we hear from our bar and restaurant policyholders is, “My restaurant is tiny! I don’t have that kind of money to spend on surveillance!”

You’re in luck.

Thanks to the wonderful world of online shopping, surveillance footage is even easier and more affordable than ever.  We took a look at Amazon.com and found surveillance equipment, many of which can be monitored right from your smartphone.

If you’re looking for something affordable, we found this Hiseeu Wireless Network security camera has 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon for only $35.

We also found AMCREST Video Security System with Eight Weatherproof Cameras for only $399.

Whichever system that you may find is the best fit for your bar, restaurants and bar owners should take note of the loop setting as some systems preserve footage for 5 days, 7 days or 30-day loop prior to footage being taped over.

Fights, theft, and vandalism are all unfortunate responsibilities of a business owner. In addition to security and staff training,  having a surveillance system installed is one thing that can protect you from a possible lawsuit that could potentially shut down your entire operation.

  1. Some cities have passed ordinances that require new alcohol licensees to install surveillance cameras before the establishment can officially open for business.
  2. Be sure to preserve surveillance tapes for at least three years and store the footage on a thumb drive, hard drive or back up to the cloud.
  3. Even if you’re a small operation, there are various surveillance systems on Amazon starting at $35 that would help keep you from going out of business!

Roughly 75% of our policyholders do not preserve their surveillance tapes after the claim has been reported to our team. Failure to save video can increase the payout of a claim up to $200,000 per claim.

IF something happens at your establishment, you should review and safeguard the surveillance tapes until the statute of limitations runs out, which is usually around three years.

IF you are aware of any incidents such as the police were called, a fight happened in the establishment, or a drunk driving incident  – these are situations where we look to you to provide us that surveillance footage during the claims process.

We recommend testing your surveillance system regularly to ensure that your system is functioning and working correctly.

Surveillance footage is evidence. Policyholders can face harsh penalties if evidence is lost, destroyed or erased following an incident.

Download our “What You Need To Know About Keeping Your Surveillance Footage For Insurance Claims Against Your Business” flyer here.

Please be advised that the views expressed are of the author alone and shall not constitute a legal opinion.

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You Accidentally Served A Minor, Now What?

You Accidentally Served A Minor, Now What?

 In the United States, it is illegal to serve alcohol to someone under the age of 21.  But what if you asked for identification and were provided with a fake id without knowing?

Steps to take upon discovery:

  • Ask the person to leave.
  • Ensure management is notified immediately.
  • Document the incident and include the person’s information (if it’s available) 
  • Call your independent insurance agency or insurance company.

 While every situation is different, consequences can be severe. If found to be in violation of the law, the establishment’s liquor license could be suspended, modified or revoked.  

Here are a few questions we ask our policyholders when a situation like this is reported that may be useful to include in your internal documentation. 

  1.  Did you ask for proper identification upon entry?
  2. Had the person already consumed alcohol prior to entry?
  3. How many drinks was the minor served at your bar?
  4. How long was the minor in the bar?
  5. What kind of behavior did the minor display at the establishment?
  6. Is there surveillance of the minor at the bar? 

To encourage Hospitality Insurance Group policyholders to provide their staff with effective alcohol-awareness training, we have an approved rate discount of 10% for insureds when 100% of management and at least 75% of non-management alcoholic beverage servers obtain certification in an approved alcohol-awareness program. 

 Learn more about our approved training programs or click here to learn about working with Hospitality Insurance Group. 

 Please be advised that the opinions expressed are the views of the author alone and should not be attributed to any other individual or entity and shall not constitute a legal opinion.

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Liquor Liability Insurance Now Mandatory in Rhode Island

Liquor Liability Insurance Now A Mandatory Law in Rhode Island

Effective August 1, 2017

Do you insure liquor stores, restaurants or bars situated in the State of Rhode Island?

Effective August 1st, liquor liability insurance in the state of Rhode Island will become mandatory.

The Rhode Island House and Senate recently passed legislation that will require any applicant or holder of a liquor license to maintain liquor liability and commercial general liability insurance as a condition of renewing a liquor license or applying for a new liquor license. Insurance coverage shall be no less than $300,000.

Obtaining Liquor Liability Insurance Coverage In Rhode Island 

If you are an Independent Insurance Agent, click here to learn more about working with Hospitality Insurance Group to provide liquor liability insurance to your customers or fill out this form to request more information.

If you are a business owner in Rhode Island looking for liquor liability insurance coverage, click here to contact one of our preferred Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island or find answers to some of your frequently asked questions about our insurance coverage here.

 

Are you a member of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association? RIHA members receive 20% off with Hospitality Insurance Group!

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Liquor Liability Insurance For Weddings

The most memorable day of your life has arrived. The flowers, the dress, the guest list, with so many facets of planning, it’s important not to forget about the one small often overlooked item that many don’t think about – obtaining liquor liability insurance coverage for your wedding.

Temporary event liquor liability insurance is necessary if you are catering your wedding yourself or if the venue or catering company does not have liquor liability coverage.

According to The Knot’s 2016 Wedding Study, the national average cost of a wedding is $35,329.

With a hefty price tag like that, more and more couples are looking to save on the wedding venue costs by hosting their wedding outside in public parks.

A wedding wine station, a bucket of beers, with so many creative Pinterest wedding ideas for serving alcohol, it’s important to remember that you take on the added responsibility of your guests when serving alcohol at your temporary event.

Bride’s and groom’s to be may purchase a “temporary event” or one-time liquor liability insurance policy to cover them for any potential charges that may stem from alcohol consumption at a special event that they are hosting.

There are two factors in the cost of obtaining liquor liability insurance coverage for your wedding.

  • The insurance premium cost is based on the number of people that will be in attendance
  • How long the event will last

At Hospitality Insurance Group, factors such as the type of alcohol served or whether or not your wedding has a cash bar does not affect the premium cost.  

In addition to liquor liability insurance coverage for your wedding, we also recommend reminding guests not to drink and drive by placing various signage that encourages your guests to download an app like Uber to get home.

Since summer tends to be one of the biggest times of the year for weddings, and also the hottest, it’s also a good idea to provide water bottles in a bucket of ice for guests to stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb is for each alcoholic beverage a guest has, they should have one glass of water as mentioned in our 4th of July blog here.

Not sure if obtaining a policy is right for you? Check with your local venue or catering company, or contact your local insurance agent to find out if Hospitality Insurance Group coverage is right for your wedding day.

Learn more about temporary event coverage or click here to obtain a liquor liability insurance quote for your wedding from one of our Premium Partners.

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Is Alcohol Awareness Training Necessary?

Is Alcohol Awareness Training Necessary?

Serving drinks may seem glamorous and fun, but it’s also serious business. When alcohol is involved, people — and situations — can sometimes get out of hand.

That’s where alcohol-awareness training programs come in. These programs educate servers about responsible alcohol consumption and offer strategies for protecting guests, employees and the servers themselves.

Alcohol service involves many risks. Failure to act responsibly could result in fines, imprisonment, losing your liquor license, increased insurance costs, or losing your business.

An alcohol certification program is designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking, and drunk driving by enhancing the fundamental “people skills” of servers, employees, and consumers of alcohol. Alcohol awareness programs provide individuals with the knowledge and confidence they need to recognize potential alcohol-related problems and intervene to prevent alcohol-related tragedies.

WHO SHOULD BE CERTIFIED?

Anyone who serves alcohol in a licensed establishment should participate in a training course and receive their certification – Bartenders, Bar Backs, Servers, and Managers.

Alcohol certification is required by many bars and insurance companies.

Alcohol awareness training is often used by establishments to get lower insurance rates and as a sound defense in the face of any legal action taken against them. But it has also become increasingly important for servers to protect themselves. Due to dram-shop liability laws, servers themselves can be held responsible for any harm that intoxicated or underage guests perpetrate on themselves or others. So, it is important for bartenders to be aware of their liability and to protect themselves professionally and personally through this training.
Alcoholic Certification is now mandatory in many states. Every state has its own laws regarding the serving of alcohol, so you’ll need to check with your local liquor control board to find out what training is required. Listed below are the states that HIG writes liquor liability insurance and their laws regarding alcohol awareness training.

CT – Not state mandated

MA – Not state mandated but cities/counties may make mandatory

RI – Mandatory

PA – Mandatory

NC – Not state mandated

VT – Mandatory

NH – Mandatory for new licensees

You will find that many of the state restaurant associations offer alcohol awareness training programs.  These classes may be available online, in a classroom or on premises.

As a business owner, you need to be knowledgeable about the laws for alcohol awareness training along with understanding your liquor liability insurance policy.  Does your policy have an endorsement/exclusion that requires the servers to be certified or coverage will be denied?

As a niche writer of liquor liability insurance, we are here to assist you!  Contact Hospitality Insurance Group for your liquor liability insurance needs or find an agent here to request a quote for coverage.

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How New Restaurant Trends Have Affected Liquor Liability Insurance

How New Restaurant Trends Have Affected Liquor Liability Insurance 

Drinking games at bars, BYOB, happy hour, and more. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of our CEO John Tympanick, John looks back at the last 25 years in business and how new restaurant trends have affected liquor liability insurance.

25 employees, 6 states, over 440 Massachusetts agents, and 1000+ agents across Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. John Tympanick looks back at the last 25 years as Hospitality Insurance Group’s CEO and discusses the restaurant industry trends and changes he has seen over the years that have had an impact on insurance policies.

A lot has evolved over the last 25 years. Take a look at some of the trends we’ve seen in the industry over the years and how in fact it has affected insurance policies of businesses that serve alcohol.   

Ditching The Suit & Tie

More and more companies are looking to promote a laid back workplace and offer beer on Friday’s. What many employers and HR departments don’t understand is they need liability insurance for something like that. What happens when an employee has had too much to drink, and they get in the car, and the unnecessary happens?   

BYOB

Under Massachusetts law, restaurants with 30 seats or fewer, dine-in service, or who already have existing liquor liability insurance are unable to offer “BYOB” allowing a patron to bring in their own alcohol onto their premises.

However, Massachusetts restaurants without an existing liquor license, on the other hand, may or may not be allowed to obtain BYOB licenses depending on the municipality in which they are located.

While BYOB may seem like a great alternative to restaurants that can’t obtain liquor licenses, Tympanick advises that there is still a risk involved.

“A lot of people think by letting someone BYOB; there isn’t a liability. But what happens when someone comes in with their bottle, already intoxicated, and leaves your restaurant? We think there is definitely an exposure there for the restaurant.”

A waitress in Somerville also reacted to the BYOB concept in a blog by Thrillist stating: “I wouldn’t want to work at a BYOB because it makes policing intoxicated customers and preventing over-serving difficult, “but it does shift [some] responsibility away from the server and the restaurant.”

Alcohol In Supermarkets

Remember when alcohol became available in supermarkets like Stop & Shop back in 2006?  Current laws in Massachusetts only permit a maximum of 3 liquor licenses per corporation in the state. This is why you see alcohol available in some grocery stores but not others. We do think that in the next 25 years, Massachusetts will reconsider and make more licenses available to corporations as mentioned in an article here from 2011.

Cork It

Another trend we’ve seen in the last 25 years is charging a “cork fee” where the customer brings the liquor to the restaurant, and they charge you a bottle fee. Although this may help a restaurant save on costs and space for inventory, does having a cork fee increase the liability for a restaurant because they are now charging? We believe either way there is a liability, but ultimately it’s a judge’s decision.

Sunday Funday

Possibly because of the economy, the state has become more lenient on “Blue Laws.” Back in 2003, residents of Massachusetts were not allowed to purchase alcohol on Sundays. Then in 2014, Massachusetts altered its “Blue Laws’’ to allow for retail liquor stores to open as early as 10 am on Sundays.

Increase in Claims For Assault & Battery

As for the insurance industry, insurers have opted to tighten their belts with restaurants by placing sub limits on liquor liability assault and battery coverage. Out of the total number of insurance claims by restaurants, 35% are assault and battery related, a huge increase compared to 25 years ago.

For that reason, Hospitality Insurance Group does not sub-limit their insurance policies to their insured, whereas the majority of our competition charges extra for this coverage.

Restaurants Getting Creative

With more and more restaurants opening, we see that they are looking for a competitive advantage among the competition to stay engaged with their patrons. Creative new restaurant concepts where “flaming drinks” are offered may seem innovative,  what happens if that drink burns someone? Or offering games such as “beer pong” also known as “Beirut” at bars encouraging patrons to drink more.  As more restaurants move toward computerized systems and online technology, cyber security is becoming an area with some large uninsured exposures in some cases. While cyber security is not a current offering at Hospitality Insurance Group, we do see this being a possibility in the future.

But what about the next 25 years and where the hospitality industry is headed?

As allowed by some states, including Connecticut,  restaurants can stay open until 3 or 4 am. Do we think that will end up happening in Massachusetts? Probably not, because nothing good happens after midnight, let alone 3 am.

Despite consumer interest and other states like Illinois repealing their happy hour ban, we also don’t foresee Massachusetts lifting the current happy hour ban in place.

As for Hospitality Insurance Group, Tympanick says “We’ve seen a lot of our competitors in various states stop offering liquor liability coverage for one reason or another, so we’re here to stay.”

If you’re a restaurant looking for coverage, please contact one of our state representatives to find a local independent insurance agency near you. 

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