Business owners could receive a damaging legal outcome if an incident were to happen on their premises, and there was no footage to deny claims. Restaurants and bars are especially susceptible to being sued in today’s environment, and Hospitality Insurance Group would like to shine a spotlight on the importance of having surveillance systems installed.
“If you don’t have a surveillance system, it is going to be the injured party’s word against yours,” said Sandra Haley, Sr. Vice President of Underwriting and Marketing at Hospitality Insurance Group. “In the event someone comes fourth and sues you, if you have video of the event, it can protect you.”
Surveillance systems, Haley says, can be inexpensive and found at nearly every hardware store. She explains that the upfront cost is relatively insignificant compared to an unfavorable settlement that could have been prevented.
The placement of cameras should also be considered, Haley added. “Typically, you are going to want to have video if you have a dance floor, bar area, or parking lot, where a lot of incidents can happen,” Haley said.
Having the statute of limitations in mind, it is recommended that business owners hold onto footage for three years if they know an incident occurred. For regular business days with no known incidents, Haley says, businesses should hold onto the video for 60, 90, or 120 days.
“With a video that shows the incident that occurred, it is an unbiased view of the incident itself, surveillance video is evidence,” Haley said, adding that business owners should also be aware that destroying evidence is against the law. “Destroying it could be far worse than not having it all.”
Running a successful restaurant or bar is challenging when you consider all of the legal, insurance, and logistical aspects that keep a business operational. Working with an insurer that understands your unique business risks can help you acquire an appropriate amount of coverage. For peace of mind that is affordable, speak with your insurance agent and ask about coverage through Hospitality Insurance Group.
contributed by Hospitality Insurance Group, Soutboro, MA www.hmic.com
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.