Are Your Hospitality Clients Prepared for Patio Season?

July 28, 2021

As the hospitality industry in Canada reopens its doors, patios are also beginning to open. Several weeks of pleasant weather are still ahead of us, so you should ask restaurants, hotels, and pubs about their insurance coverage while the summer is still in full swing.

Some traditional restaurants and bars do not have a patio but are now adding tables and chairs to designated areas so their customers have more dining options during the summer. In Toronto, restaurant owners are required to have a license for these patios. A patio license also implies the need for all necessary insurance coverage.

Restaurants come with unique risks, and some ventures are riskier than others. Using underwriters who are knowledgeable about the latest trends in hospitality and the liabilities that come with them will help brokers to stay on top of their business.

Why Covering Outdoor Seating Areas is Essential

There are multiple risks that can be associated with outdoor restaurant seating, whether it's a full patio or a few tables and chairs in a designated sidewalk area.

Slips and falls (caused by water or ice) by customers and employees

Decks, signs, fencing, patio furniture, decor

Theft and vandalism (crimes)

Consumption of alcohol, bar-hopping, and damage caused by patrons

Storm damage (flooding, high winds, sewer backups, etc.)

Sometimes the gaps in coverage are not noticed until there is a loss, then it turns into a dispute between the broker and client, as well as the underwriter. The key is educating everyone so they understand the risks involved. Your insurance coverage is the vehicle to do that.

Other Exposures to Consider

A festive venue can be transformed by excessive alcohol consumption into an environment that is conducive to sexual misconduct, property damage, and personal injury. A business owner must also consider other liabilities besides alcohol distribution. Among the main risks are:

Altercations at the venue, slips and falls down stairs, and even injuries on the dancefloor can be held against commercial hosts.

A bartender's duty is to ensure his or her patrons return home safely from a licensed establishment. Commercial hosts may be held responsible for vehicle accidents caused by intoxicated patrons.

If a bar, pub, or tavern is alleged to have caused or contributed to an accident resulting in an injury, they can be held liable for overserving alcohol.

The busier the season gets, the more things can go wrong -- whether it's fires, power outages, or equipment breakdown, or customers getting sick, burned, or having allergic reactions to the food they're served.


SWG HOST Hospitality Services Insurance is a leading program designed to accommodate most classes of hospitality risks including restaurants, fine dining, pubs, bars, venues with live entertainment, billiard pool halls, and motel/hotels not exceeding 35 room rentals. We can quote up to $2,250,000 property TIV coverages depending on the town grade, construction, and age of the building provided alcohol receipts are under 50% and up to $1,750,000 if over. Liquor Liability is acceptable up $2,000,000 and in some cases up to $5,000,000. Standalone liability is available.

Coverage highlights

Full Commercial General Liability with liquor liability:

Most classes of Hospitality risks

Bodily injury and property damage

Tenant’s legal liability up to $500K

Non owned automobile – excluded if there is delivery service

One application for all classes of the risk quoted.

Full property coverage on broad form available

Extensions of Coverage – include:

Personal Property of Officers and Employees

Any one officer/employee

Any one occurrence

Growing Plant, Trees, Shrubs or Flowers in the Open

Accounts Receivable

Stock Spoilage/Consequential Loss

Building By-Laws

Inflation Protection

Exhibition Coverage

Automatic Fire Suppression System Recharge Expense

Brands and Labels

Fire Fighting Expenses

Temporary Locations

New Acquired Locations (30 Days)


Equipment and Stock (Contents)

Debris Removal

Peak Season Increase

Land and Water Pollution Clean Up Expense

Building Damage by Theft

Extra Expense

Valuable Papers

Electronic Data Processing Equipment and Media

Fine Art

Professional Fees



Crime Coverages Includes:

Employee Dishonesty

Broad Form Money & Securities

Credit card forgery

Legal Expense (claims Made Basis)

Further Coverage Details:

Liquor up to 90% depending on nature of Hospitality establishment

Dance Floor up to 450 square feet depending on hospitality risk classification

Fully updated buildings up to 125 years old and updated (within last 25 years and roof in last 15 years)

We Cover:


Fine Dining


Hospitality establishments with live Bands

Hospitality establishments with Patios




Café, Un-licenced Restaurants

Billiard pool halls

Hotel and motel (not exceeding 35 room)

Venues with Live entertainment

For more information, visit our product page:

Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.