Pub Insurance Guide: Top 3 Things You Need To Know

pub insurance guide

Pub Insurance Guide: 3 Things All Pub Owners Need To Know

#1. What is pub insurance?

pub insurance guide
Harry’s Bar at Boat Quay. If you build a pub as nice as this, make sure you protect that investment properly.


Pub insurance is a type of F&B insurance designed for the unique risks that pubs face. As a pub owner, you need to make sure you’re protected against major risks like food/drinks poisoning, public liability, fire, employee injuries or Covid-19 infections, and more.

Provide offers online pub insurance quotes, which covers all the major risks pub operators need to protect against.

#2. What types of insurance do pubs need?

Here’s a brief summary of the types of insurance your average pub will require:

Coverage Importance for cafes Brief explanation Typical pub insurance cost (package deal) Typical cafe insurance cost (individual cover)
Public liability with food poisoning Critical Pays for legal liability from food poisoning and customer injuries  






$400-$800/year, as part of a package deal.

From $150/year
Property all risks Critical Pays for property damage from fire, water damage, etc. From $150/year
Work injury compensation Critical Pays for staff injuries/sickness, including Covid-19 infections From $100/year
Business interruption Good to have Pays for periods when your business cannot operate – e.g. if NEA shuts your cafe down From $100/year
Fidelity guarantee Good to have Pays for money stolen by employees From $100/year


Here’s an in-depth explanation of the details for pub insurance:

1. Public liability insurance, with food poisoning liability extension

pub insurance for food poisoning
If your customers end up like this, you could well be in serious legal trouble


Public liability insurance will cover two major liability risks for pubs:

  1. Food/drinks poisoning
  2. Customer injuries (e.g. slips and falls)

This type of insurance will pay for medical expenses if people get sick or injured while patronising your pub. It also pays for legal fees, and damages awarded, if customers sue you for injuries or sickness that your business caused them.

Example: A group of customers order drinks and snacks at your pub. A day later, you get a call from a member of the group, claiming that they suffered severe diarrhoea and vomiting after patronising your pub. If they file legal claims against you, this insurance will pay for your lawyer’s fees and any damages awarded by the court.

2. Commercial property insurance

commercial property insurance
You’ve probably invested tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars into your pub. Don’t let it go up in smoke – literally.


This protects your pub from common and major risks like:

  1. Fire and explosions
  2. Water damage
  3. Furniture damage
  4. Inventory damage
  5. Burglary
  6. Vandalism

Operating a pub is much riskier than running a café or restaurant. Given that you’re serving alcohol, it’s a certainty that you’ll have to deal with your fair share of drunk patrons. Drunks can cause fights, break glassware and liquor bottles, or destroy your furniture.

Because you serve cooked food, there is a real risk of kitchen fires breaking out and destroying your premises. Fire risks are even higher if you use wok burners (these burners produce tremendous heat), or do lots of heavy frying. If you serve “flaming” cocktails, that’s another fire risk you have to protect against.

Example: One of your ovens/stoves catches fire. The fire spreads to the rest of your cafe and destroys the premises. All the renovations are destroyed, the equipment is destroyed, and your food/drink inventory is completely unusable. This type of insurance will pay for the property damage caused, equipment replacement, and will replace the destroyed inventory.

3. Work injury compensation insurance (with Covid-19 coverage)

wica insurance singapore
Staff injuries – especially in the back-of-house – are very common. Employers must pay for medical expenses and lost wages of staff who get injured/sick due to work.


Now that Phase 2 of the government’s re-opening plan is in full swing, cafes can now entertain dine-in clients. This means that pub employees will be coming into close and extended contact with large numbers of the public. Given the highly infectious nature of Covid-19, this presents a serious infection risk to pub employees.

Under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), business owners must pay for:

  1. Medical expenses of employees for work-related injuries/sickness
  2. Lost wages of employees while hospitalised/on medical leave

For patients infected with Covid-19, the government has already declared that hospitalisation charges will be waived. However, business owners are still legally liable to pay the lost wages of employees while they’re hospitalised or in quarantine! Remember that hospitalised Covid-19 patients can be warded for up to 2 months (or more!). As a cafe owner, can you imagine how costly it would be to pay 2 months’ worth of salary for a worker in the hospital?

This is where Work Injury Compensation Insurance (WICA insurance) steps in. Work injury insurance will protect your employees from work-related injuries/sickness, including Covid-19 infections.

This pays for:

  1. Medical expenses like hospitalisation and surgery charges
  2. Lost wages while on medical leave
  3. Lawyer’s fees if your employees sue you for injuries/sickness

Work injury insurance also happens to be highly affordable:

Worker Category Typical Premium Typical Coverage
Cashier From $7/month, per worker $10-15 million annual limit per company


Waiter From $7/month, per worker
Chef / Kitchen Assistant From $15/month, per worker


Example 1: One of your staff gets infected with Covid-19, and spreads it to all your other employees. Your pub manager ends up being hospitalised for one month. The manager’s monthly wage is $5,000. Because this is a work-related infection, you are now legally responsible for paying your manager’s lost salary. If you have Work Injury insurance, it will cover your managers’ lost wages.

Example 2: While mopping the floor, one of your staff slips and falls, breaking their arm. They require surgery to fix a steel plate in their arm. The hospital bill is $10,000. Because this is a work-related injury, you as the pub owner are now liable for this $10,000 medical expense for your employee. Work injury insurance will pay for the medical bills, as well as lost wages while your staff is on medical leave.

4. Business interruption insurance

business interruption insurance
Pubs have high overheads, so business shutdowns are expensive.


This type of insurance compensates you if your pub has to shut down due to unforeseen circumstances. It pays you a daily cash benefit for every day that your business cannot operate.

Some scenarios where business interruption insurance covers pub shutdowns:

  1. Fire and explosions damage your premises
  2. NEA shuts your business down to customer hygiene complaints
  3. Supplier is unable to deliver your goods, due to damage to their warehouse

Example: Several customers get sick after drinking and eating at your pub. They file a complaint to NEA (National Environmental Agency). NEA officers inspect your pub, and find that there were hygiene lapses. Your pub is ordered to shut for 1 week for a thorough cleaning and staff hygiene re-training. This insurance will pay a daily cash benefit for the 1 week that your pub cannot operate.

5. Fidelity guarantee insurance

fidelity guarantee insurance
This could be your business. The worst part is you probably won’t know – until it’s too late


If you allow employees to manage the cash register, or handle cash payments from customers, there is a real risk of employees stealing from you. Pub owners should consider having Fidelity Guarantee coverage to protect against dishonest staff members.

A Fidelity Guarantee policy pays for:

  1. Cash/cheques that are stolen by employees

Example: You assign an employee, Robert, to man your cash register. For two days in a row, you come up short $500. After reviewing the CCTV footage, you discover that Robert has stolen the money. He refuses to return the stolen money. A Fidelity Guarantee policy will pay for the $500 that was stolen from you.

Note: Fidelity guarantee insurance is common not just for pub, but for F&B and retail businesses in general. If you’re not handling the cash yourself at all times, make sure you have Fidelity Guarantee coverage. Unless you’re running multiple pubs, you won’t need a lot of coverage – even a policy with a small limit (e.g. a couple thousand dollars of coverage) will be good to protect you from employees out to cheat you.

#2. Pub insurance discounts – tips and tricks

CCTVs – Having CCTVs in your pub can attract lower prices from insurers

Fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems – Having fire extinguishers and sprinklers can result in lower prices for property insurance

“Regulatory authority” shutdown coverage  This refers to coverage that activates if a regulatory authority shuts your business down. In the event of such a shutdown, you would receive a daily cash payout (typically around $200, depending on the plan you select) for every day that your business cannot operate. For pubs, the regulatory authority most likely to step in to enforce a shutdown would be NEA (National Environmental Agency).

For most pub owners, this type of business interruption coverage is important. However, if you’re really focused on saving as much as possible, you can choose to forgo this coverage (though it’s not recommended to do so). Choosing a policy without this coverage will result in a premium that’s slightly cheaper.

#3. How much does pub insurance cost?

With Provide, pub owners can get a comprehensive package of insurance starting from just $400/year – i.e. a little over $33/month. That’s probably less than what you’d spend on groceries in a week! Considering the significant amount of protection you get, that’s a really good deal.

Cover Coverage Amount Typical Premium (package deal) Typical Premium (individual covers)
Public liability with food poisoning extension $100,000  





Property $100,000 $100/year
Work injury $10 million per company $80/year for front-of-house, per worker

$200/year for back-of-house, per worker

Business interruption $20,000 $100/year
Fidelity guarantee $5,000 $100/year


Recommendation for new pubs: If you’re starting a new pub, it’s highly recommended to get a pub insurance package. A package basically combines the most important types of pub insurance into a single deal. As you can imagine, package deals are always cheaper than buying each type of cover individually. You can think of it as a set meal versus a-la-carte; the former is always going to be cheaper than the latter.

Recommendation for pubs with existing insurance policies: If you have an existing pub policy and are looking to save money, the best option is to switch insurers. A good insurance broker will be able to get you the same level of cover, but at a lower price.

Provide’s special renewal program guarantees you at least a 10% discount, with same or better coverage than your existing policy. Provide has helped countless cafe owners in their insurance needs. Contact us today to save on your insurance immediately – get an online pub insurance quote now.

#3. Pubs with live entertainment, events, or dance floors need extra coverage

Live entertainment: Most pub owners don’t know this, but if you buy a policy that doesn’t specifically cover live entertainment, even having one “music night” with a band could void your entire policy. If you plan on staging live entertainment like having bands or comedians, you’ll need to select a policy that specifically covers these risks. Provide’s platform makes it easy for you to cover these risks online, quickly and affordably.

Dance floors: If your pub has a dance floor, you’ll need to state this specifically when purchasing pub insurance. If you buy a policy that doesn’t include protection for dance floors, your whole policy may be voided. Dancing patrons (many of whom would have consumed alcoholic drinks) are at higher risk of suffering injuries while in your pub. This increases the risk of your public liability to customers.

Bouncers / security staff: If your pub has bouncers, don’t think that will reduce your need for public liability insurance. Bouncers may not necessarily reduce the risk of troublesome patrons or fights breaking out. In fact, bouncers themselves may be the cause of fights on your premises if they deny entry to people, or handle irate customers less than delicately. If your bouncers end up injuring people, be prepared for the injured customers to hold you liable for personal injury lawsuits.

Where to get pub insurance quotes?

Get an instant quote

Provide is the best place to get online pub insurance quotes.


With Provide, pub owners can get a comprehensive package of insurance starting from just $400/year – i.e. a little over $33/month. That’s probably less than what you’d spend on groceries in a week! Considering the significant amount of protection you get, that’s a really good deal.

When you use Provide, you’ll save up to 25% on your insurance premiums. Our online operating model creates lower overheads, so we pass every dollar saved back to you. At Provide, we take pride in understanding the unique risks that each industry and business faces, so we can recommend the best solutions to protect you from such risks.



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