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There’s a lot to think about when you're running a pub, whether it's a gastropub, a traditional drinker's bar, or a party venue. And one item on your to-do list should be making sure you've got the right insurance in place to protect you, your business and, most importantly, your customers. Here's what you need to know.

I’m a pub landlord. What kind of insurance do I need?

As a landlord, buying insurance might not be your favourite task, but we can help you understand what’s involved and how to choose the right policy at the right price.  

There are around 40,000 pubs in the UK. If you run one of them, there are a few types of insurance you’ll need to think about. These include:

  • Public liability insurance. This could protect you if someone has an accident, is injured or their property is damaged on your premises. If a customer slipped on a wet floor and broke their arm, you’d be liable as it’s your responsibility to make sure your property is safe. Public liability insurance could cover the cost of any legal fees or compensation.
  • Employers’ liability insurance. This could cover you if one of your employees becomes ill or is injured as a result of working for you. If you employ one or more people or are a limited company with multiple directors, it's a legal requirement to have cover. If you're not a limited company, it's not a legal requirement to have employers' liability insurance if the employees are immediate family members, though if a policy is in place it would still cover immediate family members working for you.
  • Buildings insurance. Buildings insurance is designed to cover any damage to the building itself. If you’re a tenant, that may not be your responsibility, as it’s typically down to the owner to sort out buildings insurance. But if you own the pub, you should work out how much it would cost to rebuild the property, should the need arise, and take out buildings insurance for that amount. Remember, you don’t need to insure the building for its market value, or how much you paid for it.
  • Contents insurance. This covers everything inside the building against theft, vandalism or damage caused by, for example, fire or flood. Insurance providers often describe it as everything that would fall out if you turned the pub upside down. That means glasses and furniture, while fixtures such as toilets and kitchen cabinets usually come under your buildings insurance. 
  • Stock insurance. For a pub, stock insurance covers all the items you sell, including wines, beers, spirits, and food. These are likely to be valuable.

Frequently asked questions

What is loss of licence insurance?

One type of insurance targeted specifically at pub landlords is loss of licence cover. Of course, the pub couldn’t trade if you lost your licence. This insurance could cover you for some loss of earnings, if that ever happened because of reasons beyond your control.

Situations where this might apply include if your local council revoked your licence because of complaints about noise in the local area that wasn’t your fault. You wouldn’t be covered, however, if you lost your licence for selling alcohol to underage drinkers because that’s illegal.

Am I covered if cash gets stolen?

Although most pubs now accept contactless payments, they typically still handle a lot of cash. You can buy optional cover to protect all money on the premises if it’s kept in a locked safe overnight, or if it’s in transit to the bank. Some policies will also protect you for losses if you have an ATM on site. But check the maximum amount of cash they could cover you for.

What other insurance should I think about?

Pub insurance is a collection of policies designed to protect you against specific risks to your business, so you might also want to consider:

  • Business interruption cover. Most pubs will be insured for damage to their buildings and contents from floods, fire or other unexpected disasters. But these policies often won’t cover you for lost revenue if you’re unable to trade. Business interruption insurance could provide you with funds to pay staff, refill stock and rebuild your business. But it almost certainly won’t cover you for coronavirus-related interruptions.
  • Deterioration of stock cover. If your fridge or freezer break down, this can help to recover the cost of any defrosted and spoiled food. Deterioration of stock insurance also covers you if your food stocks are ruined due to an electrical fault in the local area that shuts off your power supply. Additionally, this type of policy usually covers any food delivered after the incident that you’re unable to store safely.
  • Entertainment cover. You might need this if your pub regularly hosts live entertainment and events. With more people on site, extra equipment and potentially later opening hours, the risks are seen as being greater. Some insurance providers limit how many live events you can have at your pub in a week, so standard public liability insurance might not be enough.

How do I get a quote?

Simply start a quote with us and we’ll help you find the most competitive prices for the different types of insurance you might need, for your pub. 

How much does pub insurance cost?

The cost of pub insurance depends on several factors, including:  

Where your pub is located The size of your pub business What you want your policy to cover
Start a quote

What do I need to get a quote?

It’s easy to compare business insurance quotes with Compare the Market. Just give us a few details about you and your business, including:

  • your business postcode
  • type of business you run
  • how many people you employ
  • your claims history

Your quotes will be listed by price and you’ll be able to compare based on the amount of cover you need.

Author image Anna McEntee

What our expert says...

“Running a pub comes with its own unique set of challenges. It’s crucial to have the right policy in place to protect you, your business, your employees and your customers in case things go wrong.  
“Remember to read the Ts & Cs carefully to make sure you’re fully protected should there be any disruption to your business.”

- Anna McEntee, Insurance comparison expert