What is Assault & Battery Insurance?

While restaurants, clubs, and bars are generally relaxed places where patrons enjoy themselves, things occasionally become tense -- and people sometimes are injured in confrontations. Should a patron be hurt in a physical conflict that occurs on an establishment’s property, the restaurant, bar, or club might be deemed responsible for the patron’s injuries and resulting financial costs. Assault & battery insurance policies help protect establishments from this sort of risk.

Assault & battery insurance is a highly specialized form of insurance that’s designed to cover a particular incident: physical conflicts between multiple people. (Whether a policy will cover a specific incident depends on the circumstances of the incident and the policy’s terms and conditions.) When a confrontation is covered by a policy’s terms and conditions, the policy will usually help pay legal fees or settlements associated with a claim.

Why Are Establishments Considered Responsible for Injuries Sustained in Physical Conflicts?

It might seem as if only the people involved in a physical conflict should be responsible for injuries sustained in the confrontation. There are a couple of circumstances, however, when a restaurant, bar or club may share responsibility for the incident.

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First, if a bouncer injures a patron, the establishment that employs the bouncer might be sued for any resulting medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering that the injured individual has. Since the establishment is paying the bouncer, the establishment may be considered responsible for the bouncer’s actions.  

Second, establishments that serve alcohol are sometimes deemed responsible for the actions of intoxicated patrons. The reasoning behind this is generally that a business enabled a patron to become drunk, so the business is at least partially responsible for anything that the patron does. Assault and battery coverage may not provide liability coverage for everything an intoxicated patron could do, but it may offer coverage for any fisticuffs they’re involved in. 

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What Establishments Need Assault and Battery Protection?

Assault and battery protection isn’t just for dining establishments. Private investigators and bounty hunters, for example, might want this coverage in case they’re involved in a physical conflict with someone else. Assault and battery protection is especially important for some restaurants, clubs, and bars, though. 

Any dining establishment that employs bouncers or serves alcohol ought to consider getting assault and battery coverage. These businesses both serve a lot of patrons, and they’re at an increased risk of being sued over injuries that someone sustains in a physical conflict. 

Some establishments that offer just a few adult beverages in a relaxed environment may decide they don’t need assault and battery protection. It’s still important for owners to discuss this coverage option with their insurance agent, though, so they fully understand the risks their business is exposed to and what protections are available. 

How Can Establishments Procure Assault and Battery Coverage?

Assault and battery coverage is sometimes purchased on its own, as a stand-alone policy. More often, however, it’s added to a commercial package policy, or a restaurant, nightclub, or bar insurance policy. These all are package policies that normally include several coverages, and assault and battery often can be one of the protections they provide.

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How Can Establishments Get Quotes for Assault & Battery Insurance?

To find out how much assault & battery insurance would cost their establishment, restaurant, club, and bar, owners should speak to an independent insurance agent. An independent agent will be able to help determine whether this coverage is right for a business. Assuming it is, they can request quotes for coverage from different insurers with proper expertise.

Meet Your Industry Specialist

Jeff Kroeger

Principal, Senior Vice President, and Head of Commercial Lines, Mr. Kroeger also manages the company's hospitality book of business and is that unit's primary producer. He is a graduate of Montclair State University and was named a 2015 Young Gun Insurance Business America.

Jeff has been providing exceptional insurance for restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and more for many years. He understands the unique challenges this industry faces and delivers the right coverage at an affordable price.

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