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Want to run a pub? You'll need insurance

Is it worth being a publican?

The pub trade has suffered from a negative image for many years, which has led to an understandable reluctance among potential investors. The industry has also been affected by other factors like the smoking ban and cheap supermarket prices, which have hit profitability. Therefore, buying a pub as a business opportunity requires careful consideration of the risks involved.

However, pubs can offer a combination of benefits that make them an interesting proposition for investors who are willing to take the necessary steps to reduce the risks involved. Indeed, given appropriate research and preparation, they can be an excellent opportunity for anyone with sufficient capital.

This article outlines some of the main risks that pubs face and how you can avoid them when looking at this business venture as an investor.

Protecting your customers

Pubs are busy, high-pressure environments. If an accident were to occur, either to your employees or members of the public, the resulting claim could place a significant strain on your business.

You’ll also want to ensure the safety of your customers but in case of accidents you should deriosly consider taking out out a public liability insurance policy. These policies typically cover a wide range of risks such as slips, trips, falls, and other accidents and they typically typically any costs associated with damages or injuries caused to third parties resulting from faulty equipment, unsafe premises, or poor maintenance. This type of insurance is often included in a general pub insurance policy.

Protecting your employees

The health and safety of your employees is a high priority for any business. Unfortunately, there have been many cases where a pub’s negligence has led to an accident and a hefty compensation bill.

As a pub owner, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure the safety of your employees. To do this, you’ll first need to assess the risks your business faces.

You may wish to hire a Consultant in Health, Safety and Environment (CHSE) to conduct an audit of your premises and advise you on how to mitigate the risks.To reduce the risks to a reasonable level, you might need to provide health and safety training for your employees. This training might be required as part of your pub’s insurance policy.

Protecting the value of your assets and premises

Your pub’s assets are likely to include the furniture, fixtures, and fittings. It could also include a wide variety of equipment, from fridges to fire extinguishers.

If any of your pub’s assets are damaged, you may be able to claim on your insurance policy. This could go towards replacing the damaged items or cover the cost of repairs.

Help ease any liability in the event of a disaster

Unfortunately, there are many natural disasters that can affect a pub. storms and floods and vandalism are just some of the natural phenomena that could cause significant damage to your premises. If you have buildings and contents insurance, you may be able to claim for the cost of repair or the replacement of damaged property. Similarly, you may be able to claim against your policy if a fire breaks out in your pub.

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Pubs and their risks

One of the first risks to consider when buying a pub is the effect of the local area. While the pub itself may be profitable, the immediate area may be depressed and cause a significant drop in trade.

This risk can be reduced by careful research into the area, which will include speaking to local people about their experiences. It’s worth noting that pubs can often survive in these areas and perform better than expected, but it’s important not to ignore this factor in your research.

Similarly, the state of the pub building needs to be taken into account when assessing risks. Some buildings will require significant investment for repairs or even complete rebuilding. You should make note of this when assessing the risks associated with a pub purchase.

Location is everything

Another risk to consider is the state of the local area, particularly in terms of crime. Pubs can be targeted by criminals, so it’s important to check the level of crime in the area. You may consider hiring an experienced security company to help reduce the risk of crime while you are operating the business.

After looking at these risks, you should now have a better idea of the risks involved when buying a pub. It’s important to remember that these are general risks that will affect all pubs. They are not specific to any particular pub and will apply to most areas; however, the extent to which they affect a particular pub will vary.

Competition from other food providers

One of the most significant risks a pub owner will face is competition from other food providers. Pubs are generally dependent on food sales for the majority of their revenue and even local cafes and takeaways can be competitors.

You can mitigate this risk in a number of ways. Firstly you can look for a pub that has a strong brand, which will allow it to compete with these food providers. Secondly, you can try to reduce costs associated with running the pub; this will allow you to offer a price that is more competitive.

It’s important however to keep a balance; cut costs to fat and your quality may drop, resulting in fewer customers through the door.

Change in drinking habits

Another risk to consider is a change in drinking habits. For example, a decline in the consumption of beer. This is unlikely, but if it does happen it will significantly affect pub profits. You can mitigate this risk by stocking a variety of different beers, including some non-alcoholic options. You can also try to appeal to other groups, like families, by providing activities and games for children.

beer glasses

Beer quality and price of beer in a pub

Another risk related to the price of beer is the quality of the beer served in the pub. Any pub owner selling beer, who wants to do well, should comply with the quality guidelines set by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the beer group. This means they will have to serve high-quality beer, which is unfortunately associated with a high price.

However, there are ways to mitigate this risk. You can try to sell to a more exclusive clientele, who will be more prepared to pay a high price for a high-quality drink. You can also try to buy cheaper beer and serve it without compromising on quality. The latter will require careful research and frequent checks on the quality of the beer being served.


As you can see the pub trade is far from dead. It is still an attractive business venture for investors and represents a significant source of revenue. However, it is important to choose the right pub for purchase and to carefully assess the risks involved. There is a great deal of variation between pubs, so it is important to research all the risks that apply to the pub you wish to buy. Once you have done this, you can make a more informed decision about the purchase, which will help to reduce the risks associated with this type of business venture.

You should then make a realistic assesment of your insurance needs; and where better to start than by clicking the link below!

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