The seven deadly sins of pizzeria insurance

The Seven Deadly or Cardinal Sins. The BIG ONES that will sink you into the fiery pit. The "classics" of bad judgment. It's an old subject to be sure; so old that some where in the sixth century, Pope Gregory the Great took the then-current list (yep – there were more) and condensed it to seven items. He even ranked them based on the degree of the offense. St. Thomas Aquinas, later contradicted the idea that sins could be ranked in this way, after all, a sin is a sin, right?

Well, as far as pizzeria insurance goes, I agree that there are some fundamental "sins" that pizzeria owners commit, and that it may not be so clear as to the "rank" of seriousness. After all, the one that "gets you" is the one that gets you!

So, with no regard for rank or seriousness in order what follows is a list of the Seven

Deadly Sins of Pizzeria Insurance.

Deadly Sin #1: Delivery Liability

Any of you who know me know that I PREACH on this topic with "automation-like" regularity.

Delivery liability is, simply put, your liability that arises out of the act of pizza delivery. Whether the delivery is with your truck, one owned by someone else or one leased to someone else, if there is an accident, you are going to be on the hook.

There may be insurance from the driver's policy and there may not be. The deadly sin here is ignoring the risk or pinning your hopes on the 'myths and urban legends' that get passed around on this one.

We show you how to meet it head on and contol cost.

Deadly Sin #2: Workers Compensation

Just about all states put an obligation on you to provide for your workers that get hurt on the job. That obligation extends to medical expenses stemming from the job-related injury and lost wages. If the injury is bad enough to disable the worker, you will be responsible for a long-term settlement under the worker's comp laws of your state.

The deadly sin this time is buying into the mindset that says that people are "independent contractors." To quote Winston Wolf, "That little subterfuge won't stand up under close scrutiny." Find out what the latest trends are and where the market is going.

Deadly Sin #3: Employment Practices

This is a growing area of concern (and litigation). This is the one that we all identify with "sexual harassment," but it's much more than that. More suits are filed for discrimination than harassment, and most of the discrimination suits are filed for AGE. The deadly sin operative this time is the "not me" syndrome. Listen, everybody is at risk: small employer, large employer, rural location or urban setting. We discuss real world solutions.
Deadly Sin #4: Protective Safeguards

Little known but potentially deadly! Some insurance companies put a warranty on their policies regarding your fire suppression system. As long as you are in compliance you are okay, but mess this up and you can void your insurance coverage. Now, this can be something as innocuous as not keeping your maintenance contract in force. Ever have that happen to you? Not a good thing to be saddled with. This deadly sin will catch you unaware. Let me show you what to look for and how to document your system.

Deadly Sin #5: Life Insurance

Surprised you didn't I? Really, this is a deadly one.

Q: What's the single most important asset your business has?

As of this moment, I can tell your future with absolute certainty-100 percent "Pope-like" infallibility. Here's my reading for your future – you will die someday. I am just never wrong on this one. The only thing I can't tell you is just when it will happen.

Want to bet that even Bill Gates buys life insurance? Warren Buffet? I'll bet they do. These are some of the the smartest and richest guys in the country, and you still hold back?

This deadly sin is fear. We regularly show pizzeria owners how to take maximum advantage of some of the lowest prices in years and protect their "single biggest asset."

Deadly Sin #6: Retirement Planning

Another surprise. Look, it's simple; you will get old. Unless you plan for this, you will end up badly. We've all heard stories about some old pizzaiolo still sweating his heart out in front of an oven because he just couldn't afford to quit.

It doesn't have to be that way. With the modern tax-deferred, tax-deductible and even after-tax plans available, if you start now, you can almost send your future self the equivalent of big fat envelopes of money to use as you see fit. I promise we will spend time on this one!

Deadly Sin #7: Too MUCH Insurance

Wow, it was hard to write that line. Now, let me explain what I mean. Too many pizzeria owners just plain do it wrong. They buy low deductibles and then load up their policies with things like glass insurance and sign insurance and things that pay for the little problems.

Now, forgive me for saying so, but that's not what insurance is really for. Look, a broken window or a damaged sign just should not be life threatening to your business. That's like buying health insurance for things like band-aids and aspirin. It's just too expensive, if you can get it at all. A risk management checklist will be made available to help you identify the things you really need to insure.


There are about a dozen more deadly sins I could talk about. Come to the New York Pizza Show and hear what I've got to say on this subject. Come prepared with questions, and leave with real answers. PMQ has agreed to give me as much OVERTIME as we need to answer ALL your questions.

Additional Bonus: Leave with research material and pre-publication reservation for a white paper titled: A Compelling Case: Delivery Liability, Negligent Entrustment and Piercing the Corporate Veil.

I look forward to seeing you November in New York City!