Most major events and entertainment hotspots serve alcoholic beverages. But what happens if drinking gets out of hand? Your business may be held liable for the actions of intoxicated customers. You can take measures to limit your risk of liability, but you will need to protect your business with a suitable liquor liability insurance policy.
An independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network can help you assess liability coverage needs and can explain your various insurance options. Member agents can present you with a variety of competitively-priced policies from different insurers and can help you review them so you can make an informed decision. Contact a local member agent for more information and you can start comparing liquor liability insurance quotes today.
What Is Liquor Liability Insurance?
Any business that sells or serves alcoholic beverages, including restaurants, nightclubs, and bars, can be held liable for damages or injuries caused by intoxicated patrons. This can include damages that result from fights, careless behavior or even automobile accidents. While it may seem logical to place the blame fully on the individual who perpetrated these acts, the establishments that allowed them to become intoxicated are also held largely liable and can be sued for exorbitant sums of money, particularly if resultant injuries are severe or fatal.
Fortunately, you can protect your business from large financial losses with a liquor liability insurance policy. These policies are sometimes included with general liability coverage in some business insurance policies, but most often they need to be purchased separately as stand-alone coverage or as a business policy endorsement.
Is Liquor Liability Insurance Required?
Most states require all establishments that serve, sell or assist in the purchase of alcohol to carry liquor liability insurance. Even if your business is located in a state that does not mandate this coverage, you may be required to carry it by your financial institution if you have taken out a large business loan or by your landlord if you rent the space in which your business is located.
This insurance is one that is particularly important to bars, taverns and nightclubs. It may mean the difference between maintaining a lucrative business and closing your doors should you ever face a liability lawsuit.
What Does Liquor Liability Insurance Cover?
Liquor liability insurance will cover your business for personal injuries and property damages for a liability lawsuit. Even if your business is found to have acted properly and the liability suit is dropped, your business could accrue high charges for legal defense fees and court costs. Fortunately, liquor liability insurance covers these expenses as well.
You will want to be certain that assault and battery coverage is included as part of your liquor liability coverage. This may be necessary if an alcohol-fueled brawl breaks out in your establishment, or if a bouncer causes injuries to unruly patrons while escorting them out of the bar.
Underage Drinking in the United States
- An estimated 10.8% of Americans under the age of 21 drink alcohol
- Approximately 70% of these under-aged drinkers engage in heavy alcohol consumption
- 30.8% of under-aged drinkers purchased the alcohol they consumed
- Approximately 2 out of 3 alcohol sellers do not property check customer IDs
- 18% of college students admit to having used fake IDs to purchase alcohol
Be aware that many liquor liability insurance companies exclude coverage in cases where the intoxicated patron was drinking in your establishment while under-aged. Be certain that your employees check IDs for anyone who appears to be under the age of 30, and that they are trained to identify and report instances where a drivers license appears to have been altered or forged.
Liquor Liability Insurance for Weddings and Social Events
Consumers may also purchase a one-time liquor liability policy to cover them for charges that may stem from alcohol consumption at a special event that they are hosting. This can include weddings, fundraisers and reunions. This insurance, also known as host liquor liability, is necessary if you are catering the event yourself or if the catering company or venue does not have liquor liability coverage.
The cost of host liquor liability is based on the number of people that will be in attendance, the types of alcoholic beverages that will be served and how long the event will last. Events that feature cash bars over open bars will have lower coverage costs as people are not likely to drink as much.
Compare Liquor Liability Insurance Quotes
For help finding an affordable liquor liability insurance policy for your business or event, you can turn to an agent in the Trusted Choice network. These agents understand the insurance needs of their communities and are dedicated to providing exceptional service and ethical advice.
Member agents can be found in more than 27,000 locations nationwide, so it is easy to find an agent who is located conveniently close to your home or business. Contact an independent member agent in the today to start reviewing policies and rate quotes.