When hosting a party in your home, you think about what food will be on the menu, how you will decorate, the drinks you will serve, what music you will play and who will be invited. You probably do not think about Host Liquor Liability insurance coverage.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies will provide coverage for Host Liquor Liability (check your policy as exclusions may apply), provided you are hosting an event or party and are not in the business of selling, serving, distributing or assisting in the purchase or use of liquor. Individuals and families host dinner parties, birthday dinners, holiday parties, graduation parties, summer pool parties or weddings at some point in their lives; at most of these events beer, wine and liquor are served.
When liquor is involved, most people like to have a really good time, often over indulging and sometimes getting intoxicated. Because we live in a very litigious society, as the host of the party or event, you will want to be sure you have enough liability coverage in place to protect your net worth in the event of a catastrophic law suit filed against you. You should talk with your insurance agent and financial planner to determine the correct amount of liability coverage.
Below are just a few examples of law suits that may possibly be filed:
You are host a holiday party / fundraiser at your home and invite 30 people for a sit down dinner which includes alcohol. As the evening draws to a close, guests are leaving and one of the attendees, who is a dentist, trips on her coat going down the front stairs and falls ultimately breaking her right arm and receiving concussion. A lawsuit is filed for bodily injuryclaiming she fell down the stairs because she was over-served and for lost wages because she cannot practice dentistry while her arm is healing.
Your son is graduating college and you host a graduation party at your home. Everyone is having a great time and the party goes on into the night. While driving home, one of the guests is involved in a fatal car accident and also injures occupants of another vehicle. Both families file lawsuits, one is for the wrongful death of the partygoer and the other is for bodily injury and property damage because you served liquor at the party and allowed the intoxicated driver to leave your house.
You are out in your favorite bar, having a great time and accidentally bump into the intoxicated guy next to you, which immediately turns into a fight. The bar has a zero tolerance fight policy and you are both escorted out of the bar. Said drunk then files suit against you for bodily injury claiming you struck first.
Your daughter is getting married in six months, the reception will be held at a banquet hall with wait staff and bartenders.
Again, your homeowner’s insurance policy will provide liability protection to you and your family (household residents) however the facility should have their own Liquor Liability Insurance Coverage because a potential law suit may be filed against both the host and the facility. As noted in a previous article, you can also purchase Wedding/Special Event Insurance, which will provide Host Liquor Liability Coverage and some additional coverage as well.
Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, taverns and any business which sells or serves liquor is vulnerable to the possibility of a liability claim as a result of someone getting intoxicated and injuries or property damage are the result. Business entities with Liquor Liability exposure can obtain coverage as part of a package or a stand alone policy.
In either a personal or business capacity, the examples or lawsuits filed or applicable coverage can be endless.
McLean Insurance specializes in reviewing the overall insurance needs for your business or private event and making a proper recommendation. Independently representing multiple top carriers in the market, we can find and customize a coverage plan that meets your needs and fits into your budget. More information is available at www.mcleaninsurance.com and you can always reach our highly trained and knowledgable advisors by calling 703.790.5770.
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