The purpose of liquor liability insurance is to protect businesses against lawsuits and other financial liabilities levied against them related to liquor. These lawsuits and financial liabilities typically arise from an intoxicated person who was served alcohol at the establishment of the insured and who has suffered bodily injuries or property damage as a result.
If you have sold or served alcohol to anyone who is later involved in an alcohol-related incident, your business as well as your employees that are serving alcohol may be held liable for any resultant damages. Liquor liability insurance is designed to mitigate those risks.
We strongly recommend you invest in a liquor liability insurance policy if you own any kind of business that sells, serves, or manufactures alcohol. Examples include a restaurant, bar, winery, or bartending service. In fact, it is often required that businesses show proof of liquor liability insurance prior to being granted a liquor license.
The risk of lawsuits and claims related to liquor are assumed not only by businesses that primarily sell or serve alcohol.
Your business may have liquor liability if you:
Some key organizations at risk are:
Liquor liability covers bodily injuries, property damage, legal costs, and additional claims related to liquor service and consumption.
If a person who consumed alcohol and became intoxicated at your place of business injures themselves or another person, your business can be sued along with the staff member that served them. Liquor liability insurance can help you to pay for immediate medical expenses and legal expenses if the injured person sues your business.
You can modify your liquor liability insurance policy to fit your business. As a business owner, you may wish to add assault and harassment coverage to protect against claims that a bouncer injured a customer. You may also wish to secure additional coverage against employees drinking on the job. Coverage is available for specific incidences of violence, claims of mental damages, and more. Talk to your insurance advisor to help find the right fit for you.
If your business sells alcohol, it’s important to train your employees to be responsible when serving alcohol. These are some steps we recommend you take during the hiring and training process to minimize your liquor liability risk.
First, you should always inform your applicants about your liquor service and reinforce the importance of their ability to serve responsibly. Relate the business policies and any federal and state laws related to the service of alcohol. Screen your applicants for past violations of selling, serving, or supplying age-restricted products to minors.
Before making the decision to hire, put every screened applicant through scenarios they may encounter and test how they respond to these situations. Examples might include refusing service to minors, customers who fail to provide ID, or intoxicated individuals.
Once you’ve made the decision to hire and you have your team together, all employees should be trained to:
Each employee should be taught a consistent method of serving alcoholic drinks with appropriate liquor content and the consequences of not following the company policy.
All of your employees should be alert to signs of intoxication in your customers. These could include the following:
Some customers or guests may become belligerent, hostile, or combative when intoxicated. It is important for employees to refuse to sell alcohol to intoxicated individuals. It’s also important for management to be available to provide support in the case of an escalating situation. This includes escorting the patron from the premises and arranging for transportation or calling the police if needed.
Keep the party going with liquor liability insurance. Whether you’re a licensed business owner or simply hosting events at home, we want to keep you out of trouble.
Connect with us to design a liquor liability policy that works for you. We’re here from Monday to Friday, available at any one of our four locations. We look forward to hearing from you!
Nicole was raised in Crown Point, IN graduating from Crown Point High School and earning a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University Northwest’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Program. She now resides in Hobart with her husband, Adam, and their pets, Finn and Louie. Prior to joining GIS, Nicole has gained a background in hospitality, banking, as well as in the non-profit sector as a Community Development Manager. She is a member of the Hobart Chamber of Commerce, Hobart Kiwanis, Full Circle Young Professionals, Purdue Northwest Alumni Association, and Secretary of the Merrillville Rotary Club. In her free time Nicole enjoys the beach, day trips to Michigan with her husband and volunteering.