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:

  • Sell or distribute any alcohol at your place of business
  • Allow guests to bring and consume alcohol at your place of business
  • Allow others to serve alcohol at your place of business
  • Serve alcohol at an event you are hosting at your home or place of business

Some key organizations at risk are:

  • Retail and convenience stores that sell alcohol
  • Businesses and nonprofit organizations that host company parties or events
  • College and university organizations that sell alcohol
  • Homeowners who host events serving alcohol

What Does Liquor Liability Cover?

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.

Be Proactive & Train Your Employees

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:

  • Memorize state and local liquor laws and requirements
  • Verify customer age and recognize fake IDs
  • Know the signs of intoxication
  • Identify someone may be purchasing alcohol for minors
  • Manage difficult situations and refuse to serve in suspicious cases
  • Document incidents

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.

Signs of Intoxication

All of your employees should be alert to signs of intoxication in your customers. These could include the following:

  • Difficulty walking, speaking, or handling items
  • Constantly bumping into or leaning on things for support
  • Impaired hand-eye coordination
  • Speaking in a high tone or slurring words together
  • An overly friendly or overly rude demeanor
  • Aggressive behavior like arguing, swearing, or making offensive remarks
  • Eyes that are red and glassy and may have trouble staying open
  • Difficulty paying attention and understanding conversations or situations

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.

Don’t Let Liquor Get You Down!

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!

Business Insurance




What is Liquor Liability Insurance?

What is Liquor Liability Insurance