Liquor Liability: Know Customers Limit

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The holiday season is a busy time for bars and restaurants, you may be catering to larger groups that are not your usual clientele, but do not let your guard down and make sure all of your employees are following your procedures for responsible service, sale, and consumption of alcohol.

As the owner of an establishment that serves alcohol, you should carry liquor liability insurance. The standard commercial general liability policy does not provide coverage for loses caused by you based on the overserving of a patron, this is due to the liquor liability exclusion, as no coverage is provided when selling, serving or distributing alcohol (except for very few situations otherwise known as “host liquor”).

Arguably, the most devastating claims are those concerning patrons who leave the bar intoxicated and are involved in a motor vehicle accident. And even though the patron was the operator of the vehicle, the bar is seen as liable for potential over-serving and failure to properly monitor the intoxication of the patron. Often times the driver, if they survive the accident, goes to jail, but civil action may be brought against the bar. Alcohol-related claims do not always result in fatalities; however, they do present an exposure that can be not only damaging to the reputation of the bar but could jeopardize the survivability of the business altogether.

Contact us to review your specific insurance needs. By having the right coverage in place and a proactive attitude toward minimizing intoxication, you are not only protecting your business but the public as a whole. We cannot control the overall national statistics, but anything we can do – one bar at a time and one patron at a time – might make our little corners of the world just a little safer. Let that sink in as well.

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