Liquor Liability Laws to Protect Owners and Patrons

Make no doubt about it; if you sell or serve alcohol, you have a liquor liability exposure that must be addressed. Any damages as a result of the serving, sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages can be covered by liquor liability insurance. Your Needham Insurance Agent is highly qualified to help you determine the right amount of coverage for your business.

Businesses of all kinds can have a liquor liability exposure. Whether you own a liquor store, bar or restaurant, or host a party for employees, clients, and/or vendors, anytime that alcoholic beverages are dispensed and made available there is risk of litigation. You might be gifting alcoholic beverages to clients, vendors or employees at holidays or on special occasions, and could be deemed responsible for causing or contributing to the intoxication of another person and therefore be liable for any injuries or damages sustained.

Bar owners beware!

Running a bar can be difficult with so many people coming and going. If, for example, no one keeps track of a patron and he or she ends up drinking too much, this is a serious concern. Furnishing more alcohol to a person already under the influence of alcohol can result in heavy fines, especially if it results in death. Also, furnishing alcohol to a person under the drinking age, even if done by accident, could lose you your license and the ability to sell or serve alcohol, among other things.

A Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance policy provides liquor liability coverage to most businesses. However, the CGL policy contains an exclusion that removes liquor liability coverage if you are in the business of making, distributing, selling or furnishing alcoholic beverages.

This means that restaurants, taverns, hotels, beer distributors, package stores, grocery stores and many other retail or service businesses that provide alcohol in the course of their primary operations needs to obtain a special liquor liability policy in order to maintain proper protection under the laws of the state.

Some liquor liability policies may have some important limitations or exclusions. In most cases there isn’t coverage for injury caused by the actual alcoholic beverage (such as alcohol poisoning) for over-consumption. Talk to a Needham Insurance Agent that specializes in liquor liability coverage and get the proper protection. Cheers!


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