Bar with bottles of liquor on counter

The holiday season is upon us, and with that comes an abundance of parties and celebrations that involve the consumption of alcohol. From company holiday parties to companies that serve alcohol, each type of business owner must understand the insurance coverage needed to ensure protection from alcohol-related lawsuits against the business.

Let’s start with those businesses that do not serve, sell, or manufacture alcohol. You’re probably thinking that these types of business owners have no need for liquor liability insurance, and you’re more than likely right. However, even if a company is not engaged in the serving, selling or manufacturing of alcohol, there is pretty good chance that the company could host an event for its employees where alcohol is consumed. So what type of protection exists in this situation?

Host liquor liability insurance can provide protection if a customer, employee, or other guest consumes too much alcohol and then causes physical harm or property damage to someone else. This type of insurance is typically included in a general liability policy but remember, it will only provide coverage if you are considered a social host…not a business that profits from alcohol sales.

On the other hand, liquor liability insurance comes into play for those business owners that make, sell, or serve alcohol to others. This type of policy can often be bundled into a general liability policy or it can be purchased as a standalone policy. But the key element to remember is that liquor liability is excluded under the general liability policy for those business owners who serve, sell, or manufacture alcohol. Consequently, businesses such as restaurants, bars/taverns, breweries/wineries, grocery stores, and liquor stores will need to carry both general liability and liquor liability insurance policies.

Liquor liability insurance provides protection from alcohol-related claims that occur when a customer, employee, or other guest consumes too much alcohol and then causes self-injury, injury to another, and/or property damage. If a business is sued due to alcohol-related incidents, liquor liability insurance can provide coverage for attorneys’ bills, court-imposed damages, and/or settlement amounts. Additional types of liquor liability coverages include assault/battery, sexual assault, employees who drink on the job, and non-physical injuries (e.g. mental anguish).

Without liquor liability insurance, business owners engaged in the selling, serving and manufacturing of alcohol are personally on the hook for any criminal or civil damages arising from alcohol-related lawsuits. Do not assume that your general liability policy will provide you with protection. Contact BrookStone Insurance Group for more information regarding liquor liability insurance and how to protect your business.

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