What is Liquor Liability Insurance?
Your bar or restaurant serves liquor to your customers. Without liquor liability insurance, your business is responsible to cover the cost for damages or injuries resulting in the selling, serving, or furnishing of alcoholic beverages. Without a liquor liability policy, you would also be responsible for all legal costs to defend your business against any suits seeking damages. What’s more, your business is at risk of patrons getting into a fight on your property, driving drunk, or unintentionally hurting themselves or others. While you cannot control your patrons, you may still be liable for their actions if you sell or serve liquor. This is the importance of liquor liability insurance.
How Dram Shop Laws Affect You
Dram shop laws across the United States, including New York, make businesses vulnerable to lawsuits. The actions of patrons who are served alcohol while clearly intoxicated can cause business owners real anguish. If these patrons cause harm or damage to your establishment, then dram shop laws can affect you. If you have bartenders and servers slinging alcoholic drinks, make sure you protect your business from any irresponsible employee who might overserve a customer.
The Dangers of Serving Liquor Without the Right Coverage
If you already have general liability insurance, you might assume that your business is fully protected. But you’d be wrong. Typically, general liability policies exclude alcohol-related incidents. Therefore, it is essential (and often mandatory) that any business serving alcohol has a liquor liability policy. If you are sued for damages due to the serving of alcohol without the proper coverage, you could face significant court and legal fees. Just one claim may be enough to put a restaurant or bar out of business.
NY Liquor Liability Coverage Requirements
The right coverage can prevent devastating financial losses and protect your business’s reputation. Some banks or financial institutions require liquor liability insurance in order to secure a business loan or a cash advance. Though not required in New York, businesses are encouraged to carry liquor liability insurance.
From Dive Bars to Catering Halls
Liquor liability insurance covers a wide range of establishments. If your business serves alcohol on a regular basis or offers alcohol as part of catering services, you should evaluate your coverage options. If you own a facility that is rented for events serving alcohol, or hosts events where alcohol is served, it is highly recommended to secure a policy that fits your needs.
Coverage For Drunk Driving
Accidents and altercations involving patrons who have been served alcohol are major concerns for most business owners. Under most liquor liability policies, this is covered. However, while liquor liability coverage won’t prevent someone from filing a lawsuit against you, it will ensure that you’re covered for defense costs and awarded damages.
Drunk driving is another major exposure for restaurants and bars serving alcohol. When a patron leaves your establishment drunk, decides to drive, and causes property damage or bodily injury to themselves or others, your business is liable. If a patron injures someone as a result of impaired judgment from drinking, known as assault and battery, you are liable. If there is property damage or personal injury caused drunk patrons, then you are liable. Luckily, each of these scenarios would be covered under most liquor liability policies.
An Increase in Sexual Harassment Claims
Sexual assault and sexual harassment claims are on the rise. Liquor liability insurance protects your business from claims and legal fees relating to lawsuits filed by employees who drink on the job. You’re even covered from slips, falls, and personal injuries. However, it does not protect your business from all liquor-related incidents. To learn more about sexual harassment training, contact us.
Patrons who are drinking underage, for example, are not covered by any liquor liability policy. Damages to your commercial property may not be covered. Offenses that extend beyond bodily harm or property damage, such as libel or slander, may also be omitted from coverage. To fully protect your business, speak to a restaurant insurance expert. They will review and recommend customized coverage designed for your business.
Ensure Full Liquor Liability Coverage
From bars to restaurants, pop-ups to neighborhood haunts, every business is different. The limits of liquor liability insurance will vary by policy. Make sure your