Liquor liability insurance coverage

This may sound quite interesting to those business owners who have to deal with alcohol. Because liquor liability insurance is a form of commercial insurance that protects the business from legal action on behalf of the consumers who harm or injure themselves or others from consuming the product (alcoholic beverage). In case your enterprise produces, bottles, distributes or sells any alcoholic drinks, this type of insurance will definitely be helpful.

Liquor liability coverage is somewhat similar to product liability insurance and can be sold as an integral part of it, or as a stand-alone policy, depending on the insurance provider. However, you have to keep in mind that this type of insurance coverage is not included into your standard commercial insurance, which will be unable to protect you if such claims arise.

Keep in mind that this type of insurance coverage can be quite costly, with rates varying from state to state. In fact, experts say that only 35% of enterprises that should carry it actually have it in their insurance policies. It’s partially caused by the common belief within the hospitality industry that there is no such thing as liability with drunk patrons. And while it’s still a subject for intense debate, insurance companies continue to add exceptions to such policies, sometimes making them completely useless when legal action comes.

If your business is located in a “dram shop liability” state and deals with alcoholic beverage as a source of income, then such liability coverage is a must.

What your liquor liability policy should carry:

  • Assault and Battery Coverage – In most cases bars, pubs and restaurants face claims caused by drunk fights. That is why your business insurance policy should carry assault and battery liability coverage. Otherwise, there’s not much sense in having such a policy at all.
  • Defense Costs Included – One of the biggest parts of expenses in such claims for your business are of course attorney fees. Insurance companies understanding that, quite often exclude defense costs from the coverage amount. And this often means that you won’t have quite much to spend on a skilled lawyer that will be able to defend your interests in court effectively, even if you have a $500,000 business insurance policy.
  • Employees Included – In case your business serves alcoholic drinks, then your workers will drink no matter what the rules say. And most insurance companies will exclude your workers from liability coverage. It’s good to have your workers insured as patrons.
  • Damage Definition Includes Mental Damages – Some policies exclude non-physical damage from coverage stating that it’s not a direct form of damage. Make sure to get a policy where stress, psychological damage and anguish are also regarded as damage to the patron.
  • Reduced Premiums Based on Safety and Claims – Some business insurance companies specialized in providing insurance to bars and restaurants sometimes offer free trainings to policy holders’ employees on how to reduce the damage and improve safety of their business. Having no claim history can even let you opt for a considerable discount, so ask your insurer for one if you comply.
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