Massachusetts businesses that sell alcohol are sometimes held financially responsible for incidents involving drunk customers that they’ve served. Liquor liability insurance helps businesses protect themselves from covered lawsuits and claims related to alcohol-induced incidents that their customers are involved in.
Liquor liability insurance policies are highly specialized commercial policies designed to protect against a specific set of alcohol-related risks. As a form of liability insurance, policies normally help with legal fees, settlements and judgements that must be paid on covered claims.
Most businesses that sell alcohol in Massachusetts need liquor liability coverage, for the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission requires businesses to carry a minimum level of coverage before they can obtain a liquor license. Many businesses get more than the minimum-required coverage because they want additional protection.
In certain cases, businesses that don’t regularly sell alcohol may want coverage for a specific event. For example, businesses that host holiday parties where alcohol is offered might want coverage in case an employee becomes too intoxicated and hurts themself or someone else. Most general liability policies don’t cover alcohol-related risks like these.
The same can be said for nonprofits that hold events where adult beverages are offered. Even if given away for free at a do-good function, the event sponsor might still be held liable for incidents involving drunk attendees.
Businesses that need liquor liability coverage should speak with an insurance agent who specializes in this form of insurance. An experienced agent will be familiar with the state’s minimum requirements and know what additional protections a business might want. They’ll also know how to acquire affordable coverage for single events.
Most businesses that need liquor liability policies cover servers, including cocktail servers, bartenders and others, while they’re working. Servers who want to make sure they understand what coverages apply to their work should ask to see their employer’s policy and then, review it with a knowledgeable insurance agent.
Restaurant and other eateries that allow customers to bring their own booze are frequently in an unclear position regarding potential liquor liability claims. Even though customers furnish their own alcohol, eateries might still be held liable for incidents. Those that serve it are more likely to be held liable for any alcohol-related claims, but even those that simply let customers bring in and open beverages could be at risk of being sued.
Since liability isn’t always clear in this type of situation and people can file lawsuits for almost any reason, BYOB eateries often should consider purchasing a liquor liability policy.
There are several alcohol-induced incidents that liquor liability policies may cover. Depending on a specific policy’s terms and conditions, it might offer protection against:
For help finding liquor liability insurance that’s tailored to your business’ needs, contact the independent insurance agents at John P. Russell Insurance. Our team has helped many businesses in Massachusetts find liquor liability policies, and our agents have the expertise necessary to get your business the right policy for its situation.
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