Businesses that serve or sell alcohol occasionally are held financially liable for incidents that intoxicated patrons are involved in. Liquor liability insurance helps protect Massachusetts businesses from some of the potential financial risks that come with offering alcohol.
Liquor liability insurance is a specialized form of commercial liability coverage. As a commercial liability protection, liquor liability policies will normally help pay legal costs, judgements and settlements associated with covered claims. Policies normally begin helping with these financial costs as soon as a covered claim is filed, and protection usually isn’t dependent upon the final outcome of a lawsuit.
Massachusetts’ Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission generally doesn’t award liquor licenses unless there is liquor liability coverage in place. Thus, most businesses that need liquor licenses have to purchase a policy.
In some cases, businesses that don’t normally offer alcoholic beverages might still want a policy’s protections. For example, businesses that host company parties where alcohol is offered might be held responsible for any alcohol-induced incidents that occur during or shortly after a celebration. Businesses that are in this situation may be able to get a short-term policy that covers just their celebration and therefore, is quite affordable.
Nonprofit organizations that offer adult beverages at events are often in the same situation as businesses that serve drinks at parties. Should an intoxicated event attendee be involved in an incident, the nonprofit hosting the event might be held responsible. Therefore, organizations that offer adult beverages may want to get liquor liability policies to protect themselves.
Leaders who are unsure whether their nonprofit should invest in a liquor liability policy should talk with an independent insurance agent who specializes in this coverage. A knowledgeable agent will be able to explain the risks that a nonprofit is exposed to and help explore whether purchasing liquor liability coverage makes sense. If it does, the agent can help get quotes for policies from multiple insurance companies so long as they’re an independent agent.
Bartenders and others who serve alcoholic beverages are occasionally named in liquor liability suits and may benefit from having liquor liability coverage that protects them personally. In many cases, however, servers don’t have to buy their own policy because they’re personally covered under an employer’s policy. Those who don’t have coverage through an employers policy often do have to purchase one themselves.
Servers who are unsure whether they have coverage through an employer should ask their supervisor for a copy of the business’ liquor liability coverage. Although perhaps an uncommon request, most businesses will honor this. With a copy in hand, servers can ask an insurance agent who specializes in liquor liability policies what protections the employer’s policy affords them personally. If more coverage is needed, an agent can help get quotes for additional policies.
Liquor liability policies frequently cover a wide range of incidents. Depending on a particular policy’s terms and conditions, it might offer protection if an intoxicated patron does any of the following:
For help selecting a liquor liability insurance policy that will protect your business or organization, contact Paul T. Murphy Insurance. Our independent agents have helped many businesses in Massachusetts get robust and affordable liquor liability coverage, and we’re here to assist you as well.