Going to dinner and having a few drinks at an establishment sounds enjoyable, but what about the person who drinks too much and then gets into their car and causes an auto accident? The insurance industry is well aware of the bar and restaurant risk exposures caused by one major contributing factor…alcohol. If you are a restaurant or bar owner who sells and serves alcohol, do you need Liquor Liability Coverage or is your Business General Liability policy adequate?
First of all, any establishment (bar, fine dining restaurant, pub) that makes, sells, serves, or distributes alcohol should consider Liquor Liability insurance protection. Your typical commercial general liability coverage will not provide the necessary insurance protection for you or your business if someone is over served, gets drunk and later causes an accident. Your Alabama General Liability insurance policy DOES provide coverage for “host liquor” liability, but if you serve alcohol, you will need additional coverage (by endorsement) called Liquor Liability Coverage.
Statistics Don’t Lie
The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) provides some startling statistics that are eye opening. Below are some of these for your review:
- Every 52 minutes, an alcohol related death occurs in the U.S.
- Every day in the U.S., 29 people die in a motor vehicle crash involving a drunk driver
- In 2019, over 10,000 people died due to drunk driving crashes (over 1000 of these deaths were kids 14 and under)
Ways Liquor Liability Coverage Protects Your Restaurant/Establishment, but Not Limited to:
Dram Shop Laws- 30 states have dram shop laws, with Alabama being one of them. These laws are designed to allow establishments to be held responsible if they sell or serve alcohol (wine, beer, or liquor) to an intoxicated person who later causes injury or property damage to an innocent party.
Drunk Driving- Many times the establishment can be sued for allegations of over serving patrons who then get into their car and cause an accident. Your business needs to be protected when a civil suit is filed by someone who claims your business is negligent in not monitoring intoxication levels of their patrons. Liquor Liability coverage protects your business for situations like this.
Property Damage- This relates to protection you will be covered against when one of your customers is intoxicated and then causes property damage to someone’s belongings or property.
Assault/Battery- These situations happen all too often. An example would be one of your bartenders is providing drinks to a regular customer who then starts a fight with another patron. Later charges are brought against your bartender and bar for over serving them which then resulted in assault and battery. Without Liquor Liability coverage, you could be faced with some serious financial difficulties.
Legal Expenses- If your business gets sued, Liquor Liability coverage will help cover these costs, up to specified limits.
Medical Bills- If your business gets sued, any medical bills that arise out of alcohol related circumstances that occur due to alcohol consumption at your establishment will be covered, up to specified limits.
Settlements/Judgments- If your business gets sued, this coverage will aid in the settlements/judgements, up to specified limits.
Alcohol related claims may or may not end in a fatality but are all to be taken seriously by restaurant/bar owners. It could mean being faced with an exposure that not only damages your reputation as a business owner, but legal action could be so devastating, it could mean the closing of your business. It is vital you have the right type of business protection in place.
Burkett & Associates understands the importance of Liquor Liability coverage and we are here to assist you with all your Alabama business needs. Our specialists can help establish your biggest risks and then can customize the coverage you need to best protect your business. Don’t wait! Call us TODAY at 256-704-7400.