Dec 4, 2017
Throwing a holiday party? A few simple precautions can add safety to the menu.
Whether at an office get together or at your home, take simple precautions to help everyone enjoy their food and drinks safely at your holiday parties:
Be a Responsible Party Host When Serving Alcohol If you plan to serve alcohol at any type of party, it is important to take steps to limit your liquor liability and make sure you are covered with the proper insurance. Social host liability is the legal term for the criminal and civil responsibility of a person who furnishes liquor to a guest. Social host liability, also known as Dram Shop Liability, is a law active in 43 states and can vary depending on the state. Most of these laws also offer an injured person, such as the victim of a drunk driver, a method to sue the person who served the alcohol. There are circumstances under these laws where criminal charges may also apply.
While a social host is not liable for injuries sustained by a drunken guest (as they are also negligent), the host can be held liable for third parties, and may even be liable for passengers of the guest who have been injured in their car.
Before planning a party in your home, it is important to speak with your insurance agent or company representative about your homeowners coverage and any exclusions, conditions or limitations your policy might have for this kind of risk. Homeowners insurance usually provides some liquor liability coverage, but it is typically limited to $100,000 to $300,000, depending on the policy, which might not be enough.
Most importantly, whether you are hanging out with a small group of friends for cocktails or throwing a big family bash, remember that a good host is a responsible host, and takes steps to ensure guests get home safely if they have been drinking. Call the guest a cab, schedule an Uber or make sure they get a ride from a sober driver.
Tips to Protect Yourself and Guests If you plan to serve alcohol at a party, here are some tips from the Insurance Information Institute to promote safe alcohol consumption and reduce your social host liability exposure:
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