Liquor Liability Insurance

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Owning a business that serves alcohol, whether in an established location or at a special event, always involves a high potential for risk.

If your business manufactures, sells, serves, or facilitates the use or purchase of alcohol, then you need liquor liability insurance coverage. Liquor liability insurance protects you against loss or damages due to a patron of your business becoming intoxicated and injuring themselves or others.

Liquor liability laws vary significantly by state, and insurance policy coverage options are often confusing. 

Dram Shop Laws: hold alcoholic beverage servers financially liable for harm that visibly intoxicated individuals cause to others, themselves, or property. Liquor laws can apply not only to bars, liquor stores, and restaurants but also to social clubs and private events where liquor is served. Dram shop laws also include selling liquor without a license, selling liquor after hours, and selling liquor to minors.

In Illinois:

Section 6-21 of the Liquor Control Act of 1934 (the Dramshop Act) (235 ILCS 5/6-21 (2000)) creates a cause of action against owners of businesses that sell liquor and also against lessors or owners of the premises on which the liquor is sold, for physical injury to a person, for injury to tangible property, or for injury to means of support or loss of society, but not both, caused by an intoxicated person.

Liquor Legal Liability insurance provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage for which you may become legally liable – as a result of contributing to a person’s intoxication. This coverage is provided by a separate policy and will only cover establishments ‘in the business of manufacturing, selling, distributing, or serving alcoholic beverages for a charge. (This exposure is not covered under a general liability policy.)

Host Liquor Liability insurance covers special events for businesses that elect to serve alcohol to their employees, prospects, and customers. Host liability insurance is also needed by people and businesses serving or providing alcoholic beverages to customers, guests, or employees.

Court decisions are holding vendors of alcoholic beverages increasingly responsible for damages under liquor liability laws. 

More than half the establishments in the United States still choose to operate without Liquor Liability insurance.

That’s taking a considerable risk. 

When an intoxicated patron leaves your bar or store, gets into his car, drives, and commits vehicular manslaughter, the victim’s family could sue the bar for civil and criminal damages. 

And when a restaurant serves alcohol at a catered event, and two intoxicated guests have a fight that results in a severe injury, you can be held financially responsible. Most alcohol-related liability claims against bars, taverns, and restaurants result from liquor-induced fights or altercations. Just escorting an unruly patron to the exit is frequently enough to trigger an assault and battery allegation.

Liquor Liability policy would help cover legal costs, court fees, and any civil or criminal damages awarded in the above examples.

We’ve protected Chicagoland businesses with trusted insurance solutions for over 90 years. Our professional advisors are experts at managing risk and are here to provide you peace of mind. 

Contact us today to learn more. 

Request a Liquor Liability Insurance Quote

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