This post submitted by RMS Hospitality
In the wake of COVID-19, bars and restaurants are grappling with a new normal; a new normal that consists of potential legal matters related to customers or employees who may contract the virus while at their establishment. And while the legalese around the coronavirus and its role in the industry is still up in the air, bars and restaurants still have to manage everyday liabilities - including liquor liability.
To protect against a potential liquor liability, bars should be operating with Liquor liability insurance, which protects businesses that manufacture, serve, or sell alcohol. The policy provides coverage for certain legal fees, settlements, and medical costs related to bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person.
But while liquor liability insurance is helpful, there are some glaring gaps in coverage that could end up leaving an establishment open for major legal and financial issues. To better understand what these gaps are, and what is indeed covered, here are five things to know about liquor liability insurance.
Third-Party Bodily Injury and Liquor Liability
If a patron who became intoxicated at a bar or restaurant injures another person, liquor liability insurance can help pay for immediate medical expenses or legal fees if the injured person ends up suing the business where the intoxicated person was served or sold alcohol.
For instance, if an intoxicated customer stumbles into someone else, pushing them to the ground and breaking their arm, the victim has every right to sue the bar. A policy can cover the cost of the injured party’s immediate medical expenses, such as an ambulance ride and emergency room visit.
Third-Party Property Damage
Liquor liability coverage can include coverage for the cost of repairing or replacing another person’s property that was damaged by someone who became intoxicated at a bar or restaurant. An example here would be if someone who had a few drinks at a bar leaves, only to cause damage to another building, such as vandalizing it, then liquor liability insurance will step in to pay the legal expenses and damages.
If a lawsuit is filed over an incident associated with an overserved customer, liquor liability insurance can help to pay for court costs, attorney’s fees, settlements, and additional claims. This kind of coverage can be customized to fit a business. A bar owner may want to add certain covereages, like assault and battery coverage, to protect against claims such as a bouncer injuring a customer in some way.
It’s important to note that different policies come with different coverage limits, so insured clients can choose appropriate coverage extents for their business.
Business Property Damage
Liquor liability insurance doesn’t cover any damage to the client’s actual property, even if it is caused by an intoxicated customer. This is where commercial property coverage can help pay for the cost of replacing or repairing business property when it’s stolen or damaged.
For instance, if someone becomes intoxicated at a bar and ends up breaking a chair or smashes glasses behind the bar, liquor liability insurance won’t step in to cover it.
Incidents of Underage Drinking
One of the major issues with bars and restaurants that serve alcohol is serving drinks to customers who end up being under the legal drinking age. However, issues related to underage drinking cannot be protected by liquor liability insurance. The one thing that protects businesses is that they may have legal recourse if the minor had a realistic-looking fake ID.
About RMS Hospitality Group
At RMS Hospitality Group, our expertly crafted policies are written specifically for the hospitality industry. We offer custom-tailored solutions to meet any venue’s specific needs. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (888) 359-8390.