Not betting the house - Having enough house insurance

Hosting A Party For Staff Or Clients? Liquor Liability Insurance Is A Must!

Many small businesses host informal parties for their staff and clients during the festive season and to celebrate special promotions and events during the year, but did you know that your premises may not be covered for such events under your usual business insurance?  If you're planning on serving free booze at your party, you really should consider taking out extra liquor liability insurance.  Read on to find out more.

Your liability if you serve alcohol to your guests

If you decide to serve alcohol at your office bash, you could be held liable for any booze-related incidents.  In fact, you could find yourself on the wrong end of a law suit if any of the following incidents are deemed to have occurred because those involved had consumed alcohol at your party:

  • damage to property
  • bodily harm
  • sexual assault or harassment
  • underage alcohol consumption
  • drink-driving related accidents

Therefore, if one of your sales managers overindulges at the party punchbowl and gives his secretary an overfriendly squeeze, you could find yourself embroiled in a most unfestive sexual harassment tribunal in the New Year.

How can alcohol liability insurance protect your business?

Even if the extent of your alcohol serving merely entails a bottle of mulled wine and a few beers in the office after work, you really must have a liquor liability insurance policy in place.  Here's what's covered:

  1. Your policy will cover any claims made by guests who were injured or who had items of property damaged by other attendees who were intoxicated.  This cover also includes legal fees and covers any damages that may be sought and awarded.  Although your standard business insurance policy won't cover alcohol-related incidents, you can generally have it updated to include liquor liability insurance as an additional endorsement.  
  2. Another method of getting liquor liability cover is to take out a stand-alone special event insurance policy.  This may work out slightly more expensive than an endorsement to your existing business insurance policy, so have a chat with your financial advisor to explore both options so that you secure the best deal for your circumstances.  
  3. It's worth noting that, even if you only serve someone one drink at your office bash, you could still be liable for incidents that occur if they go on to paint the town red subsequently.  Liquor liability insurance will cover you for such eventualities.

In conclusion

If you're planning on serving your staff or clients with alcohol at an informal social event on your business premises, you must consider taking out liquor liability insurance cover.  The extra premium will be a small price to pay for your peace of mind.  Consult your financial advisor for more information on the options available.