Liquor Liability for Restaurants is something that should be addressed more when it comes to Business Insurance. Many restaurants feel they don't serve enough liquor to warrant this coverage. Meaning, they're not a bar, so it's really not a high priority. The reality is, it's very important and your exposure for a claim/loss is probably bigger than you think. It only takes one claim to put a restaurant out of business and a Liquor Liability claim could be that claim. Below are just a few reasons why you might want to consider Liquor Liability Insurance for your restaurant.
It only takes one drink.
That's it. It only takes serving one drink to be brought into a law suit. What do I mean by one drink? Let's say someone has been drinking all day. Yes, people day drink, especially when it's great patio weather here in Austin, Texas. This person has been drinking all day at a bar and decides they don't want bar food for dinner. The consensus among the group is to check out that new hip restaurant downtown. They decide at this restaurant to only have one for dinner before they have to drive home. Take in mind these folks are veteran day drinkers, so the server doesn't pick up on the fact they've been drinking all day. Simply thinking they're just a happy jovial group that doesn't get out much. Nevertheless, they are served one drink, finish dinner and call it a day. On the way home the driver gets into an accident and injures multiple family. Bodily injury and property damage is close to $1M. The driver only has minimum limits on their auto, which will cover about $60k (take into consideration this number varies by state). Where do you think the lawyers are going to go to get the remainder of that money (after Under Insured coverage is exhausted)? History will show it will be the last person that sold them alcohol, the restaurant. Doesn't matter if it was one drink or ten drinks, they are liable. Don't think you're liable? Well, you still have to defend yourself in court and that cost you and your business a lot of time and money.
Intoxicated people do stupid things sometimes.
Let's say an intoxicated person gets out of control and assaults or injures a patron at your restaurant. Liquor Liability, in most cases (check your policy), will pick up this exposure. If we look at the definition of each, we can see that these things can happen when alcohol is involved. According to FindLaw.com, Battery is "the intentional touching of, or application of force to, the body of another person, in a harmful or offensive manner, and without the victim’s consent". Assault is "An intentional attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person". The bottom line, you can have controls in place to prevent Assault & Battery, but some situations might be too difficult to control, especially on a busy day.
We don't serve liquor, only beer and wine.
Believe it or not, people have told me this when I mention Liquor Liability to them. If you serve beer and/or wine, you still need Liquor Liability Insurance for your restaurant.
As you can see, Liquor Liability for Restaurants is a must when it comes to Business Insurance. If you have any questions about this coverage, please let me know. Never assume that Liquor Liability and Assault & Battery are included in your policy. Also worth noting, both have a limit, so if you put your policy in force some time ago, you should review your limits with your agent. If you would like a quote, I have included a Liquor Liability Insurance application here. If you have any questions about this coverage, or any other type of Business Insurance, please feel free to contact me.
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