Time to entertain and keep an eye on your guests! Whether you are hosting the big summer holiday barbeque or hosting a few friends over for the game, in most states, if you are serving alcohol you can be held liable for your intoxicated friends actions at your party or on their drive home.
This can range from your guest landing in the hospital after falling down a flight of stairs or if he drives home drunk and causes an accident.
If the injured party sues, your assets can be on the line.
To make sure your assets are protected, I suggest conducting a “liability check-up” on your current policies to make sure you are carrying at least $500,000 of liability on your homeowner’s policy. If you have an Umbrella policy, check the limit- is it line with your current assets? If you do not have an Umbrella policy, now would be a good time to purchase one. Umbrella Policy rates are usually lower than you may think. Having the right coverage in place is extremely important in protecting your assets such as your home, savings, future earnings and investments in the event of a liability claim.
If hosting a larger party at your home, another option is Special Event Insurance. This policy provides liability coverage for the day of the event only.
With all of your liability “ in check” here are some steps you can take with your guests to help prevent any incidents:
- If you are having a large party- why not have it at a restaurant, hall, or bar that will serve the alcohol? The staff who serve alcohol for a living are more in-tuned to people’s drinking habits and the signs of intoxication.
- Encourage guests to have a designated driver who is not going to drink.
- Always serve food and provide non-alcoholic beverages that can help counter the effects of alcohol.
- Do not pressure your guests to drink alcohol.
- Set a reasonable cut off time for serving alcohol. Most restaurants or bars cut off serving alcohol 30 to 60 minutes before they close. Have non-alcoholic beverages like tea, coffee, water, or soft drinks available.
- Call a cab to bring a visibly intoxicated guest home.
- Offer them a room or couch to sleep on your place.
Hopefully you will never need to face these issues but if you do being prepared can make a huge difference.
If you have any questions or need further clarification about Liability Insurance or Special Event Insurance, please contact your JKJ Private Client Account Manager at 215-968-4741.
Author: Maren Winkis, Private Client Account Manager