Many Massachusetts businesses host events where alcohol is served. While providing alcohol at certain events is a common (and sometimes even expected) practice, it exposes companies to a variety of possible liability risks. If your business is planning to host a company event where alcohol will be served, you’ll want to protect the business by getting a liquor liability insurance policy. Here’s why and how to protect your business.
When Hosting a Company Event with Alcohol, Does My Massachusetts Business Need Liquor Liability Insurance?
Your Business Might Be Held Responsible for Alcohol-Related Incidents
When alcohol-related accidents result in property damage or personal injury, multiple parties can sometimes be held responsible. Along with the intoxicated individual who caused the damage or harm, any of the following parties might be sued:
The individual who provided the intoxicated person with alcohol (e.g. a bartender or server)
The company that provided the alcohol and employed the server (e.g. a catering company)
The organization that owned the property the event was held on (e.g. your business if the event is on company property)
The organization that hosted the event (e.g. your business for a company-sponsored event)
In many cases, attorneys will seek reparations from any party that might be responsible. They also often won’t wait for one lawsuit to be resolved before suing another potentially responsible party.
Thus, your business stands a good chance of being sued if there’s an alcohol-related accident during your company event.
Get Your Business Liquor Liability Insurance for the Event
You’ll want liquor liability insurance to help protect your business.
Broadly speaking, liquor liability coverage helps protect organizations from potential lawsuits that could be filed over alcohol-related accidents. Exact coverages vary from policy to policy, but most policies pay legal fees, settlements and judgements for covered suits. Often, getting liquor liability coverage is the most effective way to protect a business that’s hosting an event with alcohol from these potential suits.
In most cases, getting liquor liability coverage for an event isn’t prohibitively expensive. Many insurance companies in Massachusetts offer temporary liquor liability coverage that lasts for anywhere between 1 and 30 days. You can likely find a policy that will provide coverage only during your event and, therefore, won’t cost much.
(In order to obtain a liquor liability policy, your business will likely need a license from the state’s Alcohol Beverages Control Commission. The commission has a special 1-Day License that may be sufficient.)
Require Other Parties to Carry Liquor Liability Coverage
To further protect your business from potential lawsuits arising from alcohol-related accidents, require any other party that’s involved in the event to have their own liquor liability policy. Only working with others who have their own insurance won’t protect your business directly, but it will reduce the likelihood that your business is sued for an error another party made.
Make sure all of the following people and businesses have liquor liability policies:
Servers and bartenders (who may have their own policy or be covered by their employer’s)
Catering companies that will be providing alcohol
The company or person who owns the property the event will be held on
Get Your Massachusetts Business a Temporary Liquor Liability Policy
For help getting your Massachusetts business liquor liability insurance for a company event, talk with an independent insurance agent. An independent insurance agent will be able to get several quotes for temporary policies, and they can help you select the quote that best meets your business’ needs.