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Host Liquor Liability: What Is It & How Can We Avoid It?

host liquor liability

Host Liquor Liability Def:

Host Liquor Liability is liability insurance for bodily injury (BI) or property damage (PD) arising out of the serving or distribution of alcoholic beverages by a party not engaged in this activity as a business enterprise. Host liquor liability exposures are insurable under standard general liability(GL) policies.

Some Host Liquor Liability Risk Management Recommendations Courtesy of the Insurance Bureau of Canada are:

Create policies and procedures with meaningful consequences and strictly enforce them. Some useful elements of a policy include:

  • Limiting alcohol consumption.
  • Ensuring that bartenders are experienced and do not serve obviously intoxicated persons.
  • Offering food service.
  • Encouraging taxi use.
  • Providing reduced/subsidized taxi and hotel rates.
  • Encouraging car pools and designated-driver programs.
  • Reminding guests before and during the event not to drink and drive and of the other options available.
  • Having several trained doormen/bouncers/spotters who remain sober and watch people leaving and encourage/insist on taxi use.
  • Informing guests that intoxicated persons will be put into taxis.
  • Displaying posters from Mothers Against Drinking and Driving (MADD), Students Against Drinking and Driving (SADD) or similar organizations, outside and around alcohol consumption areas
host liquor liability host liquor liability
Comply with all legislation regarding alcohol.Other Host Liquor Liability Risk Management Strategies Include:
  • Ensure proper permits (to sell or serve alcohol) are obtained.
  •  Train servers.
  •  Implement a mandatory identification policy.
  •  Display informational material on government alcohol-related policies and legislation.
  •  Implement inventory controls over alcohol.
  •  Regulate hours to sell or serve alcohol. Check with your local authority to determine minimum standards.
  •  Use a facility-use agreement if you have rented out a location that you own and where renters may consume alcohol.
  •  Obtain insurance coverage, possibly with higher limits (i.e., higher limits than organizations that do not serve/sell alcohol). Consult your insurance representative.
  • Do not serve or sell alcohol to those under legal drinking age. The age will vary depending on the province or territory.
  • Do not serve patrons past the point of intoxication.
  • Ensure that servers understand government legislation pertaining to alcohol. Ensure that servers follow the organization’s policies and procedures. Make sure training is documented.
  • Establish the forms of identification that will be accepted.
  • Establish when identification needs to be shown. For example, require identification from anyone who is not obviously over the age of 30.
  • Inform customers that the business will abide by the rules set out by the government.
  • Implement measures to prevent theft (e.g., install security cameras, hire additional personnel, etc.).
  • Include a hold-harmless and indemnifying agreement that holds the owner of the premises harmless and indemnifies the owner for losses or damages resulting from the negligent use of the facilities or the serving of alcohol. These clauses may help limit your liabilities. Consult a lawyer for advice on contracts and agreements.

To learn more about Host Liquor Liability and what is covered and or excluded under your organizations Commercial General Liability(CGL) policy speak to an ALIGNED Insurance Advocate or connect with us at www.alignedinsuranceinc.com

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