for Restaurants, Bars, Clubs & Other Food Services Businesses

For a catering company, restaurant, or bar that serves alcohol to customers, Liquor Liability coverage is one of the mainstays of business protection. Even if your food business only has a BYOB policy that allows patrons to drink on your premises, you could still be held responsible for any alcohol-related incidents that occur. Though legal fees from liquor-related claims can easily exceed thousands of dollars, many food business owners tend to underestimate the amount of Liquor Liability Insurance they need to protect themselves and their businesses.

Keep reading to discover how Liquor Liability coverage protects your business from severe financial loss, and what to look for in Liquor Liability coverage for your food service business.


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Liquor Liability Insurance: A Safety Net for Food Service Professionals

Liquor Liability Insurance: A Safety Net for Food Service Professionals

If your business sells, serves, or allows any alcoholic beverages to be consumed at your establishment, Liquor Liability protects you should your clients or patrons sue your business for damages related to their intoxication. Food service businesses with Liquor Liability Insurance have coverage for the costs of liquor-related injuries, assaults, or accidents that occur on and off their business premises, depending on their policy.

Most states have "dram shop" laws that will hold your restaurant or catering business liable if one of your employees serves alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated and causes harm to themselves or others. For example, if an intoxicated patron attacks another patron, or drives home and has a car accident, any affected party could hold your establishment responsible for damages and file a lawsuit. Liquor Liability Insurance covers the legal fees, settlements, and medical costs your business may face, up to the limits of your policy.

To get an idea of how quickly these violations can add up, let's say one of your servers serves alcohol to an inebriated person who causes an auto accident on his or her way home. In addition to property damages and physical injuries that result from the wreck, your food business could be liable for…

  • Violating state laws should you not have Liquor Liability coverage (depending on where you live).
  • Serving an intoxicated person.
  • Failing to properly train your employees in how to handle drunk patrons.

Even if your business is not at fault and your employees refused to sell alcohol to an intoxicated person, meritless lawsuits happen all the time. You would still have to hire a lawyer to defend your business, and attorney fees alone can be enough to financially strap a small business.

Because of the high risk involved with intoxicated patrons, some states require businesses that serve or sell alcohol to carry Liquor Liability coverage. Contact an insureon agent to determine which Liquor Liability coverage meets your business's needs and aligns with state regulations.

Food Service Professionals: Liquor Liability Coverage

Food Service Professionals: Liquor Liability Coverage

Small restaurants and catering businesses may assume that their General Liability policy will cover legal fees and other costs if they are sued for a liquor-related damage. However, your General Liability coverage does not protect your company against alcohol-related claims. Liquor Liability Insurance can be added to your General Liability policy or purchased as a separate policy altogether.

While shopping for the appropriate Liquor Liability policy for your food service business, keep these coverage considerations in mind.

Assault and Battery Coverage

The most common alcohol-related claims that restaurant owners face are the result of fights. To protect your food business, your Liquor Liability policy should include coverage for assault and battery claims. This coverage can also be extended to include specific incidents such as sexual assault, stabbings, shootings, and more. One of our food-business insurance experts can help you determine which inclusions are best suited for your policy.

Defense Costs Coverage

An inclusive Liquor Liability policy should include coverage for defending your food service business in court against liquor-related claims. Even frivolous claims brought against your business require legal defense, which can cost you thousands of dollars out of pocket without adequate coverage. While reviewing your Liquor Liability options, be sure that lawyers' fees for defending your business are covered, as well as damages for which you're found liable in court. You may also want to include coverage for incidents, damage, and harm that occur off your business premises, such as a car accident caused by a driver who became intoxicated at your establishment.

Employee Coverage

If your food business serves alcohol, there's the possibility that your bartenders may drink on the job, regardless of your establishment's rules. Look for a policy that will cover your employees as patrons to better protect your business from liquor-related incidents.

Mental Damages Coverage

Some plaintiffs may claim mental damages due to witnessing a violent incident at your place of business. These damages may be stress, psychological trauma, or anguish. Consider a policy with an inclusive definition of damages to protect your establishment from these types of lawsuits.

Custom Policies for Food Service Professionals

Custom Policies for Food Service Professionals

Your insureon agent can help you find a Liquor Liability policy that suits the needs of your restaurant, bar, or catering business. Depending on where you live, you may or may not be required by state law to carry this kind of coverage if you sell alcohol or allow patrons and clients to consume alcohol on your premises. Our agents are familiar with the differing state laws and will assist you with determining your specific coverage requirements.

If you're ready to protect your business today, complete insureon's easy online application —you could begin coverage in less than 24 hours from the time you apply.

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