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Liquor liability insurance provides coverage for legal fees, settlements, and medical costs if alcohol is sold to an intoxicated person who then harms others or damages property.

Reduce the risk of serving alcohol with liquor liability

Liquor liability insurance is more than a safety net for the risks that come with serving alcohol. In most states, it’s required for businesses that sell or serve alcohol.

Depending on your location, you may need this policy to obtain a liquor license. It’s especially important in states with dram shop laws, which hold businesses accountable for the actions of intoxicated patrons.

Businesses can be liable for damages under state dram shop laws

Most states have dram shop laws that hold your business accountable if you sell alcohol to a visibly intoxicated individual who goes on to injure another person. For example, you could be held responsible if an individual who became intoxicated at your establishment gets into a car accident or assaults another patron.

Liquor liability insurance protects against lawsuits

Liquor liability insurance can provide protection in several scenarios, though not when underage drinking is involved. When a bar or other food service business is sued over an incident related to alcoholic beverage service, this policy can help cover your legal expenses, such as court costs or a settlement. It can help cover:

Accidental injury

An intoxicated patron falls and injures himself, stumbles into another patron, or gets into a car accident. A lawsuit could be filed against you, holding you liable for medical expenses.

Property damage

An intoxicated customer backs his vehicle into another patron’s car in your parking lot. The patron sues, holding you responsible for the cost of repairing the car.

Assault and battery

An intoxicated patron starts a fight and injures another patron, who sues your establishment. Or, your staff escorts an intoxicated patron off the premises, who claims assault and battery.

On-the-job drinking

Regardless of company policy, it’s always possible your bartender might drink on the job. Liquor liability can cover damages caused by your employees as well as your patrons.

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Gold River Insurance Brokerage is a full-service independent brokerage in Brooklyn, NY.