Attention Bar Owners: Understanding Liquor Liability

Operating a bar and legal liability go hand in hand. With particular dram shop laws that vary by state and the inherent liabilities that bar owners have by serving alcohol, it’s absolutely imperative that your clients carry a custom-tailored Liquor Liability Insurance program to mitigate risk and financial responsibility. While bar owners might be working with a limited budget, this policy should never be an afterthought: it’s a must. In fact, we will examine the sobering statistics about these liabilities to demonstrate just how important this policy is.

The risk of going without liquor liability to save money is counter-intuitive. If the bar is found liable for damages caused by drunk patrons, they can be required to pay hefty legal fees and fines – thousands of dollars that have to be paid out of pocket. Depending on the size of the operation and the reserve funds on hand, these allegations can bankrupt the bar. Even if your clients have the money to pay the upfront costs of litigation, their reputation will still likely suffer. For some, this is an even bigger blow to their income.

Next, there is the stipulation of dram shop laws. These laws require that bars be held liable for knowingly over-serving a drunk patron who causes a wreck or injures another. Even if your clients view their state’s dram shop laws as favorable to their bar business, choosing to forego coverage can have devastating effects.

According to Insurance Journal, many of the alcohol-related claims against bars and restaurants stem from injuries during fights between patrons. Remember, one claim can mean years in court and thousands – if not millions – of dollars in defense fees, loss of productivity, reputational damage, and more.

It’s important to note that traditional general liability policies exclude coverage for injuries and harm caused while under the influence of liquor. Therefore, a liquor liability policy must be purchased separately. Guide your clients in the right direction for advising the right coverages, limits, deductibles, and pricing for this necessary policy.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, we want to ensure your bar is protected against the scope of damages that it may face. Our packages include protection against liquor liability, injury, and more. For more information about our products and services, contact our experts today at (888) 359-8390.

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