When Can Your Bar Clients Be Held Liable?

When Can Your Bar Clients Be Held Liable?Selling and serving high volumes of liquor comes with a myriad of liabilities for businesses. Bar owners typically know that serving alcohol can potentially lead to the occasional customer causing problems inside or outside of the establishment. If an inebriated customer were to cause harm to another person while inside an establishment or upon leaving it, that establishment can be held responsible under either a premises liability or dram shop liability case.

What is Premises Liability?

The general concept behind premises liability is that the property owner, or someone on their staff, did not use reasonable care in connection with the property, causing injuries to a third party. For a bar owner, this typically means that the owner or staff did not use reasonable care in ensuring the safety of their patrons, or had knowledge of a person or situation that could put their patrons in jeopardy and did nothing to remedy it.

While not all injury cases are the responsibility of the property owner, a bar with any history of fights on the premises may be an easy target for a premises liability suit. However, the owner’s commercial general liability (CGL) policy can help defend a premises liability claim. 

Many Liability policies insuring risks of this type will have an Assault and Battery exclusion.  Be aware of this exclusion so that your Insured’s will know that in situations where a claim arising from a fight, would not be covered.  

What is Dram Shop Liability?

In a dram shop liability case, a bar owner can be held responsible for the actions of a customer on or off of the property. Dram shop laws encourage bar owners take certain precautions to ensure alcohol is consumed responsibly. If they fail to do so, they can be held liable if a drunk patron causes injuries or death to others either while on their property or upon leaving. Dram shop liability claims most commonly involve drinking and driving accidents, or intoxicated individuals who end up hurting others – or even themselves.

Because of this, bar clients require more coverage than what CGL policies can offer. Some bar owners may even pick and choose from different policies to get customized comprehensive coverage, but they can easily get the coverage they need through a liquor liability insurance policy.

Liquor Liability Insurance

Liquor liability insurance is a must-have type of coverage for any establishment that sells and/or serves liquor, even those that allow customers to bring their own alcoholic beverages. This policy covers claims against a business that arise directly out of the sale or service of alcoholic beverages, which are specifically excluded under general liability insurance. Liquor liability insurance offers bar owners financial support in the event any alcohol-related liability claims are brought against them, and can help defend and settle those claims, making it an essential type of coverage for any establishment that allows patrons to consume liquor.

About Mavon Insurance

At Mavon Insurance, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to insurance. We focus on integrity, communication, professionalism, respect and gratitude to help our clients succeed and place business in specialized markets. For more information about our products, or to become an agent, contact us today at (855)-248-1480.

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