Reducing the Risk of Liquor Liability Claims

In our last article, we discussed the importance of carrying Liquor Liability Insurance. Serving alcohol is an inherent part of any bar or nightclub business, but that means inherent liabilities coincide. In this post, we’ll explore how this industry can proactively reduce their risk of facing a liquor liability claim, protecting their bottom line and their reputation.

Establishing policies and procedures.

In addition to bartenders being savvy on how to properly fill a glass and measure liquor accurately, the following policies should be implemented to mitigate responsibility:

  • Identify valid ID’s, and refuse service to anyone who cannot prove their age.
  • Enforce a cut-off policy for overserved patrons.
  • Train bartenders how to enforce policies safely and without unnecessary force.
  • Ensure bartenders call cabs for intoxicated drivers rather than letting them drive home – this is especially important if the business includes a valet service.

Staff training.

In addition to the basics listed above, liquor liability claim prevention is a year-round effort that requires all staff participation. For this, a formal training program can be taught by a variety of professional sources. The following types of courses are recommended:

  • Alcohol serving safety class.
  • Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS).
  • Courses for managing and removing problem patrons.

Acquiring the right insurance.

As we discussed in our previous post, alcohol increases the chances of aggression in drunk patrons. Therefore, liquor liability should be purchased in conjunction with assault and battery coverage. It’s important to note that this coverage includes all forms of alcohol, not just hard liquor. If the bar or nightclub serves wine or beer, this policy applies to them, as well.

In the event someone sues the bar or nightclub for alleged forceful removal, or if an employee gets into an altercation with a patron, liquor liability will not extend coverage.

Put simply, be proactive in preventing liquor liability claims. Though serving alcohol to customers is a daily reality in the hospitality and food service industries, one large claim can cost your business enormous amounts of money and damage your reputation for years to come. Begin planning and training before you have a claim – it is an investment in your business you won’t regret.

About Genesee General

At Genesee General, we are dedicated to providing the custom-tailored solutions your clients’ business needs to thrive. For 34 years, we have continued to provide quality and affordable insurance policies including professional liability, employment practices, cyber liability, and more. For more information, contact us today at (800) 282-8755.

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