The Importance of Having Liquor Liability
Studies have shown that more than 50% of binge drinkers who reported driving after their most recent binge drinking episode drank in an on-premises, retail alcohol establishment such as a bar, club or restaurant.
Any business that sells, serves or assists in the purchase or use of liquor has liability under the Minnesota Dram Shop act.
Liability insurance for bodily injury or property damages claims caused by an intoxicated person who was served alcohol at your establishment.
Examples of Common Claims
- An intoxicated patron leaves your location, gets in their car, drives and causes injury or death to another driver.
- One or more intoxicated people getting into an altercation at or after leaving your establishment. Punches are thrown, people are seriously injured, and your establishment may be held liable.
- We have even had a liquor liability claim for a broken foot after a drunk patron drove over the foot of the man who tried to intervene and prevent the patron from driving.
Remember: A big part of your coverage can come in the form of your legal defense.
Set aside the above claim examples and imagine getting sued by a patron who was previously drunk yet claimed your employee assaulted them while escorting them off of your premises. You might very well win the fight but defending against those claims will have a costly legal defense price tag.
It is important to remember that the cost of paying for your legal defense might be part of your total limit of liability so if you carry a low liquor liability limit, you could easily find yourself with significantly less available coverage after the cost of your lawyers east away at your limit.
Lastly, besides carrying plenty of liquor liability coverage to be adequately protected, be certain that your policy does not exclude claims for assault and battery. Several policies automatically exclude coverage for claims related to intoxicated altercations. In the event you are named in a lawsuit due to a fight after someone drinks at your establishment, you do not want to find out then that you have no coverage for damages or a legal defense.
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