Liquor liability insurance helps protect Massachusetts businesses that serve alcohol from a variety of potential incidents. While the exact incidents that a policy covers depends on its terms, conditions and exclusions, there are several incidents that most policies provide at least some coverage for. Here are five different types of incidents that liquor liability coverage may help protect your business from.
With Liquor Liability Insurance, What Types of Incidents Would My Business Be Protected From?
Falls Resulting in Injuries
In certain situations, businesses can be held financially responsible for any injuries customers sustain on company property. If a customer trips on the way into a store, for instance, the store might be asked to provide compensation for injuries the customer sustained during the fall.
This is true for most Massachusetts businesses that own property, but it’s a risk that alcohol-selling businesses should be especially aware of. In some ways, businesses that serve alcohol are at a greater risk of being named in a fall-related suit. Intoxicated customers have poor coordination and, thus, are more apt to fall and potentially hurt themselves.
Additionally, many businesses protect themselves from this risk by purchasing general liability insurance. General liability coverage, however, may not be sufficient for a place that serves alcohol. Many general liability policies exclude incidents involving alcohol. Therefore, businesses that serve alcohol frequently need to supplement their general liability policy with liquor liability insurance to make sure they’re protected from intoxicated patrons’ falls.
Fights Between Drunk Customers
As customers become intoxicated and their judgement impaired, the risk of small slights becoming major problems increases. At times, what would typically be a minor issue that’s quickly resolved can turn into a physical fight.
If a business enables customers to become drunk so that their judgement is impaired, the business may be held responsible for any fights that ensue. Anyone who is injured or has property damaged during a fight may seek compensation. Even bystanders might sue a business for the emotional stress caused by a fight. If several people are injured, facing multiple claims could be financially devastating to a business.
Sexual Assault and Harassment
Similarly, businesses may also be held responsible for sexual assault or harassment that’s committed by an intoxicated customer. Even just one instance of sexual assault or harassment can be expensive to settle, for the emotional effects on the victim can be long-lasting and severe.
DUI and DWI Accidents
Should a customer drive away from a business after being served alcohol and still intoxicated, your business may be found partially responsible for any accidents they’re in.
Because the business helped them become too drunk to drive, it could be sued for damages and injuries that are sustained in a DUI or DWI accident.
Major accidents can result in lifelong injuries and even death, and the resulting claims can be extremely expensive. Without liquor liability coverage, a business that faced one of these claims might be forced to declare bankruptcy.
Incidents of Alcohol Poisoning
When a customer’s blood alcohol level exceeds safe levels, there’s good evidence that they were served more than they should have been. At this point, they may suffer from alcohol poisoning. Such a diagnosis may serve as the basis for a claim related to any of the above incidents, and severe alcohol poisoning sometimes requires hospitalization and can itself be the basis for a claim against a business.
Protect Your Massachusetts Business with Liquor Liability Insurance
To make sure your Massachusetts business is protected from incidents like these, purchase a liquor liability insurance policy that has robust protections for your business. An independent insurance agent can help you find a policy that will offer excellent liquor liability coverage.