Working in a restaurant presents a unique set of challenges to the involved employees and business owners alike, especially if the restaurant serves alcohol. Introducing alcohol into any environment can potentially create a bad situation, either due to fighting or even due to medical emergencies caused by drinking too much.
Due to the risks involved with drinking, restaurants, bars and taverns that serve it are always advised to invest in liquor liability insurance, which is a type of business insurance that would protect the restaurant (or bar or tavern) against any claims made by a patron who became intoxicated and injured themselves or anyone around them. These sorts of claims are not covered by standard liability policies, which is why liquor liability insurance is recommended as an investment not only to restaurants that serve alcohol, but to any businesses that sells, serves or facilitates the use or purchase of alcohol.
Often, restaurants are given two options when purchasing this insurance: to add it on to a commercial liability policy, or to purchase it as a separate policy. No matter which option is chosen, there are five things that any good liquor liability insurance policy should cover:
-Assault and Battery Coverage – The typical claim made against a bar or restaurant stems from a fight that occurred as a result of drinking; as such, a solid liquor liability insurance policy should always include coverage for assault and battery claims.
-Defense Costs Included – If a restaurant faces any claims as a result of serving alcohol, the greatest expenses as a result of these claims usually result from using a lawyer to defend against the claims. Needless to say, since legal fees are incredibly expenses and any business deserves to get skilled legal counsel, it’s best to pass over any insurance policy that does not include defense costs.
-Employees Included – A good liquor liability insurance policy will include employees as patrons, because as experienced restaurant owners know, no rules will stop the determined rule-breaker amongst your staff from enjoying a drink or two on the job. Both you, and your insurance policy, should be prepared for potential trouble because of this.
-Damage Definition Includes Mental Damages – While assault and battery charges are the most common claim made against a bar or restaurant, other claims include charges that patrons were damaged emotionally or psychologically. The right liquor liability insurance policy will include these claims in the damages that policy covers.
-Reduced Premiums Based on Safety and Claims – Finally, it’s also recommended to look for an insurance group that offers things like free classes and training to their policy holders, as well as offers discounts on premiums for undergoing training and having a clean claim record.
While many restaurants avoid purchasing liquor liability insurance, not investing in this insurance is a major gamble. Sometimes it just takes a single suit to potentially bankrupt a restaurant or bar. This isn’t a risk any business owner should take, especially if they live in states with “dram shop” laws, which legally hold bars and restaurants liable if they knowingly over-serve a visibly intoxicated patron who goes on to injure another person; Pennsylvania is one of those states.
So with New Years celebrations just around the corner, now is the time to talk to one of our Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency staff members (F.W.F Insurance Agency) to either evaluate or find your liquor liability insurance. Contact our staff now to set up an appointment! Whether you’re in Johnstown or any other area in central Pennsylvania, and whether you need an entirely new policy or to update the one you already have, we’re here to help you. Our representatives in Blaire County, Cambria County, Somerset, Latrobe, or in any other nearby counties are all ready to work with you so that you can continue operating with peace of mind during this wonderful, but risky, time of the year.