Massachusetts Liquor Law Liability Insurance
Running a successful bar or restaurant is among the most difficult of business challenges. So many talented chefs and entrepreneurs pour their heart, soul and assets into a great location and concept only to see it fail due to economic fluctuations, fickle foodies or the inability to weather the hard years before the place catches on.
Not you. You worked and planned properly. A successful establishment is your reward. Sadly, it could all crumble before your eyes if a bartender or server sells alcohol to a minor or over-serves a customer. The police show up at your business. The local paper runs a story on the incident. The liquor board suspends or revokes your liquor license.
You lose everything.
A Massachusetts Liquor Liability Insurance policy protects establishments that serve alcoholic beverages to a customer who injures themselves or others, or damages property as a result of intoxication. Liquor Liability Insurance is mandatory in Massachusetts in order to obtain a liquor license.
Massachusetts Liquor Liability Laws are often updated. For instance, until 2010 it was not mandatory for an establishment to carry Liquor Liability Insurance. Today, smart bar and restaurant owners carry more than the minimum amounts of coverage.
Even if you rigorously train and observe your staff to ensure proper practices, you still need to stay current on any changes so you can make sure your business has the right protections. Your policy must cover bodily injury or death for a minimum amount of $250,000 on account of injury to or death of one person, and $500,000 on account of any one accident resulting in injury to or death of more than one person.
Common sense and business ethics mandates that you not sell or deliver alcohol to intoxicated persons or minors on the licensed premises. It’s also the law, which means serving a visibly intoxicated person or a person who is underage may result in liability.
A customer who suffers physical injury, property damage, or consequential damage may sue you and/or the employee who sold the alcohol.
Finally, irresponsible liquor service can apply to any of us under Social Host Liability. A social host is an individual who provides alcohol in a non-commercial setting – think of your Dad offering everyone a beer at his annual Fourth of July BBQ.
It is unlikely that your homeowners or renters insurance will provide coverage if you are charged under any criminal statute. As such, you might want to consider umbrella insurance above primary liability limits that can be used if substantial damages result from an incident.
Contact us if you’re unsure about coverage. We can guide you through our Massachusetts Liquor Law Liability Insurance products and protect your bar, restaurant … and even your father’s Fourth of July BBQ.