As the holidays approach, many of us are planning parties for our friends, family, and coworkers. With all the focus on logistics and party planning, it’s easy to overlook some of the details that may cause bigger problems later on.
If you’re planning a holiday event, it may be worth it to take a moment to make sure you have the right insurance to protect you in the event of a party-related disaster—especially if you plan on serving alcohol at your event.
Damage To Your Home
If you host a party and a guest accidentally knocks over a candle that starts a fire or otherwise damages your home, it’s likely that your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the damage.
However, if you are planning on serving alcohol at your holiday party, you may want to review your policy. Many homeowner’s policies specifically exclude coverage for damages related to drugs and alcohol. If that’s the case for your policy, you may wind up footing the bill for home repairs.
Drinking And Driving
If one of your guests has had too much to drink at your party and gets in a car accident, they’re unlikely to sue you, especially if they are a family member or friend. Even if they chose to, in most states, the suit would be rejected by the court.
The real problem for you, as the party host, comes in if a third party is involved—if the driver who got drunk at your party injured another person or damaged their property. In some cases, the third party may be able to hold you liable for over-serving the driver.
Your personal liability insurance (if you have it) would come into play in this situation, but you’ll be better off avoiding the problem entirely by encouraging responsible drinking, coordinating safe travel for your guests, or not serving alcohol at all.
Planning a holiday party for your office? Your general liability insurance will cover most issues. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Additional Coverage for Alcohol
If you are going to be serving alcohol at the party, you may need additional coverage, either as an add-on to your general liability insurance or in the form of special event insurance that specifically covers alcohol related issues. This may also include coverage for the cost of the party if it has to be canceled due to weather or other circumstances out of your control.
You’ll also want to remind your employees that even if the event is taking place at an offsite location, company policies and decorum still apply. Insurance may cover alcohol and sexual harassment claims from an out-of-control company party, but it would be better to avoid those issues in the first place by establishing acceptable behavior.
If you have any concerns about whether or not you’re covered for holiday issues, give us a call and we’ll review your policy to make sure you have everything you need.
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