The terms “insurance policy” and “event liability” are enough to make anyone’s eyes glaze over and sigh with boredom. It’s not a sexy subject, especially when you’re trying to plan the celebration to end all celebrations.
Unfortunately, wedding liability insurance is necessary to ensure you have it in place before your big day. If you don’t and one of your guests goes too far with the Jack Daniels they brought, you’ll be the one who ends up paying for it.
Sorry to be such a buzzkill, but it’s a necessary evil, and we want to ensure you’re fully protected when tequila shots come out.
Here’s everything you need to know about host liquor liability insurance for weddings.
Put simply, liquor liability insurance provides coverage for and protection against any financial consequences that arise from alcohol-related incidents – namely bodily injury and property damage – that take place at a wedding.
An open bar in full swing opens the door wide for a whole host of problems to arise. While most people can behave themselves after a few glasses of champagne, there are still plenty of alcohol-related incidents that can occur, whether intentional or not.
In fact, property damage is one of the most common wedding insurance claims and accounts for 19% of all wedding insurance claims, while illness and injury account for 15%.
Liquor liability insurance will help protect you if the worst happens. For example, if a tipsy uncle falls into the DJ booth and breaks a load of equipment. Or if Grandma drops her glass of sherry and someone slips on the glass and breaks their ankle.
And since weddings are so expensive, to begin with, the last thing you want to see before you jet off on your honeymoon is a hefty hospital or damages bill waved under your nose!
If you’re going to be serving alcohol yourself at your wedding, then yes, you really should take out coverage for liquor liability. Besides, the venue you choose for your wedding may insist on you having it in place for the event. However, if you are hiring a bartender or catering service, they usually come with their own liquor liability insurance.
Wedding liquor liability insurance will likely cost far less than it will to replace or repair the broken property or pay someone’s medical bills. And the peace of mind the insurance coverage provides means you can relax and enjoy your wedding without keeping tabs on how much everyone else is drinking.
The only exception here is if you’re having a dry wedding where no alcohol will be served at any point. Of course, if no alcohol is present, then you don’t need coverage.
Here’s the thing: the venue isn’t necessarily responsible for any guests that get drunk at your wedding. The venue will undoubtedly have its own host liquor liability insurance in place, and if not, you may be required to take it out on your venue or vendor’s behalf.
If a server provides alcohol to someone who is visibly drunk, the liability could fall on them, but it could also fall on the persons who hired them – and if it’s your wedding, then technically, you would be the person who hired them, so better safe than sorry.
Additionally, venues may state in their contract that they are not responsible for any damage or bodily injury from guests under the influence, which means the liability will fall squarely on your shoulders if anything happens.
Lastly, not all weddings take place in a venue. What if you’re celebrating in a private house? Your house? Or in a public place? Again, you will be responsible for ensuring you have liquor liability coverage to protect yourself.
Liquid liability is often included with your general wedding insurance policy. Sometimes, it’s included as part of the core coverage. With some insurers, it can be included as an add-on for an extra cost.
When shopping for wedding insurance, look closely at the list of coverages it provides and ensure that liquor liability is included or that whatever vendor you hire to handle the alcohol has it.
Also, read the insurance’s disclosure and exclusion policy. This will tell you precisely what you won’t be covered for. For example, it’s now expected to exclude coverage for cancellations and venue closures due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Overall, here’s what you can expect to get coverage for when you take out liquor liability wedding insurance. Remember that the coverage limits for each liability type will differ depending on which wedding insurance cover you purchase. Still, overall, each policy tends to offer much the same.
This provides coverage for any claims that arise from physical injuries sustained at a wedding where alcohol is served.
This part of the coverage protects you from claims for damages sustained to the venue or personal effects such as clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Our advice is to shop around and get several quotes together for comparison. Ensure you look at the insurance cover limits and the overall insurance cost. This way, you will understand which insurers offer value for money.
As a side note, wedding insurance cost varies from state to state, and the available insurers may not operate in every state. Another good reason to research the available options!
To give you a flavor of what to expect, here are some examples from popular insurers:
Host liquor liability is a special event insurance that provides coverage for those who do not sell alcohol but allow it to be consumed on the premises of a venue. Retail liquor liability is for people who sell alcohol directly to customers.
Liquor liability insurance is the most common term for this type of coverage, though you may occasionally hear it referred to as “dram shop insurance.” However, this term refers to liquor liability for people who sell alcohol rather than hosts of events that allow its consumption.
Liquor liability aims to protect a host from any claims arising from liquor-related incidents during an organized or special event. If bodily injury or property damage occurs on account of someone being intoxicated, this is where the event insurance for liquor will step in and pay.
If an intoxicated person causes property damage or bodily injury at your event, then you – as the host – could be held liable for any claims that arise from the incident. Having liquor liability in place means you are protected and won’t have to pay if a claim is made.
Liquor liability is not the same as general liability since it only protects you against liquor-related claims. Liquor liability does not protect you from general liability claims, and general liability does not protect you from liquor-related claims.
post-wedding surprises and get liquor liability coverage in place pronto. Oh, and make sure you don’t forget insurance for your wedding ring, either!
For everything else wedding-related, The Groom Club has got your back. We’ll help you plan for the wedding of your life, whether that’s a budget-conscious destination wedding, a simple beach wedding, or something more extravagant.
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