You’ve been hired as a private bartender for a wedding or corporate event. You have the mixology down to a science, but you may have forgotten one thing: liquor liability insurance.
Private or mobile bartenders can be held liable for damages if they serve alcohol to someone who causes an accident or inflicts harm to a third party.
“But wait,” you may be thinking. “I’m not the person who chooses to drink irresponsibly. Why would I be held liable for damages that someone else causes? Could I really be held financially responsible if one of my guests gets drunk and causes an auto accident?”
You can. And here’s where your state laws come into play.
BARTENDING AT AN EVENT — WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES WHILE SERVING ALCOHOL?
Most states hold bartenders who offer excessive alcohol to their customers responsible for their customer’s actions. This includes events where you may tend bar, such as:
- Bachelor or bachelorette parties
- Anniversary, birthday, baby showers, or any other milestone celebrations
- Company or corporate events
- Luncheons or dinners
- Any event where alcohol is served
Anyone injured by an intoxicated person has the right to sue the individual who provided the alcohol, and you may even face criminal charges! Liquor liability charges are substantial and sometimes reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
HOW BARTENDERS CAN AVOID A LIQUOR LIABILITY LAWSUIT
The risk of a lawsuit doesn’t mean you need to quit your job. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of having a liquor liability lawsuit brought against you.
- Make sure there are established designated drivers at the event
- Provide plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and water
- Have the Uber or Lyft app installed on your phone, or have the local taxi company numbers on hand
- Ask if the event is hosted at an establishment that has a liquor license
- Purchase liquor liability insurance from FLIP here
HOW MUCH IS BARTENDERS LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Bartenders can purchase either a 1–3 day event liquor liability insurance policy starting at $75 or an annual liquor liability policy starting from $184. You’ll need a general liability policy first, but don’t worry, FLIP offers bartenders insurance starting at $299 annually.
When you consider that the average cost to defend yourself against a liquor liability lawsuit is around $150,000, that’s a bargain. Remember, you could incur these costs even if the lawsuit has no basis. If you are found liable, the average cost of a settlement is $500,000, but damages could reach millions of dollars.
WHAT DOES BARTENDER LIQUOR LIABILITY INSURANCE COVER?
Liquor liability insurance may cover legal fees, settlements, and medical costs up to the limits of your policy. It may even cover the costs of expenses if you were to be responsible for damages stemming from a lawsuit. Coverage limits are:
- Liquor Liability Limit: $100,000/$300,000 aggregate
- Liquor Liability Limit: $250,000/$500,000 aggregate
- Liquor Liability Limit: $1 Million/$2 Million aggregate
- Assault and Battery Limit: $25,000/$25,000 aggregate
Of course, there are some limitations. If any of the following apply, you may not qualify for a liquor liability policy. However, if you give us a call, we can help you get a quote for coverage. Contact us at 844-520-6992 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are operating in the following states, you are prohibited from buying FLIP liquor liability insurance: AL, VT, DC, AK, HI, IA, KY, NH, PA, WV.
- Any event where the insured is promoting or sponsoring any entertainment
- Any risk that allows consumption of alcohol by employees, temporary workers, independent contractors, and volunteers during hours of employment
- Any operations that continue past 2 a.m.
- Any events that allow drinking games, drink incentives, all you can drink specials, complimentary drinks, BYOB, bottle service or self-service
HOW CAN I BUY BARTENDER LIQUOR LIABILITY INSURANCE?
FLIP makes buying bartender liquor liability insurance easy. Just go to our website, fill out the application, pay online, and download your documents in minutes. You can purchase your liquor liability insurance right before your event or gig starts. Buy now.
BY ASHLEY BAKER
Ashley Baker writes about marketing, business, and insurance for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Ashley is a former Licensed Massage Therapist. She has a background in writing for state political offices, newspapers and was the web editor for two regional magazine publications. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family, attending college football games or kayaking. Find Ashley on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.