Most businesses in Vermont that sell alcohol to consumers should have liquor liability insurance. This insurance helps protect businesses from alcohol-related accidents they’re held responsible for. Here are five examples of incidents that liquor liability coverage might offer protection against. (Specific coverages vary, and depend on a particular policy’s terms and conditions.)
Liquor Liability Insurance Might Protect Vermont Businesses from These 5 Incidents
1. Trips, Slips, and Falls
In many situations, a business may be held responsible for injuries that a customer sustains while on company property. If a patron slips on a Barre, VT cafe’s recently mopped floor, for instance, the injured person might seek compensation from the business.
Bars, nightclubs, and other establishments in Vermont that sell alcohol aren’t very different from cafes in this regard. If a patron is injured on company property, the business may be held financially responsible for any medical bills or other financial losses that the person suffers as a result. If anything, alcohol-selling establishments might be at greater risk, as intoxicated individuals have poorer coordination and are more likely to trip, slip, or otherwise fall.
General liability insurance often covers these types of claims, but most general liability policies exclude alcohol-related incidents. Liquor liability insurance typically extends protection for these kinds of incidents to falls that intoxicated individuals sustain.
2. Fights Between Intoxicated Individuals
When individuals are intoxicated, their judgment is impaired. At times, what would otherwise be minor incidents can quickly escalate and get out of hand. Even a minor slight (or presumed slight) can erupt into a bar fight.
If an establishment is found to have served an already intoxicated individual who got into a fight, the business may be held responsible for injuries sustained in the fight. Even bystanders may sue if they’re physically, emotionally, or mentally injured. Without liquor liability coverage, just mounting a defense against these claims -- not to mention paying any settlements -- can be extremely expensive.
3. Sexual Assaults and Harassments
In addition to fights, an establishment may also be held financially responsible for sexual assaults or harassments. The emotional and mental pain of unwanted advances can be especially difficult for victims, which can lead to particularly large lawsuits. With laws often being very strict on these types of incidents, it’s especially important for establishments to find liquor liability coverage that covers sexual assault and harassment.
4. DWI and DUI Accidents
Similarly, businesses may be held responsible for DWI and DUI accidents that people are involved in on the way home. If a patron leaves intoxicated and gets behind the wheel, any person or organization who helped them become intoxicated might be sued for damages they cause while driving.
Auto accidents often involve thousands of dollars worth of damage, and they can result in life-altering injuries or even death. Without robust liquor liability coverage, a single accident could force an establishment to declare bankruptcy.
5. Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol poisoning is another incident that could bankrupt a bar, nightclub, or other establishment. Minor cases may be the basis for suits involving aforementioned incidents, and serious cases can result in hospitalization or death.
If a customer’s blood alcohol levels become too high, there’s likely evidence that they continued to be served even after becoming intoxicated. The establishment that served them may be held responsible, and it’ll probably need the resources that liquor liability coverage provides to pay for a legal defense and any settlement.
Get Your Vermont Business Liquor Liability Insurance
If you have a business in Vermont that sells alcohol, make sure it’s well protected with a strong liquor liability insurance policy. Talk with an independent agent nearby who can help you consider potential scenarios and find a policy that provides protection from those scenarios.