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Liquor Liability and the Business Holiday Party

‘Tis the season for office parties and many businesses are so intent on making the event a festive one that they fail to take necessary precautions when it comes to liability risks.

In many states, liquor liability is just as much a factor for the occasional company social bash as it is for the bar, restaurant or other establishment that serves alcoholic beverages. This means that if a third party incurs a loss, damage or injury due to the actions of an employee or guest who has been drinking at the event, the host can be sued.

So what can the business owner or manager do to avoid related liability and still let the good times roll?

The following guide may be helpful.  

7 Tips to Shield Your Business from Party Liability

  • Have your insurance agent review your business liability policy and add any forms of necessary extra coverage, like EPLI, in relation to office party indemnity protection.  

  • Prior to the party, remind employees that drinking in excess is prohibited.

  • To minimize liability, host the party at a restaurant, social hall or other site other than the business premises.

  • Limit the time alcoholic beverages are served to the beginning of the event.

  • Use the services of a professional bartender that is trained in spotting underage drinkers and those that have imbued too much.

  • Offer food, snacks, soft drinks like soda, juice, water, coffee and tea as well.

  • Hire a taxi or ride share service to safely get intoxicated or drowsy guests home after the party.


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Summary: Business owners beware: Your company holiday party has liquor liability that you may not be prepared for. Prime Insurance posts this party guide to protect you from the risks.


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