Liquor Liability Insurance in Massachusetts

What is Liquor Liability Coverage?

When people become intoxicated, they sometimes take unwise actions that can lead to accidents. If an accident causes bodily injury or property damage, the intoxicated individual who caused the accident may be held responsible – but they might not be the only party held responsible for the accident. The establishment that served them alcohol may also be held financially liable for any harm or damage caused. Liquor liability insurance can help protect businesses in Massachusetts that serve alcohol from this risk.

Liquor liability coverage is a type of insurance specifically designed for businesses that sell alcohol. It helps guard these establishments from liability lawsuits that may arise if an intoxicated patron causes an accident. While it might seem as if the individual ought to be held responsible, establishments are frequently also held liable for enabling an individual to become too intoxicated.

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Liquor Liability Insurance Massachusetts

The lawsuits that arise from alcohol-related accidents can have high legal costs and large settlements. Their financial cost is often too much for a business if the establishment doesn’t have adequate coverage through a liquor liability policy. 

What Massachusetts Businesses Should Have Liquor Liability Insurance?

Any business in Massachusetts that sells alcohol should consider getting liquor liability insurance. It includes all types of alcohol-selling businesses, such as:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages
  • Beer, wine, and liquor stores
  • Caterers that provide alcohol
  • Event venues that offer alcohol

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In many cases, these businesses are required to have a liquor liability policy. The state requires minimum levels of coverage for certain types of liquor licenses, and lenders often request businesses they finance to maintain coverage so their investment won’t be lost if a liability lawsuit arises. 

Do Businesses Still Have to Check Patrons’ IDs?

Every business that serves alcohol must implement practices to ensure that it won’t be sold to underage individuals. The primary way of doing this is by checking IDs.

Liquor Liability Insurance Massachusetts

There are two reasons why a business must still check patrons’ IDs, even if the business has a liquor liability policy. First, it’s illegal to sell alcohol to underage individuals. Second, providing underage individuals with alcohol will often void a policy’s liquor liability coverage, as many policies exclude incidents involving intoxicated people who are underage. If an underage individual becomes intoxicated, and causes injury or damage, the business that served the individual will likely not have insurance coverage to help it survive a liability suit.

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How Can Businesses Obtain Liquor Liability Coverage?

Businesses in Massachusetts may be able to get liquor liability coverage through a general liability insurance policy, a specialized business insurance policy, or as a standalone liquor liability insurance policy. An independent insurance agent who specializes in the commercial insurance needs of businesses that sell alcohol can help determine which of these three options will be best for a specific business.

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