“On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine Ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five gold ring, four collie birds, three French hens, and a partridge in a pear tree.”
Just how do I twist this song one more time so that I can write about insurance Christmas? Well, it’s common for people to invite others to their home for parties and get festivities during the Holiday Season; this may be for Christmas, New Years, or any other holiday. It is also quite common to serve alcohol at these parties, and this brings up the subject of liquor liability.
If a drunk driver harms or kills someone that means that somebody is going to be sued. It doesn’t matter if that person is coming from a business establishment or a residence the last place of his overindulgence is the target. Now, it is important to know that the drunk cannot sue you for his own intoxication but the person that he hit sure can, and you can bet that they will.
You are liable for the accident as a “social host” if you serve alcohol to a minor or if you served alcohol in a “reckless” manner. A reckless manner is usually defined as serving alcohol to an already intoxicated guest. Your homeowner’s insurance will cover the incident up to the limit of liability on the policy. The typical limit is somewhere between one hundred and five hundred thousand dollars.
Perhaps the best rule is to closely monitor your guests and use common sense. First of all, serving alcohol to a minor not only puts you in the hot seat as far as liquor liability is concerned, it is also illegal, and that means potential criminal charges; with regard to our adult guests that don’t always act like adults, if “Uncle Harry” has a penchant for overindulgence take that into consideration when you serve him. Additionally, you should make sure that transportation or lodging arrangements are made beforehand, not only will this prevent the potential lawsuit it will prevent a potential tragedy, we would hate for anything to happen to “Uncle Harry”.
As always, don’t forget to call your insurance agent about any insurance questions that you might have.