Liquor Legal Liability Insurance

$1,000,000 Liquor Legal Liability
Premiums Starting at $500.00
Supplemental LOB Required


There has always been a lot of confusion about the need for liquor liability even among insurance professionals.  Liquor Liability laws vary greatly by state and insurance policy coverage options are often confusing. Here is some basic information dealing with the subject.  The most challenging  definition in the commercial general liability policy is coverage granted for Host Liquor Legal which is defined to cover organizations who are not “in the business” of selling alcohol. 

Simply stated, "dram shop" liquor liability applies to businesses that sell alcoholic beverages and liquor.  In most states, stores, restaurants and other businesses that provide alcoholic beverages as a service or commodity are required to carry liquor liability insurance, but there are still ways by which patrons can take legal action against the establishment from which they purchased and/or consumed alcohol.

In many cases, poor policies employed by store and restaurant owners and their employees create situations that prompt legal action by the consumer.  Examples include providing liquor in venues that are do not effectively regulate mandatory age restrictions, improperly trained staff, and owners and managers who provide liquor to individuals who may prove dangerous to themselves and other patrons as a result of their intoxication level.


If you operate any kind of business involved in the commercial sale or distribution of alcoholic spirits you need a Commercial Liquor Liability policy.  Liquor Legal liability insurance pays the damages for liability imposed upon you or your business by the law.  It also pays the cost of defending you when a claim is made against your policy.

Liability policies are designed to help protect you if you are sued by a third party who is injured or whose property is damaged.  A third party is generally someone who is not a family member or employee.  The policy covers defense costs and pays claims for which you are legally liable up to the policy limits.

If you have employees you should carry workman's compensation insurance as they are not covered under the general liability policy.  You should also make sure that any independent contractors or vendors that work with you show proof of their own liability insurance and ask that you be named as an Additional Insured on their policy. 

Defense costs for lawsuits are also provided in this coverage, whether substantial or groundless. Policy payments extend to the cost of bail bonds, interest on judgments against you and expenses you incur at our request to assist in your defense.

  • Host Liquor: Provides protection against bodily injury or property damage suits brought by parties injured as a result of an intoxicated guest who was served alcohol at an event you hosted. Host liquor liability is a coverage that is included under the commercial general liability policy for those businesses not  'in the business of'  serving, manufacturing, distributing, selling, serving or providing alcohol.
  • Liquor Legal Liability: Provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage for which you may become legally liable as a result of contributing to a person's intoxication. This coverage is provided by a separate policy and will only cover insureds " in the business of " manufacturing, selling, distributing, serving alcoholic beverages for charge or no charge if a license is required for the activity. This exposure is not covered under the general liability policy.

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Policy Highlights

Full Occurrence Form
Primary Liability Limits $300,000 - $1,000,000
General Aggregate $300,000 - $2,000,000
Defense Costs Unlimited
Excess Liability Limits $5,000,000

Our commercial  liability policy is designed to insure any type of  liquor related business including:

bullet  Restaurants
bullet  Bars & Taverns
bullet  Special Events
bullet  Casinos
bullet  Sports Facilities & Complexes
bullet  Catering Companies
bullet  Liquor Stores
bullet  Wineries
bullet  Fraternal Organizations
bullet  Distributors & Manufacturers
bullet  Convenience Stores

Coverage is written on an occurrence basis (not claims made) through a domestic, A rated insurance company and tailored to fit your specific stable operations and budget.  

A standard commercial general liability policy excludes coverage for the sale of alcohol.  Please visit our Forms Sections and Reference Library for policy definitions, specific examples of litigation and court precedents that could apply to you.


  • A+ rated insurance company

  • Occurrence Basis

  • Up to $6 million liability limits

  • Commercial liability applies in the U.S., U.S. territories & Canada

  • Employees are named as Additional Insured

  • Defense cost paid in excess of policy limit

  • Extended coverage for Additional Insured

  • Independent contractors can be added to policy

  • Special Events coverage available

  • Convenient payment options



      Things You Should Know:

  Liquor Legal Liability... What is it and do I really need it?
  Bartender & Server Liability... What do I really need?

Why Do I Need Commercial Liability Insurance?

If you operate an janitorial or building maintenance business, you know how much planning and effort is involved to make your operations both safe and successful for everyone involved. Even with the most careful planning, unexpected situations can arise that you might not be prepared for.  Without adequate liability protection you will have to pay damages and defense costs yourself.  If the damages and costs are high enough you may suffer financial hardship or bankruptcy.

What Does The Commercial General Liability Policy Cover?

This policy was specifically designed to protect your event anywhere in the United States, it's territories or Canada.  The general liability policy will pay the damages imposed upon you or your business by the law.  It also pays the cost of defending you when a claim is made against your policy.  Coverage is written on a full occurrence basis by an Admitted, A rated US insurance company and is tailored to fit your specific event needs.  The policy will also add the premises owner, venue, sponsors, volunteers and co-producers as additional insureds.

Certificate of Insurance vs Additional Insured Endorsement

When performing your services you will often be asked to provide a certificate of insurance to verify the existence of insurance coverage under specific conditions More specifically, the document lists the effective date of the policy, the type of insurance coverage purchased, and the types and dollar amount of applicable liability.

Frequently, another party such as a customers, management company or venue will ask to be named as an additional insured on your policy.  The additional insured then enjoys the benefits of being insured under your policy your for negligent acts and omissions but not for his own negligence.


Loss Control Claims Guidelines

In the event of a person becoming intoxicated on your premises, be proactive in how you handle the situation. Follow alcohol awareness training guidelines to help resolve the situation.

  • Log Book. Require bartenders to keep a log book of incidents that take place.

  • Make Note. Be aware of the arrival and departure time of any person who appears to be visibly intoxicated

  • Document. Record any intervention attempted including refusal of service, food offered, transportation arranged, and witnesses. Obtain names and phone numbers if possible.

  • Advise. Your staff should not provide information about an incident to anyone other than your attorney, law enforcement officer, or an authorized representative of your insurance company.

  • Save. Register receipts, payroll records, and work schedules should be kept for at least three years.

  • Follow Up. Meet with your staff regularly to ensure they are properly trained and in the event of a claim, are maintaining log notes as requested.

Loss Avoidance Guidelines

To ensure your organization thrives, please consider these tips to help minimize your liquor liability exposure.

  • Train. All employees should be trained in alcohol awareness with a formal training program to recognize and manage intoxicated customers.

  • Develop. Create a written policy about serving alcohol. Establish guidelines for staff and customers. Hold regular meetings with your staff to discuss and encourage this policy.

  • Licensing. Make sure you have the proper licenses and permits for the services you provide.

  • Closing Times. Should be no later than the prevailing closing times for your area.

  • Control. The serving size of drinks should be limited. i.e. do not serve beer in cups larger than 24 oz. and encourage accurate measures of alcohol content in drinks.

  • Discontinue. Drinking contests and long/late happy hours which encourage greater alcohol consumption leading to more rapid intoxication. The increased risk outweighs the increased sales.



Please call or email us for a no obligation insurance quote today.  We can often give you a quote right on the phone while you wait.  You can also download our application in Adobe pdf format (v 5.0) to save time. 

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