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Does your New Jersey Restaurant Insurance Include Liquor Liability Coverage?

April 15, 2022

The season of graduation parties is upon us. For your popular New Jersey restaurant this can be both a lucrative and a risky time. Private parties can be excellent money earners. But even if you don’t want to turn all or part of your restaurant over to a select group, you can still capitalize on those large groups coming to celebrate in style at your restaurant, pub, or bar.

For the graduates and their friends, a good night out is all about having fun, letting their hair down, and celebrating the end of all that hard work.

As the restaurateur, you can provide the perfect venue but you will have to be diligent and aware of exactly what is happening on your premises.

If you serve alcohol at your restaurant, this is a great time to check your restaurant insurance. First and foremost, do you have liquor liability insurance? You cannot assume that either your General Liability or Umbrella Policy will protect you should you suffer a loss that can be directly connected to the consumption or sale of liquor. Many restaurant insurance General Liability policies will specifically deny coverage for liquor-related claims.

Losses and liabilities relating to liquor consumption are many and varied:

  • If someone consumes alcohol served in your restaurant, then drives away and becomes involved in a traffic incident—you may be liable.
  • If someone becomes intoxicated in your restaurant and subsequently gets into a fight, causing bodily injury to either themselves or another person—you may be liable.
  • If an underage drinker is prosecuted for consuming alcohol and it can be proved that the alcohol came from your restaurant—you will be liable.
  • If a customer causes damage to your (or any other) premises while intoxicated by alcohol consumed in your restaurant—you may be liable.

Such scenarios represent only a few of the risks to your restaurant if you serve alcohol, and then can all be extremely damaging to your restaurant’s reputation and earnings. But imagine how much more damaging it could be if your New Jersey restaurant is not properly and fully insured?

Liquor liability insurance is often relatively inexpensive, but you do need to be sure you have the right policy, and you must read the small print.

For example, not all liquor liability insurance provides assault and battery coverage; some liquor liability insurance will protect you if you are serving alcohol inside or on-site, but not outside or off-site. Some liquor liability insurance will include coverage for all legal fees or medical costs, while others provide partial coverage, and some provide none.

Don’t miss out on the busy graduation party season, but don’t be caught out if things get out of hand—talk to your broker before the party starts and, even if you’re a seasoned New Jersey restaurant owner, take time to re-read your restaurant insurance policies.

For more information on top rated restaurant insurance in New Jersey contact Vozza Agency.

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