With the popularity of wineries, distilleries, and breweries in the United States, many customers are getting out and enjoying the offerings of these businesses. With all these clients, you might be thinking about your insurance plans. If you serve alcohol on the premises, your insurance needs could be complicated. With a tasting room or alcohol service at your establishment, you will need to add liquor liability insurance to your policy.
What Is Liquor Liability Insurance?
This insurance coverage will protect you and your business from any bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person. For those that serve alcohol, you need this essential policy coverage. Most business liability insurance does include host liquor coverage, but it does not cover businesses that routinely sell alcohol. All policies are different, and you will want to check with your provider about coverage. If your business is giving tastings or selling wine, you will want to add liquor liability coverage to your policy.
Coverage of a Liquor Liability Insurance Policy
There are times when liquor and the general public do not mix well. If someone is overserved at your business, you can be held legally responsible for damages and injuries. However, with a liquor liability policy, you can protect your winery. Liquor liability can cover medical costs, legal fees, and settlements. Accidents can happen. If they do, you will be protected from any losses due to alcohol consumption on your property. An insurance agent will help you find a plan to fit your specific needs.
Many policies offer coverage for liquor liability, including:
- Third-party property damage: If the intoxicated individual causes property damage, the liquor liability insurance will cover the repair or replacement costs of the damaged property.
- Third-party bodily injury: If a person becomes intoxicated on your property and injures someone, you could be held liable for damages. With this coverage, the injured party’s medical and legal expenses will be paid.
- Legal costs: If someone files a lawsuit against your winery due to an intoxicated person, then the liquor liability insurance will help cover your attorney costs, court fees, and settlements.
Are There Any Exclusions?
With any policy, you will want to know your coverage. In most cases, your liquor liability insurance will work with the general liability policy. These general policies often do not cover your premises or other parts of the grounds under the plan. For that reason, you will need to add a liquor liability policy to your coverage. However, there are some coverage exclusions to a liquor liability policy, such as:
- Coverage without a liquor license: You should never operate a business without the proper liquor license. If there is an incident, you will not be covered by any liquor liability insurance. You need to have a valid license to be protected by this policy.
- Workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, or disability: A liquor liability policy will not protect your business from any of these workers’ laws.
- Intended or expected injuries: If the insured intends the injury, then these claims will not be covered by a liquor liability policy. However, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, if the injury was caused by reasonable force to protect the property, you might be protected by your coverage.
- Employer’s liability: Any bodily injury caused by the performance of an employee’s job responsibilities are excluded under a liquor liability policy.
As a business owner, you need to check your specific policy for coverage. Every policy is different, and you can always customize your coverage to fit your business needs.
You Need Protection for Your Winery Business
There are risks when you own a vineyard, brewery, or winery. You need to find a business insurance package that can be customized for your business. Along with liquor liability insurance, you might need coverage for:
- Contract cancellation
- Business income
- Employee replacement
- Tank leakage or collapse
- Product recalls, including food contamination
In addition to those specific items, you might want to add commercial property insurance to expand your policy. Some of these policies include:
- Product contamination or adulteration endorsement: This coverage will protect your business against accidental product contamination as it is being processed.
- Restaurant property endorsement: This coverage is vital for those with a restaurant.
- Protection against a loss from a crime: You will be protected from employee theft, funds transfer fraud, computer fraud, forgery, embezzlement of funds, and losses from counterfeit money.
- Equipment breakdown coverage: Additional coverage can extend your property insurance to cover personal property losses due to a breakdown of equipment or other machinery used for your business.
- Liquor tax bonds: Most state and federal agencies charge a tax on those businesses that sell alcoholic beverages. This bond will make sure that you can meet those requirements.
Unique Insurance Needs for Wineries
There are many unique risks to your winery business, including wine spoilage, weather damage to property, chemical drifts, and other legal liability claims. If you want your winery to be fully protected, you should choose the right insurance plan that covers commercial property, such as barrels, buildings, structures, equipment, tools, and wine. Liability insurance features both primary and comprehensive coverage for property damage and bodily injury, personal injury, product liability, liquor liability, and personal liability.
For many winery owners, they also add additional endorsements to protect other parts of their business, including:
- Wine stored off-premises
- Equipment breakdown
- Business income
- Computer equipment
Stay Protected with the Right Policy
With these policies, your business can be protected from unexpected losses and damages. For those that serve alcohol at their business, liquor liability is vital to protect your assets. There are many risks when you serve alcohol to the general public. In the event of an accident, you want to remain covered by your insurance policy.
If you need help with your insurance needs, you should turn to the Lyman Agency team. We have the experience to help you find the right policy for your business, and we will protect all aspects of your winery. You can count on our expertise to get the best coverage for your business.
For more information about our insurance plans, please make sure to fill out the contact form.