LIQUOR SERVICE AT YOUR FUNCTIONS: MINIMIZING THE RISK OF LIABILITY
The following outline was included as part of a presentation on nonprofit risk management to the New England Museum Association by Attorney Jeffrey M. Hurwit.
SERVING LIQUOR AT YOUR ORGANIZATION'S FUNCTIONS: A CHECKLIST FOR REDUCING RISK
Contract with Caterer - Ensure that:
- Caterer obtains all necessary licensing, permits, which should be posted at event.
- Servers trained in TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures).
- Caterer responsible for ensuring no underage service.
- Your organization's security personnel will be present.
- Security personnel have right to close bar, expel guests, call police.
- No on-site storage of liquor before or after event.
- Caterer protects premises from food, liquor damage.
- No alcohol served within thirty minutes of end of event.
- Waiver of liability, indemnification by caterer.
- Caterer's insurance certificate provided upon contract signing
- Your organization is named as additional insured (by rider or endorsement)
- Amounts: $1-2 million each general and host liquor liability insurance.
Rental Agreement for Use of Your Venue or Facility
- The outside group/lessee agrees to use caterer pre-approved by your organization.
- Lessee's own agreement with caterer contains all the elements listed above.
- Same understanding with lessee regarding security as above.
- Disclaimer of liability, indemnification – agreement that no liability to your organization for harm to patrons, guests, etc.
- Two basic types of insurance: General liability and D&O (director and officers)
- No generally accepted industry practices in this area: liquor liability may be specifically excluded or included.
- As often as not the policy is silent on the matter.
- Recommend reviewing policy periodically, not simply renewing annually.
- Ask insurance agent specifically if liquor liability and other foreseeable risks are covered.
- Amount: At minimum $1 - 2 million each (general, D&O, liquor liability).
- If special event insurance needed, cost: $300-500 without liquor, $700 or more with.