Liquor Liability Insurance


Pennsylvania Liquor Liability Insurance

Do you need Liquor Liability Insurance?

There has always been substantial confusion regarding the need to carry a liquor liability policy – even by insurance professionals. Liquor liability laws vary significantly state by state, and coverage options are sometimes confusing. Here is some non-state-specific information on liquor liability:

  • “Dram Shop” Laws: say that alcoholic beverage servers may be held financially liable for harm that arises from selling alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals that in turn cause injury to other people, themselves, or cause property damage. These laws are made by each state and apply to bars, liquor stores, restaurants, social clubs, and even private events where liquor is served. These laws also restrict selling liquor without a license, selling liquor after hours, and selling liquor to minors.
  • Liquor Legal Liability: covers bodily injury and property damage for which the named insured and employees may become legally liable as the result of contributing to a person’s intoxication. Normally coverage is provided by a separate policy, but may in some cases be added to a general liability policy by endorsement and will only cover businesses “in the business of manufacturing, selling, distributing, or serving alcoholic beverages for a charge”. Keep in mind a standard general liability policy will not cover this exposure.
  • Host Liquor Liability Insurance Policies: cover special events for businesses that elect to serve alcohol and that business is not in the business of serving or providing alcoholic beverages to customers, guests, or employees.  Normally a standard general liability policy provides some host liquor liability. The intent is to cover incidental exposures related to the serving of alcohol beverages by businesses who are not in the business of serving alcohol.

Pennsylvania Liquor Liability 101

Pennsylvania’s dram shop law can be found under the PA Liquor Code Section 4.493(1). According to the statute, a business in Pennsylvania may be civilly liable for serving alcoholic beverages to people who are “visibly intoxicated”.

Whether a person is “visibly intoxicated” is subject to debate, however, employees are advised to exercise their best judgment in serving people who appear to be intoxicated. “Visible intoxication” may also be confirmed later through eyewitness accounts, blood samples or other types of testing.

This law also prohibits the sale of alcohol by a business to minors, people who are deemed legally insane, or to persons who are known to have a drinking habit (that last part might be all of your regulars depending on a jury’s perspective).

Pennsylvania is one of the few states that allow the person to sue the business establishment which sold them the drinks for injuries to themselves. This is so reflective of our current society where there is no accountability and everything that happens must be someone else’s fault including the person who chooses to become highly intoxicated. Pennsylvania lawmakers believe that the reason for the dram shop act is to protect the general public and the person drinking is part of the general public.

How can Hornafius Insurance Agency help?

Recent court decisions combined with new statutes are holding vendors of alcoholic beverages more and more responsible for injuries and property damage under liquor liability laws. Nevertheless, liquor liability insurance continues to be a quiet – if not dwindling – market around the country. In fact, more than half the establishments in the United States choose to operate without liquor liability insurance coverage.

Hornafius Insurance Agency makes your liquor liability insurance process as simple as possible. By filling out a simple form, our expert agents will shop the market for you and get the best possible coverage and competitive premiums. We pride ourselves on taking care of our clients and their interests.

Get your quote today!

Don’t wait a moment longer. Simply Request a Quote to get a no obligation liquor liability insurance proposal.  You may also call us at (717) 367-5126.

The sooner you contact us the sooner will be able to provide you with quality protection for your alcohol serving situation.

We’re looking forward to working with you!