With Christmas is right around the corner, and many of us getting together with friends and family, we’d like to take a minute to wish all of our customers, friends, and family, a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.
Speaking of holiday parties, we know that we are all great hosts, and terrific guests as well, but as this month’s blog post outlines, we can’t count on good behavior from everyone. With that in mind, enjoy this post and take note of what you can do to ensure a safe and happy holiday party at your home or place of work.
Have you ever been to a party that got out of control? It can happen fast – even to the most organized and responsible party hosts. With the holiday season in full swing, it is more important than ever to make sure your personal and commercial liability protection is up to date. Continue reading to learn more about how you can protect yourself from party guests who are naughty instead of nice.
Insurance for Work Parties
Imagine that your employees are cutting loose and having a good time at the office holiday party. During the event, cell phone cameras capture an important client engaging in some questionable behavior. After an intoxicated employee uploads the video to social media, the client files a lawsuit against your business for irreversible reputational damages.
In another scenario, one of your guests are inappropriately touched by a drunken employee. Despite firing the employee responsible, and having nothing to do with the behavior of your employee directly, you are still sued and held liable as the employer and host of the event.
In both of these circumstances, it pays to have employment practices liability insurance, otherwise known as EPLI. With this type of coverage, your business is generally protected against discrimination suits, as well as those pertaining to sexual harassment and other types of workplace assault. EPLI is typically purchased in addition to commercial general liability (CGL) coverage, as it tends to extend to third-parties when CGL may not.
Insurance for Holiday Parties at Your Home
Many things can go wrong when you open your home to guests regardless of whether you will be serving alcohol at your holiday party. For example, did you know you could be held liable for injuries if one of your party-goers slips on ice while walking up the steps to your home? Likewise, you could be sued for food-borne illnesses derived from contaminated foods served at your party.
Fortunately, homeowners liability insurance is designed to provide a financial safety net in these circumstances. Having the right coverage could help you avoid emptying your own pocket to pay for legal fees, court costs, medical bills and lost wages related to the accident. However, all homeowners liability policies are not equal. It is important to review this coverage before hosting a party to ensure you are adequately covered.
Serve Alcohol Responsibly to Keep Your Party-Goers and Third Parties Safe
One of the most common culprits behind accidents during and after holiday parties is alcohol. Liquor liability laws apply to anyone serving alcohol – including social hosts. An inebriated guest is not only a danger to himself, but also to those around him. The following tips can help prevent over-intoxication and its consequences:
- Do not provide an open bar (guests who must pay for their own drinks are likely to drink less)
- Never serve alcohol to a minor
- Provide alternative transportation options for guests without a designated driver
- Advise responsible drinking practices on the party invitation with a reminder to drink only in moderation
- Remind employees of company policies regarding sexual harassment and privacy prior to the party
- Hold company parties at an off-site location rather than in the office
It is absolutely imperative that you do not allow a visibly intoxicated guest to leave your home without a sober driver to take him to his destination. While you typically are not legally responsible for a person’s personal alcohol consumption, you may be held responsible if a guest’s intoxication leads to the injury or death of a third-party.
For more information about homeowners liability and EPLI coverage, contact our office here at Reis Insurance today. We can help you review your existing coverage and identify gaps in your policy that could leave you vulnerable to risk this holiday season.