What You Need To Know About Hosting Holiday Parties From An Insurance Perspective
By: Advocate Brokerage
The holidays are upon us, and that means we’ll have more people coming in and out of our homes. It also means we’re likely consuming and sharing more alcohol in the spirit of the season. But, as a host, you should know that you can be held liable for your guests’ actions during and after the event.
What Are My Obligations As A Party Host?
Under most state’s Social Host Laws, you’re likely responsible for accidents and injuries caused by intoxication from alcohol served at your event. This means if somebody has too much to drink and causes an accident, you can get sued. You may also find yourself in legal trouble if someone is injured on your property during a party.
Do I Need Additional Insurance?
It’s best to discuss your insurance needs with your insurance Advocate to find out if your homeowners insurance covers damage caused to your home, injuries to others, or damage caused by intoxicated people leaving your party. You may also ask about investing in additional umbrella coverage for extra protection. This is particularly prudent if you are serving alcohol.
How Can I Ensure My Guests Are Safe During My Event?
- Make sure that your home is safe. This means eliminating tripping hazards and clearing ice from the main entry. If your party guests range in age from child to adult, consider skipping the alcoholic beverages.
- Monitor alcohol consumption. If you see someone that looks intoxicated, don’t be shy about taking their keys and helping them sober up before they head home. Consider hiring outside security to help keep an eye on things so you can enjoy the evening.
- Close the bar an hour before the party. Lock up the liquor cabinet and offer a variety of nonalcoholic beverages and plenty of snacks in the one to two hours before close of the festivities.
- Provide transportation options. Contact a local taxi or rideshare service to provide safe transportation from your home to theirs for anyone who’s too impaired to drive.
- Keep a first-aid kit handy. Accidents happen, and you’ll want to have bandages, antiseptic wipes, and other essentials close at hand for minor mishaps.
Having a holiday party? Contact your insurance Advocate to find out if you need additional coverage for the event.
Understanding the New York State Social Host Law (sskblaw.com)