As a party host, inviting folks into your home and serving food and drinks entails risks. For example, did you know if someone drives drunk or becomes sick after consuming food at a party, the host could actually be liable?
Not only that, but almost three-fourths of homeowners serve food in their home that’s prepared by someone else. Translation: Roughly 111 million homeowners in the United States put themselves at risk for a lawsuit by just feeding their guests.
Here’s some food for thought:
- Do Your Homework: Before hosting a party, look to the liability portion of your homeowners/renters insurance policy to protect yourself if sued and found liable for an accident involving a guest who drank too much or got sick after consuming your food. Review your liability coverage limits to ensure you’re adequately covered should an accident or illness occur.
- Watch What You Eat and Feed Others: Even food prepared by a caterer, another guest, a local deli or the neighborhood pizza place could put you in trouble if someone becomes ill on your property. Obviously, don’t serve anything you suspect may be undercooked, spoiled or contaminated; buy only from reputable food vendors; and follow proper food-handling, heating/cooling and storage guidelines. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Know the Law: You may be held liable if a guest is involved in an alcohol-related accident and the drinking can be linked to you. This means you may be responsible for medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost time from work and possibly even claims for wrongful death resulting in huge monetary settlements.
- Go into Overtime:Encourage guests to stay after the game to allow them to sober up before driving home. Moments after the Super Bowl ends is considered to be one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road.
- Party at an “Away Game”: Hosting your party at a restaurant or sports bar makes the liability theirs…not yours.
- Have a Slumber Party: Be prepared to arrange transportation or overnight accommodations for those anyone can’t drive home on their own.
- Just Say No: Don’t serve anyone who’s already had too much alcohol. Stop serving drinks an hour before the party ends. Stay alert and remember you’re the host and have responsibilities. Consider hiring an off-duty police officer or professional bouncer to discreetly monitor guests’ sobriety or handle any alcohol-related problems as guests leave.
- Let an Umbrella Be Your Smile: Despite your best efforts, most risks can’t be entirely eliminated. Buying a personal “umbrella” policy will make sure you, your family, and your home have an additional $1 million+ coverage beyond what your regular policy provides…Just In Case.
Looking to make sure you’re fully covered before the big game? Call me at 858-487-9200 or send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.