Bellevue Liquor Liability Insurance

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Understanding Liquor Liability Insurance

Liquor liability insurance in Mercer Island, Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Everett and all of Washington.

Nearly everyone that has sat in a bar drinking a cold pint has seen a scene that was caused by overconsumption of alcohol. Maybe it was a drunken fight that broke out between two aggrieved parties. Maybe it was property damage arising from a bar patron toppling over into the wall. Maybe it was a crash caused by an intoxicated driver. Regardless, the liability for these incidents rarely falls solely on the perpetrator — the bar also shares some culpability from an insurance point of view. That’s why most smart and law-abiding bar owners in Washington have a type of insurance called liquor liability coverage.

What is liquor liability insurance? It’s an insurance policy that protects bars and other establishments that serve alcoholic beverages from being held liable for incidents that occur when customers over-imbibe, or drink too much. All businesses that sell, serve, manufacture or oversee the sale of alcoholic beverages need to have some version of a liquor liability insurance policy. Businesses that lack adequate liquor liability coverage are left exposed to high degrees of liability, and could even be targeted for lawsuits by savvy defense lawyers. Lawyers working for clients that have been arrested for driving under the influence are notorious for engaging in this practice: if the bar where the driver was coming from only has a general liability policy, the bar owner could be forced to pay hefty court fees and fines, or they might be subject to even more punitive measures.

When liquor liability insurance companies look at putting together a quote, they’re looking at a complex web of factors and circumstances to arrive at a precise number. That’s why asking questions like “how much does liquor liability insurance cost?” is so difficult — the cost can be very different for different businesses. For example, the price of alcohol or variety of weekly events can make a big difference. Location of the business and reputation of the business and/or business owners could cause certain bars or lounges to pay more as well. The entire reason for liquor liability policies to exist is because alcohol-related incidents fall outside the purview of general commercial liability policies. So no matter what the average cost of liquor liability insurance is — and most estimates put it at around $500 per year in Washington for an average package, but that rate can shoot up to almost $1200 per year due to other exacerbating circumstances — it’s always a good investment for a bar owner who doesn’t want to get burned.

In Washington, liquor liability insurance is required by law. In fact, there are only a few states in which this is not that case. That means that having some sort of liquor policy on your books is a prerequisite for opening a bar, tavern, dinner theatre or winery. There are certain things that you as a restaurant or bar owner can do to drive down costs associated with your liquor liability package. These strategies can be as diverse as training your staff in liquor distribution and providing documentation to the insurance company, or even removing pool tables from your establishment (bars that have them are usually charged more!).

Regardless of which path you choose to pursue, it’s crucial to pick up some sort of liquor liability policy. You’ll be patting yourself on the back later. If you’re looking for an efficient and strategic way to determine exactly what type of liquor liability policy you’ll need, visit our website or give us a call to get your liquor liability insurance quote today.

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Insurance Connections Northwest

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