St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. And for many, it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without a good drink, especially at an Irish pub. However, without the proper precautions, what starts out as innocent fun and entertainment can quickly spiral out of control given the right circumstances.

For example, Milwaukee, Wisc., St. Patrick’s Day, 2012: Fights between drunken people who punched and kicked each other and threw bottles at police led taverns to close down about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, ending the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations prematurely.

If your clients are getting ready to don their Irish green along with serving alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day, don’t leave them to be victims of the “luck of the Irish” when it comes to their insurance coverage. Having the proper insurance can make the difference between a minor bump in the road and a complete detour.

Be proactive, expect the unexpected

Like the pubs in Milwaukee, you never know when the worst-case scenario could become reality. Any time a major holiday is drawing near is the right time to reach out to your clients and offer to review their insurance policies to help identify any weak areas and options for filling those gaps.

Buzzed = Drunk walking, driving

Liquor liability and defense cost coverage are two areas to pay close attention to.

Driving buzzed on the holiday could cost patrons a pot of leprechaun’s gold — like up to $10,000 in legal fees, court costs and increased insurance rates. Not to mention the liability your clients could face if a guest hurts themselves on business property or, worse, drinks and drives and injures themselves or another person.

If a guest or third party is injured in an accident that is related to alcohol consumption and the drinking can be linked to a business, the business, and potentially its owner, could be held responsible. Legal costs could include payment of medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost time from work and — in the worst case — claims for wrongful death resulting in huge monetary settlements.

In the unfortunate event a lawsuit should arise, a policy that includes coverage for liquor liability can help cover litigation costs.

Be your brother’s keeper — Serve Smart!

With green beer and a bevy of Irish whiskey, we know holiday-themed spirits will be flowing. Here are some additional tips for your clients to share to improve loss control:

  • Check ID’s carefully. If your client could have known or should have known an ID was fraudulent, it will open your client to loss.
  • Binge selling for binge drinking is a leading precursor to tragic claims. Be sure to monitor the number of drinks and time served. Make sure your clients understand that if they serve a person to a point of intoxication they are now liable for any actions of that person. Your clients can help keep their customers safe by limiting the number of drinks per hour, per customer.
  • The only cure for intoxication is time! Before drinking, plan ahead and designate a sober driver.
  • If your your client has a customer/guest who is impaired, call a taxi, sober friend or family member. Once your client has served a person to the point of legal intoxication they are subject to an insurance claim. However, they can mitigate the loss by taking this step.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!