Super Bowl Sunday — Are your Clients Ready?

watching-football

February 3, 2019, marks the 53rd Super Bowl and the 49th modern-era National Football League championship game. If you’re anything like the estimated 104 million viewers in 2018, you’re already contemplating where you’re going to watch the big game.

Whether inviting A-list clients to a small group gathering, inviting a large group to vote for their favorite commercials or promoting a special on hot wings or half-price draws to celebrate the grand daddy of all pigskin playoffs, businesses need to protect themselves.

To help keep your clients from dropping the ball on their insurance coverage for their game-related events, UIG suggests the following:

Don’t assume

With so many terms flying around —”liquor liability,” “general liability,” “host liability,” “additional insured” — it can be hard to know which insurance coverage is right for a special event.

Most small businesses and homeowners are already equipped with general liability coverage, which provides broad coverage for incidents such as people slipping and falling, or a faulty promotional item provided to a customer. However, depending on the nature of an event, general liability coverage may not be enough.

In some business policies, event coverage is automatic. However, things like liquor liability and event cancellation can be add-on services that need to be requested. If an add-on policy seems overboard, a company can also opt to get a one-time special event policy separate from the one that covers its day-to-day business.

Regardless of the route taken, UIG suggests that the insured obtain a copy of the policy in advance to verify that all coverage is taken care of before the event takes place.

Expect the unexpected

No matter the size of an event or how well prepared a business may be, you never know when the worst-case scenario could become a reality. Having the proper insurance can make the difference between a minor bump in the road and a complete detour.

»Food

If serving food is not generally your clients’ forte, party hosts should consider purchasing refrigerated-products or equipment breakdown coverage. It usually comes with a small deductible and covers everything that spoils in the event of a power failure or mechanical problems.

»Event Cancellation

Event Cancellation coverage is another area that is often overlooked. Should inclement weather such as a blizzard, or any unforeseen situation, cause an event to be cancelled, a cancellation policy will help recover revenue that would have been earned had the event gone on as planned. It may also cover many of the costs and deposits already paid.

»Drunk walking, driving

Even serving just one bottle of wine could get a business into trouble if a guest hurts themselves on their property, or worse, drinks and drives and injures themselves or another person. Businesses that do not normally handle alcoholic beverages are responsible for informing their insurance agent if they plan to serve alcohol at an event. It’s possible a business may need commercial liquor liability coverage or host liquor liability, depending on its role.

It’s important to understand that any business, regardless of the industry, can be held responsible if a guest at a company-sanctioned event gets hurt or hurts someone else as a result of alcohol consumption. To help prevent unnecessary incidents, game-day party hosts should:

• Monitor the amount of alcohol served to guests.
• Stop serving a guest that appears to be intoxicated.
• Discontinue alcohol service after the third quarter of the game, so guests aren’t drinking up to the last minute.
• Encourage guests or patrons to arrange for designated drivers prior to the event.

»Brawling

In addition to alcohol consumption, good old fisticuffs can also pose a liability threat. Believe it or not, if fans get into a physical altercation at an event, the business could become the target of a negligence claim.

Most insurance policies exclude liability coverage for “intentional acts,” which includes libel and assault and battery. Hosts have a duty to prevent the escalation of an argument to a physical level.

»Third-party

Don’t have the space to host a big game event? Even if a business rents another facility, it could still be liable for damages caused by a guest. Third-party damage insurance covers damages to a location while it is under their control, protecting them from having to pay for repairs.

»Defense costs

In the unfortunate event a lawsuit should arise as the result of an incident occurring at a special event, a defense policy can help cover litigation costs.