Orlando, Fla.— Summer is almost here, at least for us in Florida is already here. Soon enough, lot of people are going to start their vacation mode, given that school will soon finish the year. As families and adults in general get into the “relax state of mind,” part of it is having more time to go out during the night and enjoy days and weekends at the beach with a couple of mojitos and margaritas. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, we all know it, but it is just as important to acknowledge the responsibility that comes with it.
As a Bar Restaurant/Tavern owner you are exposed to many risks that increase by just letting people enjoy their time at your establishment.
5 liability issues restaurant, bar and tavern owners often deal with
The most common type of liability claim come from customers who have drunk too much while in your bar and then go back home driving themselves.
Claims can also result from intoxicated patrons operating boats, after leaving the serving establishment, and it’s not uncommon for an establishment to be named with other establishments in a lawsuit, even when the patron admits to having only one drink at an insured’s bar.
To transfer the risk of over-service-related claims onto insurance, the bar owner needs to purchase a Liquor Liability policy with adequate limits in addition to a General Liability policy.
2. Activity hazards
As a bar-tavern owner you can expect an occasional bar fight and injuries caused by it, but bone fractures caused by a fall from the mechanical bull, head injuries from customers falling out of the shot chairs, or facial burns from the bartender’s flaming alcohol trick are events that might not have in the top of your mind at the time you select your insurance coverage.
Claims arising out of these types of activities may be covered under the premise liability portion of a General Liability policy or the Liquor Liability policy, but more often these type of risks are excluded.
To make sure all activities occurring in the bar are covered, the insured needs to carefully disclose them on the insurance application so the agent can secure appropriate coverage. Your agent can add coverage for these activities by endorsement for additional premium, but the agent first needs to be informed.
3. No exit zone
Te risk of a lighted exit sign malfunctioning or an exit door being blocked or locked to prevent patrons from entering the bar is common, and shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated.
If there was ever a fire in a nightclub and patrons were unable to exit, the claims for bodily injuries and property damage might easily exceed the aggregate limits of a standard $2 million dollar policy.
This risk is easily avoided by proper maintenance of the bar premises and awareness of this potential for risk.
4. Flammable decorations
Flammable decorations (don’t be surprised) or patron injuries caused by servers accidentally spilling hot food or beverages are also a bad situation for establishment owners who don’t carry adequate insurance limits.
Burns are painful and cause disfigurement, so in addition to the special damages associated with the cost of acute and future medical treatment of burn injuries, in the event of a lawsuit, damages awarded by juries for pain and suffering also tend to be high.
Trained loss control professionals provided by some insurance companies as part of their underwriting process, can’t prevent every risk scenario, but they can spot a great number of potential problem areas and will make recommendations for correction that can stop a loss before it occurs.
Bar owners should note that underwriting inspections are not comprehensive safety evaluations and may want to consider using their local fire departments to inspect the bar for hidden fire hazards.
5. False Id’s
Bar owners should consider investing in ID scanners to help identify false documents because the responsibility for a patron engaging in underage drinking remains with the serving establishment, even after the patron has left the premises.
In conclusion, when best efforts to prevent loss fail, insurance policies customized to provide adequate coverage and sufficient limits succeed in affording the protection needed to give back the establishment owner peace-of-mind, to get back to the busy business of running a bar.
For personal insurance solutions check out our sister company Orlando Insurance Center