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Northampton, MA 01060


1Dec. 2014

Insuring a Safe Holiday Party

Image source: NBC

Do you remember Cheers?

The bar where everybody knows your name?

What you might not know about Cheers is that the show promoted the idea of the designated driver. It was important to the writers than no tipsy patron ever tried to drive home. If you listen closely, you can hear frequent references to designated drivers and calling cabs. The Harvard Alcohol Project helped spread this message.

Are you hosting a holiday gathering this year? If so, I urge you to channel Cheers and ensure that your guests return home safely.

Holiday parties are great fun. They provide a chance to reconnect with friends and family. The holiday theme puts everyone in a good mood. The celebratory nature of the parties encourages everyone to indulge a bit in food and drink.

Once in a while, a guest will overindulge in drink. In my experience, that is the only time the party encounters an awkward moment.

Have you experienced this situation? A guest has had a fabulous time and is clearly inebriated, but has decided to leave. What do you do? Take their keys? Call a taxi?

Do you stop them?

You should know that if you have served alcohol and let an inebriated guest leave, you could be sued if the guest injures himself or someone else.

The good news is that as long as you are not charging admission or selling anything at the party, your home insurance policy will cover any adverse outcomes from the party up to the limit of your policy.

The not-so-good news is that most homeowners policy limits are insufficient to cover catastrophic losses. This is where an umbrella policy can provide additional coverage to protect your assets.

But the most important thing for you to know is that you have a vested interest in how that guest gets home, beyond just your friendship. By making sure that guest doesn’t drive and gets home safely, you are also saving yourself from a lawsuit.

Have a safe and joyous holiday season!


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