It’s the holiday season—and that means it’s time for holiday parties to celebrate friends, loved ones, and the most wonderful time of the year.
But if you’re planning a holiday party, be aware that you may inadvertently be asking for a stocking full of coal. After all, if an intoxicated party guest leaves your home and goes on to cause a car crash… you may be legally liable for damages. Heck, an intoxicated guest who falls on your front sidewalk could sue you—or guests who become seriously ill after eating the food served at your party could file a suit against you.
We’re not trying to scare you out of Santa mode. In fact, there are many ways you can help ensure that your guests stay safe—and that you all make this a holiday to remember… in a good way.
- Check your homeowners insurance (or renter’s insurance) to be sure it includes enough coverage for incidents related to your party—and that there are no policy exclusions related to serving alcohol.
- Carefully consider the potential financial risks of not carrying enough insurance, if a party-related incident should occur. You may want to buy an umbrella liability policy for extra coverage.
- Make an alcohol serving plan. You may decide to limit the amount of alcohol you provide to guests, hire a professional bartender who can help limit service to guests who are intoxicated, encourage guests to choose a designated driver, or stop serving alcohol well before the end of the party, switching to coffee and soft drinks.
- Be sure to serve food and offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverage choices to help guests stay sober and safe.
- Be prepared to invite intoxicated guests to spend the night at your home.
- Don’t pressure guests to drink—or rush to refill their empty glasses.
- Never, ever serve alcohol to minors.
- Whether you’re preparing a homemade spread or you hired a caterer, check every dish before you serve it. Don’t offer guests anything out that you suspect may be under-cooked, spoiled or contaminated.
- Have a happy holiday!
For more than 25 years,, has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.