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people sitting in a barMaking sure your restaurant or bar has solid liability insurance is as important as having fresh beer on tap. When you run or own a bar or restaurant there are so many things to do every single day. From hiring more wait staff to bringing in new customers, a bar or restaurant’s liability is often one of the last things on your mind! However, neglecting to make time to think about liability risks that are often associated with owning a restaurant or bar that serves alcohol can lead to financial devastation.

Often times, restaurant, bar and tavern owners are also known as dram shop owners. According to Merriam Webster, a dram shop is “a term that describes a bar, tavern or similar commercial establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold and could be liable for overserving obviously intoxicated patrons”.

Did you know that 43 US states have dram shop laws? These laws are what hold licensed establishments liable for the selling and serving of alcohol to individuals who suffer injury or death. These laws are the same laws that hold establishments liable for serving minors. They also enforce the establishment as liable for those intoxicated people who cause injury or death of others due to their level of intoxication.

Three of the most common liability issues that bar and restaurant owners face every day are listed below:


1. DUI
The most common type of liability claim comes from the “over-service” of alcohol to patrons who then get behind the wheel. Whether they are driving a car, boat snowmobile or ATV, if you do not have the right insurance, your business could be at risk! In order to avoid the risk of over-service claims, the business owner needs to have a liquor liability policy in addition to the general liability policy. 

2. Underage Drinkers
Every day thousands of underage people try to sneak into bars across the country. There is no doubt that in your time as a business owner you have been faced with some pretty convincing fake ids.  If your establishment serves an underage person alcohol of any kind, your business is on the line. Even if you unknowingly serve an underage person, you could be at risk. To help save your establishment from the ramifications, you need to make sure your business is covered. Contact your agent today to see what your plan covers. 

3. Accidents 
Bar owners know that a random bar fight is expected from time to time, but did you think through what could happen if your mechanical bull caused a broken arm? Accidents happen all the time in restaurant and bars, but are you protected? These claims are becoming more and more common with every passing day. Make sure that all activities that happen in the bar, from pool to a slip and fall, are covered by your agency. 

Whether you are thinking about opening a restaurant or already have an established business, our agents can make sure that you have all the right coverage at a price you can afford. Contact us today!


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Alliance Insurance Group
7910 Ralston Rd., Ste 7
Arvada, CO 80002

Phone: (303) 279-9700
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