No one thinks about liability when they are planning a holiday party.Most of the focus is on food, cocktails, décor and games.
However, if you are hosting a holiday party at your office or home this season there are several areas you need to be concerned with to avoid a liability lawsuit.
As a host your are responsible for your guests and if someone should leave your home drunk or get food poisoning from the food you serve you could be sued.
At Petruzelo Insurance we want everyone to have safe and happy holiday parties so we offer the following tips:
Mind the Menu – Whether you are cooking yourself or having a caterer supply the food, you are responsible for what your guests eat. It is very important that you carefully inspect anything that is being served at your party to avoid possible cases of food poisoning. Always follow proper food handling, heating and cooling storage recommendations and be extra careful with seafood. And remember the golden rule: when in doubt, throw it out.
Careful with the Cocktails – Spirits are often a holiday party tradition. From red wine and egg nog to hot toddy’s and Pomegranate martinis, it wouldn’t be a party without cocktails. However, when you are the host of a party and are serving alcohol, guess who is responsible for guests when they leave? That’s right, you are. As the host it is your job to keep an eye on guests and cut off anyone who appears to be intoxicated. You should also take keys away from those who appear drunk and arrange for safe transportation so there is no chance of any intoxicated guest getting behind the wheel of a car. A good rule is to stop serving drinks at least one hour before the party ends.
Review Liability Coverage – Whether you own a home or rent an apartment, it makes sense to review the liability portion of your policy before hosting a holiday party. You should regularly check your liability coverage limits to ensure you are adequately covered should an accident or illness occur. Homeowners should also be mindful of the condition of their driveways and walkways since ice can cause slippery conditions and there is a chance someone could slip and fall either when arriving or leaving. If you are in doubt about your liability coverage, contact your local insurance agent before the party to ensure you have the coverage you need to entertain safely.