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Why You Need Liquor Liability Insurance in Oklahoma

Forrest Bennett Oct 26, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Have you ever seen a barroom brawl in the movies? As dramatic as it may seem, that kind of damage can occur anywhere liquor is sold for consumption on or off premises. Outside of the usual broken chairs and smashed glass, your business is legally liable for some hefty expenses when it comes to intoxicated guests.

In your pub, restaurant, club, or brewery — if someone gets drunk and causes a scene in your establishment or causes damage even after they leave, you could be on the hook for it. 

All 50 states have a version of a dram shop law on their books. Dram shop laws are put into effect to protect third-party victims long after said inebriated individual has left your establishment. Under dram shop laws, the intoxicated person becomes dually liable to the business that served (or over-served) the alcohol that caused their damaging behavior. 

“Wait,” you may be thinking, “doesn’t my general liability insurance cover property damage, vehicular damage, and legal fees?” Probably not. Most commercial general liability insurance policies cover less when liquor sales contribute to a higher proportion of business income. 

Because your business sells alcohol for consumption on your premises, the potential for these claims is higher. If your business or its employees are in any way linked to damages claimed, a person’s injury or property damage as a result of serving alcoholic beverages, general liability insurance will only cover a small portion of it — if any. 

Liquor liability coverage steps in to fill the gaps your general liability insurance won’t cover. If your establishment serves, manufactures or sells alcohol, then you need liquor liability insurance. We’ll be going over more of what you need to know about liquor liability coverage in the rest of this blog.

Also, don't hesitate to contact Hopewell if you still have questions about your pub or bar’s liquor liability. You can always count on us to help you understand the complexities of the insurance industry.


Filling the Gaps: What Liquor Liability Insurance Covers

Unlike general liability coverage, liquor liability insurance follows drunk patrons outside your business and protects victims of their drunken behavior. These circumstances are both dire and expensive. Property damage, injury, and death all cause extravagant claims and bring about costly legal expenses. 

Liquor liability insurance protects your business from these expenses by covering the following: 

  • Third-party property damage
  • Third-party bodily injury claims
  • Legal fees for the business
  • Additional claims like assault and battery

If your business serves, sells, or even has alcoholic beverages, it could be impacted by just one drink. Lessen the financial damage of that one drink by getting liquor liability insurance. 

The following businesses all need liquor liability insurance:

  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Breweries
  • Wineries
  • Distilleries
  • Liquor Stores

Even businesses you wouldn’t initially think of as vulnerable to these damages are susceptible to the costs of intoxication: 

  • Grocery Stores
  • Convenience Stores or Bodegas
  • Non-Profit Fundraising Events

Liquor liability insurance will help protect your business in the aftermath of a drunk guest’s damaging mistakes. Should the worst happen after a drunk patron leaves, the last thing you want is to be stuck with the bill.

Liquor Liability is Not Optional

If your business is selling, manufacturing, distributing or even has alcohol on its premises, you need liquor liability insurance as governed by the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission

Considering it’s legally required in Oklahoma, not having liquor liability isn’t an option. So a good next step is thinking about how to integrate it into your business’s coverage in the least financially disruptive way. 

As is the case with all your insurance coverage needs, the key to finding what fits best for your business is to team up with an Oklahoma insurance agency. 

An independent insurance agency will know what questions to ask, what policies are offered, and how to tailor certain policies to your business’s particular needs, like finding which coverage best benefits your business.

No effective coverage comes cheap, but customization keeps your insurance costs down by reducing unnecessary coverage and redundant policies. Independent insurance agents are valuable partners, capable of analyzing your business’s scale, needs, and priorities in a cost-effective way.  

Hopewell Covers Your Business

Consider Hopewell for that partnership. Established with our client’s best interests and futures in mind, Hopewell is your ideal partner for facing the intricacies of the insurance market. 

Better yet, we’ll help you bundle it with your general liability insurance. Both big and small businesses can benefit from a good bundle! Considering you need both to protect your business’s future, why not get them together with a deal? 

The best part about independent insurance agencies like Hopewell is that you don’t have to interact directly with the insurance company. We reduce the time you spend "doing insurance" so you can devote your attention to your business. Leave us to what we do best — watch out for your business’s best interests. 

Contact us today for your free, no-obligation liquor liability insurance estimate.

Forrest Bennet is the owner and founder of Hopewell Risk Advisors, an independent insurance agency writing personal lines of insurance and commercial policies for industries ranging from cannabis to restaurants. A born-and-raised Oklahoman, Forrest has been fighting to provide great insurance coverage since 2021. He considers Hopewell Risk Advisors “honest brokers in the protection racket.”