Understanding Liquor Liability Insurance for Your Event


According to the CDC, the cost of alcohol-related incidents is estimated to be over $249 billion per year. If you own or work at a business or host an event where alcohol is served or consumed, liquor liability insurance is an absolute must.


Depending on your business or event type, you should invest in either general liability with host liquor liability insurance or liquor liability insurance as a stand-alone product. ESP Specialty is here to help you decide which option is best for you.

Liquor Liability Insurance Types

Serving alcohol or allowing alcohol consumption at your business or event venue comes with unique liability risks. Liquor liability insurance and host liquor liability insurance can help protect your financial health against alcohol-related costs, such as injury, damage, and legal fees.

How do I know if I need liquor liability insurance or host liquor liability insurance?

Both types of alcohol service insurance can help cover legal expenses associated with alcohol-related incidents. However, since businesses and individuals that make, sell, or serve alcohol are more likely to encounter these types of lawsuits, they may be excluded from host liquor liability insurance.

Liquor Liability Insurance

If you make, sell, or profit by serve]ing alcohol, comprehensive coverage through a liquor liability insurance policy is crucial. Businesses and individuals who need liquor liability insurance include bars, breweries, restaurants, bartenders, vendors, caterers, and more.


As of 2021, 38 states have dram shop rule statutes in place. Dram shop laws hold businesses or hosts legally responsible for the actions of customers who have consumed too much alcohol. In other words, you can be held liable if an intoxicated customer injures someone, causes property damage, or crashes their vehicle, even after leaving your property.


This type of alcohol service insurance can be annual or short-term. It typically covers legal expenses, but some policies may also cover specific scenarios such as bartenders who drink on the job, assault and battery, or even attacks involving a weapon. You can purchase it as a standalone policy or as part of your general liability insurance policy.


Host Liquor Liability Insurance

Host liquor liability insurance is designed to protect businesses and individuals who allow alcohol to be consumed on-premises or at an event and are not profiting from the event. Even if your business doesn’t sell or serve alcohol, dram shop laws may still apply to you if you’re hosting a BYOB event, company party, or otherwise allowing customers or employees to drink while at your business location.


Individuals hosting events where guests are allowed to drink may also be held liable if their guests cause property damage or bodily injury. Host liquor liability insurance for weddings, birthday parties, and other special events or private functions can help protect you from “what-ifs” and potential risks.


Host liquor insurance is included in a short-term policy that is offerred in our general liability insurance policies. Our team at ESP will help you determine your coverage needs and other policy details so you can host events with peace of mind.

Liquor Liability Insurance Coverage Details

ESP offers both liquor liability insurance and host liquor liability insurance included within our general liability policies. Here are some additional coverage details to answer frequently asked questions about liquor liability insurance.

What does liquor liability insurance cover?

Liquor liability insurance and host liquor liability can be purchased as standalone policies or as part of general liability coverage. These policies typically cover financial expenses such as medical bills, property damage, and legal costs specifically related to incidents caused by guests or customers who overconsume alcohol.


At ESP Specialty, we provide standard liquor liability insurance limits of $1 million per occurrence and $1 million aggregate. When you contact us about your specific situation, our experts will go over your limits and options to ensure you have adequate coverage for your needs. Higher limits are available upon request

How much is liquor liability insurance?

Pricing for liquor liability insurance is based on your needs. You can typically choose from standard options or work with your ESP Specialty experts to customize a policy based on your gross sales, state regulations, event type, limits required, number of guests, and other variables.

When should I buy liquor liability insurance?

If you are purchasing liquor liability insurance for a special event, you need to purchase your policy before your event begins so that your coverage is in effect for the duration of your event.


Not everyone knows they need a liquor liability policy for their event or business. If you are looking into liquor liability insurance at the last minute, contact our experts to acquire your policy as quickly as possible.

How do I get liquor liability insurance coverage?

Talk to your team at ESP Specialty about your specific coverage needs. We’ll work with you to help you get the protection you need as soon as you need it. If you are hosting a special event, you can start by requesting a special event liability insurance quote and letting us know you want liquor liability insurance coverage.

Trusted Liquor Liability Insurance for Your Event

ESP Specialty offers nationwide coverage at the best prices available. Partnering with the most renowned insurance companies nationwide and our own member-exclusive SHEL Risk Purchasing Association allows us to provide you with cost-effective and comprehensive coverage.


Get in touch with our experts so you can host your event or operate your business with peace of mind. Go ahead, we’ve got you covered.


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