Social Host Liability and The Holidays

The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family. If you’ll be doing that in your home this holiday season, it’s important to take your host responsibilities seriously — and we don’t just mean making sure you have enough seating and food to go around. As the host of a party, you are responsible for making sure your guests are safe, both at your home and after they leave.

If you plan to serve alcohol at your party, this becomes even more important. Here are a few tips to help you keep everything under control:

● If possible, consider hosting your event at a bar, restaurant or other venue with a liquor license.
● If you do decide to host an event in your home, consider hiring a professional bartender. This can both free you up to enjoy the party and ensure that your guests aren’t overserved — most bartenders undergo training to help them recognize when someone is intoxicated; plus, it’s easier for them to turn a guest away when they’ve already had too much to drink.
● As the host, make sure you limit your own alcohol consumption.
● Serve food if you will also be serving alcohol.
● Offer non-alcoholic options for those who are not drinking.
● Know how your guests are getting home. If you know that someone is planning to drive home but they seem intoxicated, make alternative plans with them. For example, you can offer to let them stay the night, arrange a ride with another guest, or call them a cab.
● Have a stop time for serving alcohol before the party ends. This is a good time to bring out coffee, tea and water as well.

Checking your home insurance policy is another smart move for hosts. Many homeowners, condo, and renters insurance policies will offer some liability coverage, but it’s always a good idea to check with your insurance agent first. They can offer advice and make any changes to your insurance policies if needed.

Have a happy, and safe, holiday with friends and family this year! If you have more questions about making your home safe, or have questions about a new or existing insurance policy, don’t hesitate to reach out to Doherty Insurance: 978-475-0260.


Doherty Insurance Agency
21 Elm Street
Andover, MA. 01810
Telephone: 978-475-0260
Fax: 978-475-0303