Homeowner’s Policy Host Liquor Liability Coverage, On & Off Premises Events

By | January 26, 2015

Author:  The State of Ohio PIA (Professional Insurance Agents)  |

Editorial comments are enclosed within the [ ] brackets.

The Homeowners Personal Liability insuring agreement [Section II] says the insurance company will “pay up to our limit for damage for which an ‘insured’ is legally liable; and provide a [legal] defense.”

[In addition to the home premises:]  The definition of “residence premises” includes “any part of a premises occasionally rented to an ‘insured’ for other than ‘business’ use.”  [This includes a rented wedding reception hall.]  There is not a specific liquor liability exclusion in the 2011 or 2000 edition Homeowners policy, but there is a motor vehicle exclusion.  [Allied/Nationwide Homeowners use the 2000 edition.]

The 2000 and 2011 [ Homeowners] editions contain a “motor vehicle liability” definition that is used to exclude maintenance, occupancy, operation, use and loading or unloading of such vehicles by any person.  Therefore, if the insured were relying on the Homeowners policy to provide premises and host liquor liability coverage for a wedding reception or graduation party where alcohol will be served, that would be unwise.  The reason is not because of a liquor exclusion, but because of an almost absolute automobile exclusion.  Perhaps the insured should check with the insurance company underwriter as to the extent of protection provided under a Personal Umbrella, or perhaps an Events Policy should be considered.  Alternatively, maybe the insured could contract with a caterer that would provide Liquor Liability coverage and a Certificate of Insurance to the facility being used for the festivities.