two women holding drinks

Whether you’re hosting a party for hundreds or just a few friends, take steps to limit your liquor liability and ensure that you have insurance coverage if you’re planning to serve alcohol at your home. Whenever alcohol is involved, there is a greater chance for accidents and mishaps to occur. Social host liability laws vary from state to state, but 43 states have such laws on the books1 — and you may be at risk.

Consider the following

You don’t need to call off your party. You can reduce your exposure to social host liquor liability by taking a few simple precautionary steps:

  • Invite only people you know
  • Encourage use of a designated driver
  • Serve plenty of nonalcoholic food and drinks
  • Include activities that don’t involve alcohol
  • Stop serving alcohol well before the party ends
  • Offer a cab or another ride for your guests
  • Limit your own alcohol intake

More ways to reduce your risk

To limit your exposure to liquor liability even more, consider:

  • Hosting the event at a venue other than your home, such as a restaurant
  • Hiring a professional bartender who will be more likely to recognize when a guest has had enough

You'll want to review your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Talk with your agent to determine what the right amount of liability insurance is for you. You may also want to consider excess liability to provide additional limits. Homeowners insurance typically provides some liquor liability coverage, but limits are usually between $100,000 and $300,000. In a lawsuit where damages could run into the millions, these limits won’t suffice.

How Nationwide® Private Client responds

Nationwide® Private Client understands that individuals with higher net worth and more assets to protect may have increased risk and liabilities. We offer the following coverages that may be called upon in a liquor liability lawsuit:

  • Up to $1 million available for liability insurance on the homeowners policy
  • Up to $25 million in liability coverage available on our personal excess policy
  • Up to $250,000 in crisis management coverage to help protect your reputation with our personal excess policy's optional protection endorsement and limited employment practices liability coverage
  • Legal defense that is outside liability limits so the costs of your legal defense don’t cut into the policy limits available for settlements you may owe

Excess coverage is additional liability insurance over your existing home and auto coverage. It is designed to help protect you from major claims and lawsuits. Nationwide Private Client recognizes that you may have greater liability exposure than the average person. Talk to your agent about your specific insurance needs.

[1] "Social host liability," (accessed March 14, 2022).