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You Accidentally Served A Minor, Now What?

You Accidentally Served A Minor, Now What?

 In the United States, it is illegal to serve alcohol to someone under the age of 21.  But what if you asked for identification and were provided with a fake id without knowing?

Steps to take upon discovery:

  • Ask the person to leave.
  • Ensure management is notified immediately.
  • Document the incident and include the person’s information (if it’s available) 
  • Call your independent insurance agency or insurance company.

 While every situation is different, consequences can be severe. If found to be in violation of the law, the establishment’s liquor license could be suspended, modified or revoked.  

Here are a few questions we ask our policyholders when a situation like this is reported that may be useful to include in your internal documentation. 

  1.  Did you ask for proper identification upon entry?
  2. Had the person already consumed alcohol prior to entry?
  3. How many drinks was the minor served at your bar?
  4. How long was the minor in the bar?
  5. What kind of behavior did the minor display at the establishment?
  6. Is there surveillance of the minor at the bar? 

To encourage Hospitality Insurance Group policyholders to provide their staff with effective alcohol-awareness training, we have an approved rate discount of 10% for insureds when 100% of management and at least 75% of non-management alcoholic beverage servers obtain certification in an approved alcohol-awareness program. 

 Learn more about our approved training programs or click here to learn about working with Hospitality Insurance Group. 

 Please be advised that the opinions expressed are the views of the author alone and should not be attributed to any other individual or entity and shall not constitute a legal opinion.

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Does Alcoholic Ice Cream Need Liquor Liability Insurance?

Does Alcoholic Ice Cream Need Liquor Liability Insurance?

Alcohol and ice cream lovers rejoice!

Now you can have two of your favorite things blended in one tipsy treat.

Although every state has it’s different laws around the sale and consumption of alcohol, alcoholic ice cream seems to be a growing trend and specifically in New York where  Tipsy Scoop, Ice Cream Cellars, and Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream, some of the largest alcoholic ice cream brands on the market are based.

We’ve also seen products like Frosé Prosecco Wine Popsicles in the UK and Australia, and Gin & Tonic Ice Lollies available at Aldi, one the largest retailers in the UK with as much alcohol as a pint.

As a liquor liability insurance company based in Massachusetts, we pose the questions such as, “Should these businesses have a liquor liability insurance policy? What is the risk involved with serving a liquor-infused ice cream for the business owner? How much alcohol is actually in the ice cream? What effect does alcoholic ice cream have on the consumer?”

As temperatures heat up here in New England, we’ll start to see ice cream sales increase. And, as various studies suggest, when ice cream sales rise, the crime rate also will rise.  Coupling that statistic with alcoholic ice cream, is that a potential disaster now that boozy ice cream is on the market?

Although alcoholic ice cream was regulated in 2008 in the state of New York, the concept is still fairly new to the market in Massachusetts.

In September of 2016, officials from the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC)  stepped in to set regulations for ice cream parlors and restaurants looking to serve this tipsy treat where a written classification from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) must be produced in order to make and/or sell alcohol-infused ice cream.

However, as reported by the Boston Globe, one exception to this requirement states that “Restaurants that have liquor licenses will not be subject to the new regulations.”

In the state of Massachusetts, liquor liability insurance is required by law. Chapter 116 of the Acts of 2010 states that businesses have the minimum limits of $250,000 per person, $500,000 per occurrence and $500,000 aggregate.

What’s the harm involved?

Well as you may agree, businesses can be liable for pretty much anything these days.

To date, we haven’t seen many claims against alcoholic ice cream out there as of now. However, some of the claims we’ve come across already include this post on InjuryClaimCoach.com claiming her child was served alcoholic ice cream. We’ve also seen claims against a Brazilian brewer over an ad for beer-flavored ice cream that some claim could encourage children and adolescents to drink as reported by Fox News. But as this is concept is so new, who is to say more claims won’t come up down the road?

 

What do you think? Should businesses serving or producing alcoholic ice cream have liquor liability insurance?

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Strength, Stability and Service

Strength, Stability, and Service 

For the last 31 years, Hospitality Insurance Group has strived to understand the frustrations our insurance brokers
encounter when it comes to inconsistent approaches in obtaining liquor liability coverage.

We understand the difficulty of:

  • Finding coverage for a restaurant with higher than normal liquor receipts
  • Having to replace coverage on a risk that has added live entertainment
  • Working with a risk that has Doormen/bouncer exposures that are causing your current markets to shy away

So we’re kicking off 2017 keeping these struggles in mind and hope that when you think of Hospitality Insurance Group, you think of strength, stability, and service.

Strength

  • We put the needs of our insured’s first with our financial strength
  • We offer broader coverage than any of our competitors within this segment of the industry
  • Aggressive defense attorneys who are committed to obtaining the best possible outcomes

Stability

  • Providing peace of mind and protection to the hospitality industry for 31 years
  • Admitted Carrier backed by the state guaranty fund offering stability in a time of need
  • A time-tested claims department that is accustomed to navigating complex or high profile matters

Service

  • Dedicated and knowledgeable staff providing the service you’ve come to expect
  • Proven commitment to this class of business, demonstrated by our consistent appetite and unwavering approach to underwriting
  • The addition of CGL and Property Lines of Business to our product offering in order to provide a more comprehensive package and assist in rounding out accounts
  • An accessible and professional claims department ready to provide unparalleled service to policyholders

 

Hospitality Insurance Group Taking the risk out of hospitality and providing strength, stability, and service for 31 years.

 

by By Frank O'Malley By Frank O'Malley No Comments

Uncovering the Mystery: Admitted Insurers vs. Surplus Lines

Chances are if you have been in the insurance industry long enough then you have heard the terms admitted (or standard) and surplus lines (or non-admitted) used to describe insurance carriers. Although these terms share many characteristics, there are some glaring differences as well. What do these terms mean and what sort of protection are you providing or not providing your client by placing coverage with these different types of insurance carriers? Let’s take a minute to identify the major differences and misconceptions associated with each.

Admitted Insurers

An admitted insurer, which can also be referred to as a standard market, is a term used to classify an insurance carrier that is licensed by a state insurance department to do business in the insured’s state. The major benefit of an admitted insurance company is that the insured is protected by the state’s guaranty (insolvency) fund should the insurer become insolvent and unable to fulfill their contractual obligation to pay covered losses. These state funds do not prevent insurer insolvency but they do mitigate its effect by providing payment for unpaid claims. State guaranty funds vary by state, however most have the following characteristics in common:

  • Assessments are made only when an insurer fails
  • Policies usually terminate within 30 days after the failure date
  • Claims are subject to maximum limits
  • Most states provide a refund of unearned premium

Surplus Lines

Surplus lines insurers, also known as non-admitted markets, are deemed eligible by the state to insure risks that do not qualify for coverage with an admitted insurer. These types of insurers are not licensed in the states they write in.

Aside from not being supported by the guaranty fund, unlicensed or non-admitted carriers are not bound by most of the rate and form regulations imposed on admitted insurers, giving them the flexibility to change forms and rates without the time constraints or financial costs of the filing process.  This flexibility may result in your client being left with sudden restrictions or significant gaps in coverage that were not anticipated.

When a producer needs to access a non-admitted carrier, they often have to go through a surplus lines intermediary, also known as a wholesaler or aggregator, rather than contact the non-admitted insurer directly. The circumstances for accessing a non-admitted market vary by state, but usually involve the following:

  • Hard to place risks with unique or high loss exposures
  • Recent losses or extensive loss history

Which is better?

Due to the nature of non-admitted insurers, agents and brokers alike must exercise extreme caution when navigating the surplus lines marketplace. The consistency and familiarity found in the admitted market does not always exist in the non-admitted arena and this may prove costly for your client. For exactly this reason, many producers will only place business with admitted insurers.

It is the producer’s responsibility to conduct a diligent search, which may require them to document a specific number of admitted markets that have declined the risk before attempting to secure coverage in the non-admitted market. Before approaching any non-admitted carriers, you should be sure that you have exhausted all of your options with the admitted carriers you have access to.

Hospitality Insurance Group is a licensed and admitted insurance carrier specializing in hard to place risks within the hospitality industry. We are currently writing business in the states of CT, MA, NC, NH, PA, RI & VT.

 

Please be advised that the opinions expressed are the views of the author alone and should not be attributed to any other individual or entity and shall not constitute a legal opinion.

by By Nicole Orchard By Nicole Orchard No Comments

6 Tips for a Safe 4th of July Weekend

The 4th of July is a time for family, friends and FUN! It’s an all-American weekend known for its barbeques, beaches and fireworks. It also means heavy drinking for some. We want everyone to have a FUN holiday weekend, but we also want you to have a SAFE one.

Here are 6 things we think are important to think about before celebrating this upcoming weekend:

Hydration – When you’re laying out on the beach with your friends or playing horseshoes in your backyard with family, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated, especially when consuming alcohol. According to the American Heart Association, “Dehydration can be a serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.” They recommend that water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to consume gallons of water. Many fruits and vegetables contain a high percentage of water, such as blueberries, oranges, peaches, pineapples, plums, raspberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, celery, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, so pack some healthy snacks as well!

Hydration is especially important if you’re going to be drinking. To stay hydrated while consuming alcohol and minimize the likelihood of a hangover, you should:

  1. Have one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume
  2. Be sure to drink plenty of water before spending a day drinking in the sun
  3. Choose an alcoholic drink that includes at least some water or mix a bit of water in with your beverage
  4. Choose hydrating snacks, like some of the fruits and veggies mentioned above that have a high water content and limit your salt intake (avoid sodium-filled snacks like potato chips, pretzels and nuts)
  5. Mix alcoholic drinks with hydrating juices and use plenty of ice (frozen cocktails are great for a hot summer day!)

Grill Safety – Nothing says “It’s 4th of July” better than the smell of burgers and dogs on the grill. While indulging in these American staples, it’s important to remember that grills can also be dangerous if not used properly. June and July are the peak months for grilling fires. Gas grills alone have been involved in an annual average of 7,200 home fires from 2007-2011, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in an annual average of 1,400 home fires (NFPA’s “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment). The National Fire Protection Association offers the following tips for grilling safety:

  1. Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors
  2. Be sure to place the grill well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
  3. Keep children and pets away from the grill area
  4. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and trays below the grill
  5. Never leave your grill unattended
  6. Always have a fire extinguisher on hand or know where one is located if you are not at your home (check it beforehand to make sure it is not expired!)

If using a propane grill, you should also be sure to check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.

Fireworks – Fireworks are an Independence Day essential. In fact, most people can’t imagine their Independence Day weekend without them. Although beautiful to look at, fireworks can also be extremely dangerous. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission states that on average, 200 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the months round the July 4th holiday. They suggest the following safety tips when using fireworks:

  1. Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks
  2. Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers
  3. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers, which burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals
  4. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks
  5. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully
  6. Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  7. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap
  8. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly
  9. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers
  10. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire
  11. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them

It is also important to realize that animals (dogs especially) can be afraid of fireworks and may act out if they’re frightened. Be sure to know how your pets react to the loud noises if they’re going to join you in your celebrations. If you have small children, keep them away from animals you don’t know or are unfamiliar with as you never know how they may react.

Drinking & Driving (and yes, that includes boats and jet skis) – According to data from NHTSA, during July 4th weekend, from 2008-2012, 765 people lost their lives in crashes involving drivers with BAC of .08 or more. These fatalities account for 40% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities over this same five year-period. Nobody wants a weekend of fun to turn tragic, so do yourself and the millions of other people on the road a favor and use a sober driver. If you don’t want to stay sober, STAY where you are. Your life is more important than anywhere you might want to be. Often times, people learn the consequences of driving under the influence when it’s too late. Don’t let that happen to you – be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to drinking and driving.

Rip Currents – The coastlines are filled with beachgoers over this festive weekend. You may find yourself diving into the cool ocean water for a break from the hot sun, but swimming in the waves of the ocean is much more difficult than swimming in a pool. The ocean currents and conditions can change quickly and drastically, so it’s important you’re aware of the state of the water you’re swimming in. You should be aware of the following things when swimming in the ocean:

  1. Swimming in currents and waves can cause fatigue more quickly than in a swimming pool
  2. Smooth water located between breaking waves could signal the presence of a rip current
  3. Be sure to ask the lifeguard about use of floatation devices before bringing them into the water
  4. Your body cools quickly while in the water, so limit your time and get out of you start to feel cold (although you’ll probably be cold the second you step in if you live in the northeast)
  5. Be sure to check and obey warnings posted on the beaches
  6. Be sure to take your cell phone to the beach and in case of an emergency, when the lifeguard is not present, call 911

Sun Protection – While enjoying your weekend with your family and friends, people often forget to apply and reapply sunscreen. You may not even realize you’re getting a sunburn until the next day when you’re in complete agony and can’t move without feeling a burning pain. Sunburn’s may seem just like a temporary irritation, but long term exposures to excess UV radiation can cause skin cancer, eye damage, immune system suppression and premature aging, especially for children. One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life (Skin Cancer Foundation).  To avoid sunburns, you should:

  1. Avoid direct sunlight during the sun’s peak hours (10:00am-4:00pm) or at least limit your direct exposure
  2. Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher
  3. Reapply sunscreen every two hours – or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring
  4. Cover your skin tightly with women long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats (especially children)
  5. If you have fair skin or burn easily, consider laundry additives, which give clothing an additional layer of ultraviolet protection for a certain number of washings. You can also purchase special sun-protective clothing that is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays

We want everyone to enjoy their 4th of July weekend, but it’s important to recognize and understand the dangers that come with the American holiday. Having seen many tragic accidents, we think it’s better to be educated so you can take the necessary precautions before a great weekend turns bad.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, AMERICA!

 

Please be advised that the opinions expressed are the views of the author alone and should not be attributed to any other individual or entity and shall not constitute a legal opinion.

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