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Your Business Could be Missing This Essential Alcohol-Related Coverage

Liquor-related incidents have the potential to close any established restaurant or
bar, magnifying the significance of having a liquor liability insurance policy. While
this insurance policy covers a wide range of incidents, Hospitality Insurance Group
urges business owners to evaluate whether they need the added protection that is
offered by having the optional assault and battery coverage.

“A liquor liability policy is a policy that anybody who serves alcohol or sells alcohol
should have purchased,” said Sandra Haley, Senior Vice President of Underwriting
and Marketing at Hospitality Insurance Group. “Assault and battery is going to
provide coverage when there is a fight in your establishment.”

The standard liquor liability policy covers losses related to bodily injury or property
damage when it is caused by an individual who was served too much alcohol. In
other words, Haley says, this coverage would cover the losses resulting from
someone who accidentally injured themselves or others because they had too much
to drink.

Restaurant owners could face legal trouble if that is the only liquor-related coverage
they purchased, Haley added. She says assault and battery coverage would be
invaluable, for example, if your bouncer or doorman accidentally injures a patron
when they were asking them to leave. It would also cover losses if your guest
started a fight with another guest.

Assault and battery coverage is often overlooked, she says, because business
owners might assume that incidents involving ‘intended injury’ is covered under
general liability or liquor liability coverage. “Typically, the standard liquor liability
policy does not include assault and battery coverage. It is typically offered to
establishments as an optional coverage,” Haley said.

For businesses insured through Hospitality Insurance Group, Haley explained that
restaurant owners will now have options when their policy renews. “We always sold
it, however, it was very confusing because it wasn’t covered in one form,” Haley
said. “You will now be able to decide whether you want to purchase assault and
battery coverage, and if you do, at what limit you would like to purchase it.”

These updates reinforce the need for businesses to evaluate their insurance policy
every year, Haley added. If you are up for a renewal, consider asking your
insurance agent about switching to Hospitality Insurance Group for your liquor
liability insurance needs.

Contributed by Hospitality Insurance Group, Southboro, MA | www.hmic.com

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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Video Could Provide Indisputable Evidence for Businesses

Business owners could receive a damaging legal outcome if an incident were to happen on their premises, and there was no footage to deny claims. Restaurants and bars are especially susceptible to being sued in today’s environment, and Hospitality Insurance Group would like to shine a spotlight on the importance of having surveillance systems installed.

“If you don’t have a surveillance system, it is going to be the injured party’s word against yours,” said Sandra Haley, Sr. Vice President of Underwriting and Marketing at Hospitality Insurance Group. “In the event someone comes fourth and sues you, if you have video of the event, it can protect you.”

Surveillance systems, Haley says, can be inexpensive and found at nearly every hardware store. She explains that the upfront cost is relatively insignificant compared to an unfavorable settlement that could have been prevented.

The placement of cameras should also be considered, Haley added. “Typically, you are going to want to have video if you have a dance floor, bar area, or parking lot, where a lot of incidents can happen,” Haley said.

Having the statute of limitations in mind, it is recommended that business owners hold onto footage for three years if they know an incident occurred. For regular business days with no known incidents, Haley says, businesses should hold onto the video for 60, 90, or 120 days.

“With a video that shows the incident that occurred, it is an unbiased view of the incident itself, surveillance video is evidence,” Haley said, adding that business owners should also be aware that destroying evidence is against the law. “Destroying it could be far worse than not having it all.”

Running a successful restaurant or bar is challenging when you consider all of the legal, insurance, and logistical aspects that keep a business operational. Working with an insurer that understands your unique business risks can help you acquire an appropriate amount of coverage. For peace of mind that is affordable, speak with your insurance agent and ask about coverage through Hospitality Insurance Group.

contributed by Hospitality Insurance Group, Soutboro, MA www.hmic.com

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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Count On Experienced Insurers for Your General Liability Needs

Restaurants and bars face a litany of general liability risks that are often overlooked. It could be the spiraling staircase or the featured dish of the week that increases a business’ risk for general liability claims. As part of an ongoing series to help business owners in the hospitality industry prevent losses, Hospitality Insurance Group is highlighting the common risks that could make businesses insolvent.

“Well run businesses with processes and procedures will always save money,” said Richard E. Welch Jr., President & CEO of Hospitality Insurance Group. Welch suggests working with an insurer that understands the risks a restaurant or bar might encounter to receive the proper general liability coverage needed.

“General liability coverage is designed to protect businesses from the liabilities that generally come up in the course of business for a bar or restaurant,” Welch said. “The level of risk associated with any business can vary based on a large number of factors.”

The most common type of liability comes from slip and falls, according to Welch. Other important risks to consider is the level of floors, the type of food being served, and injuries resulting from service accidents.

Having the proper general liability coverage is crucial for staying in business. If your restaurant or bar does not have adequate coverage, you risk losing everything you worked hard to acquire.

Ask your insurance agent if your coverage comes from Hospitality Insurance Group, and take immediate action today to help prevent significant losses.

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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Businesses Could Accidentally Overserve Alcohol in Craft Brew Craze

By: Richard E. Welch, Jr.

President & CEO, Hospitality Insurance Group

It wasn’t long ago when traditional, mass-produced beers were the only options patrons had when it came to ordering beer. Nowadays, craft brews can be found in nearly every restaurant and bar across Massachusetts. People have increasingly turned to craft beer for a variety of reasons, but these types of drinks could have damaging implications for business owners. In this blog, Hospitality Insurance Group addresses the higher alcohol content typically found in craft brews and shares strategies to help prevent overserving alcohol.

Craft brews can be appealing to guests for their taste, ingredients, variety of flavors, and alcohol content. While mass produced beer can contain between 4 and 5.5 percent of alcohol content, craft brews can be as high as 12 percent. Therefore, guests may end up drinking more alcohol than they had originally planned.

“The safety of someone’s customers should always be the top priority for any bar or restaurant,” said Richard E. Welch, President & CEO of Hospitality Insurance Group. He says there are several strategies that can help businesses keep their guests safe.

Since craft brews can contain as much as 2-3 times more alcohol than mass-produced beers, business owners should remain conscious of not overserving alcohol. One way businesses can prevent overserving alcohol is by varying the size of glasses when serving craft brews, so it is equivalent to traditional beers in terms of alcohol content.

Another strategy to prevent the overserving of alcohol, Welch says, involves having the right policies in place. Many businesses do not have procedures outlined when having to deal with an intoxicated guest. Restaurant and bar owners can mitigate potential losses if they understand how they will handle a scenario where someone who has had too much to drink.

Alcohol awareness training could be another solution to help prevent an incident of overserving alcohol, Welch added. Bartenders could learn useful information from these programs that can help keep guests safe. As an added measure, businesses could encourage bartenders to take a refresher course on a regular basis.

Restaurant and bar owners must remain vigilant to prevent overserving alcohol. As a specialist in liquor liability coverage, Hospitality Insurance Group understands the risks of overserving alcohol, and what that could mean to your business. Make sure your coverage is coming from Hospitality Insurance Group to make sure you have the right amount of coverage.

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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Summer is a Good Time for Restaurant Owners to Focus on Preventing Communicable Diseases

By: Richard E. Welch, Jr.

President & CEO, Hospitality Insurance Group

An outbreak of a foodborne illness is the angst of every restaurant owner. This type of risk at a restaurant could have significant consequences, potentially leading to liability, reputation damage, fines & penalties, or ultimately closure of the restaurant. As more people dine out at restaurants this summer, it is worth highlighting that the warmer months are the peak season for foodborne illnesses. Fortunately, restaurant owners have several options to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are almost 50 million cases of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. per year on average, resulting in over 125,000 hospitalizations and about 3,000 deaths. The most common causes are norovirus, salmonella, clostridium perfringens, campylobacter, and staphylococcus aureas. Less common but more serious are clostridium botulinum, listeria, E. coli, vibrio, and hepatitis A.

The most cited risk areas for restaurants are contamination from employees who are sick or have dirty hands, cross contamination from one food to another, leaving perishables exposed to the elements, and supply chain risks.

Foodborne illnesses can be costly if restaurant owners do not take proper precautions. Therefore, it is essential for restaurants to encourage the proper standards to reduce this type of risk. Restaurant owners can help protect guests from this threat by educating employees about the risks from foodborne illnesses, having them avoid handling food if they are sick, asking them to wash their hands thoroughly before handling food, and to wear gloves whenever possible.

The National Restaurant Association offers a Food Safety Manager Certification as part of its ServeSafe® program that could help reinforce important precautions at your establishment. Another worthwhile precaution includes checking the insurance limits of your general liability coverage with your insurance carrier.

If you suspect you may have experienced an outbreak of foodborne illness, it is important to do everything possible to mitigate the damage by reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities and notifying your general liability insurance carrier.

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 Legal Cannabis Make the Restaurant and Bar Business More Risky?

By: Richard E. Welch, Jr.

President & CEO, Hospitality Insurance Group

As the legalization of marijuana sweeps across the United States, it has the potential to disrupt the restaurant and bar business. Growing cannabis use has the possibility to reduce consumption of alcohol, which could hurt businesses that serve alcohol. On the opportunity side, many entrepreneurial restauranteurs are devising ways to serve cannabis infused foods or beverages in the hope of participating in a new market sector. While time will tell how these forces will play out, there is one change to the business that is being felt presently. Bars and restaurants are facing an increasing number of patrons consuming cannabis before or while drinking alcohol, which increases the risk of intoxication related incidents. The rise in consumption of cannabis infused edibles could only increase this risk.

Cannabis consumption in the United States has been around for a long time, but usage is growing as legalization makes it more socially acceptable. Edible cannabis has soared in popularity recently, especially among young adults, and these products are creating a new set of risks. Marijuana-infused edibles take longer for their effect to be felt and when they do kick-in, users could be under the influence of cannabis for several hours. Because edibles take effect more slowly, there is significant potential that a user can take too much before they have even felt the effect of the drug. Bartenders could be surprised to see someone completely sober one minute and clearly under the influence a short time later. Recent studies show that edibles are more likely to send users to the emergency room than its smoked equivalent.

Establishments that serve alcohol are governed in most states by “Dram Shop” laws, which hold them responsible for damages that result from the over-service of alcohol or the service of alcohol to minors. Dram Shop laws explicitly prohibit serving alcohol to people who are visibly intoxicated. While bartenders and servers are trained to spot people who are inebriated, identifying someone who is under the influence of cannabis can be a different challenge.

All of this poses a liability risk for restaurants and bars because it can be murky to distinguish whether a guest caused an accident or injured someone as a direct result of alcohol or a marijuana-laced product consumed at your establishment. Currently, there are no national equivalent cannabis laws to Dram Shop laws, so business owners that serve alcohol may still have to defend lawsuits if their patrons injure people as a result of the over-consumption of cannabis.

Business owners might find it hard to combat this change in culture, but there is hope for businesses willing to remain vigilant. The most effective way to protect your restaurant or bar from liability claims is to stay informed of trends and keep your bartenders trained on proper service of alcoholic beverages. The second is to make sure you are carrying the appropriate liquor liability insurance coverage. Liquor liability insurance protects bars and restaurants when they are accused of overserving alcohol to a patron and that patron goes on to injure someone. Liquor liability insurance will cover the cost of these claims up to the policy limits and the associated defense costs. This insurance will also pay for defense costs if lawsuits are presented that are ultimately determined to be related to the consumption of cannabis rather than alcohol.

Without the proper coverage, businesses could be hurt financially or even forced to close from a single claim involving cannabis. With proper coverage, if it is later determined that liquor was not the driving factor that led to bodily injury, business owners can rest assured knowing that their insurance provider will pursue legal actions to exonerate them in pending legal cases.

Hospitality Insurance Group specializes in providing liquor liability insurance, and our staff can make sure you are adequately protected from claims through your liquor liability insurance package. Even if your business is targeted following an accident linked to cannabis consumption, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are completely covered.




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Hospitality Insurance Group Bids Farewell to Retiring Board Member Gerald Cassidy

SOUTHBOROUGH, MASS. (May 16, 2019) — A founding member of Hospitality Insurance Group’s Board of Directors has retired. Gerald Cassidy, who brought decades of insurance experience and knowledge to the Board, announced his retirement on May 8, 2019.

Cassidy served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hospital Underwriters Mutual Insurance Company (HUM) when he was a founding member of the board in 2008, and he delivered valuable guidance throughout his tenure.

“Hospitality Insurance Group is deeply appreciative of Jerry’s commitment to the Board, and his counsel and opinions on a myriad of insurance issues. A board member with Jerry’s expertise and enthusiasm will be greatly missed,” said Richard E. Welch, Jr., President & CEO of Hospitality Insurance Group.

“I have had the privilege of serving on several boards with Jerry over the last four decades.  He was a gifted insurance professional and a valued personal friend,” said William T. McGrail, HIG Chairman.

Cassidy’s extensive experience in the insurance industry helped guide important decisions that have expanded the operations of Hospitality Insurance Group. Highlights from Cassidy’s time on the Board include voting on the acquisition of Eastern Casualty and prompting the use of their inactive licenses. He was also involved in transitioning Liquor Liability Joint Underwriting Association of Massachusetts, initially created by legislators in Massachusetts, to Hospitality Mutual Insurance Company and Hospitality Insurance Company — which both co-operate as Hospitality Insurance Group.

A seasoned insurance executive with over 50 years of experience, Cassidy served in managerial roles at St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company and the Phoenix of Hartford Insurance Company.

Cassidy has also lent his expertise to other boards and committees throughout his career. His additional appointments include being on HUM’s Board of Directors and its Executive, Finance, and Employee Benefits Committees, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Child’s Hospital in Albany, N.Y., Chairman of the Hospital Insurance Forum, and Vice Chairman of the Massachusetts Reinsurance Plan.

Cassidy plans to spend his time between Florida and Maine, where he will enjoy spending more time with his grandchildren and playing golf.

About Hospitality Insurance Group

Hospitality Insurance Group (HIG), headquartered in Southborough, Mass., provides commercial property, general liability, liquor liability and excess policies to owners of establishments that serve or sell liquor, including bars, taverns, restaurants, social clubs and liquor stores, as well as caterers and other qualified businesses. HIG writes insurance in seven states that include Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.


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Meet Our Administrative Assistant, Christine!

In August, we welcomed Christine to Hospitality Insurance Group as an Administrative Assistant at our headquarters in Southborough, Massachusetts.  Get to know Christine in our latest Q&A interview below.

What is your full name?



Where do you live?

Sutton MA.


Tell us a little bit about your background.

Retired from the Massachusetts Department of Correction after 32 years of service. Began my career as a Correction Officer at the women’s facility in MCI Framingham and transferred to North Central Correctional Institution in Gardner MA. which is a male facility. During my tenure with the DOC I held numerous positions to include investigator and ascended to the rank of Superintendent.

Since we’re in the hospitality business, what is your favorite drink of choice to order when out with friends? (cocktail, beer, wine, etc.)

DiSaronno on the rocks.


What is your favorite restaurant in your area?

Mare Y Monte in Worcester


What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time?

Golf and anything outdoors, Working out at the gym.


If you could go to any Boston sporting event, what would it be? (Boston Bruins, Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics)



Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you? I enjoy riding a motorcycle.


How can people contact you? 

Christine Verdini
Administrative Assistant
Hospitality Insurance Group
Office: 774-512-9258

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Meet Hospitality Insurance Group’s New President And CEO

Meet Hospitality Insurance Group’s New President And CEO

We are pleased to announce Richard (Dick) E. Welch, Jr. as our new President & CEO. He will assume responsibilities in January 2018 and will succeed John W. Tympanick, who recently announced his retirement after 26 years of service with the company.

Dick brings decades of property and casualty insurance experience to Hospitality Insurance Group. Previously, he was the Vice President of Corporate Planning for The Concord Group of Insurance Companies in Concord, New Hampshire, the Founder and Principal of REW Insurance Consulting Services and President and CEO of the Premier Insurance Company of Massachusetts.

Dick brings with him a strong track record in directing insurance operations and has demonstrated skills in financial management and strategic planning.

“I am excited to be joining a strong team and a quality organization at Hospitality Insurance Group,” says Welch. “I look forward to working together with the HIG team and its agents to continue growing the business by providing superior protection and outstanding service to the hospitality industry.”

Dick is a former member and Chairman of the CAR Actuarial Committee, Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association and Center for Industrial Mathematics and Statistics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He also served on the Board of Directors at Premier Insurance Co of Massachusetts, First Floridian Auto and Home Insurance Company, and First Trenton Indemnity Company. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Columbia University in New York.

Dick currently lives in Holden, MA with his wife, Lori.

According to Bill McGrail, Chairman of the Board of Hospitality Insurance Group “We are fortunate to have a person
of Dick’s caliber on board and are confident he will bring the company the leadership it will need in the coming

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August 2017 Liquor Liability Policies

August 2017 Liquor Liability Policies

Take a look at some of the policies Hospitality Insurance Group wrote in August 2017 including the type of coverage included, insurance discounts applied and a glimpse at the total insurance premium.

Irish Pub in Lancaster, PA
Coverage Needed: Liquor Liability
Limits: 1M/1M/2M
Total Sales: $3,750,000
Liquor to Food Sales Ratio: 47%
Endorsements: N/A
Discounts Applied: 
– Alcohol Awareness Training
– Membership Credit (PA Taverns Association Membership)
– Elite Discount Applied
Total Premium: $21,484

Bar in Jacksonville, NC

Live Entertainment
Coverage:  CP, GL & LL
Limits:  1M/1M/2M
Total Sales:  $2,156,000
 Liquor to Food Sales Ratio:  40%
Endorsements:  GL A & B,  Property Damage
Discounts Applied:
Alcohol Awareness Training
ELITE Discount
Membership Credit (North Carolina Restaurant Lodging Association)
Total Premium:  $15,672


Bar in Chicopee, MA
Coverage Needed:  CP, GL and LL
CP:  Business Personal Property $100,000 – 80% at Replacement Cost; Business Income $160,000 – 80%; Spoilage $10,000
GL:  1M/1M with $180,000 total sales, 1 Additional Insured and Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability
LL:  1M/2M with $160,000 liquor sales, 1 Additional Insured
Total Sales: $180,000 Total sales – $160,000 of this total was liquor sales
Liquor to Food Sales Ratio:  89%
GL:  Hired and Non-Owned Auto and Additional Insured
LL:  GL A&B, Property Damage, and Additional Insured
Discounts Applied: 
LL:  Mass Restaurant Association
Total Premium: CP:  $1,877; GL:  $1,888; LL:  $6,131 – Total Package with Liquor:  $9,896


Restaurant in Newton Center
Coverage Needed:  Liquor Liability only
Limits: 1M/1M/2M
Total Sales: $2,686,000 total – $1,040,000 of this is liquor only
Liquor to Food Sales Ratio:  39%
Endorsements:  GL A&B, Property Damage and Additional Insured
Discounts Applied:  TIPS (alcohol awareness credit) and Mass Restaurant Association
Total Premium: $10,681