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We Are Sunshine

Holiday Office Party: Are you covered?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

From Universal Insurance

The holiday season is a joyous time to get everyone together and celebrate the company’s successes over the year. It’s all fun and games until disaster strikes. What are the risks involved in throwing a party? Likely way more than you ever thought.

Consider this scenario:

A salon owner hosts a holiday party at a local family owned and operated restaurant.  All employees from the various stores are invited, dinner is served, gifts are distributed, games are played, and everyone is having a blast. The owners decide not to serve alcohol at this event as many of the team members are not of age. Around 9:00 PM, the holiday party ends and everyone goes their merry way; everyone, except for one person. The employee goes into their car as if they are leaving but then decides to goes back into the restaurant. They proceed straight to the bar and provide the bartender a fake id. It worked and the first drink goes down the hatch! After too many rounds, drinking far too much, this person gets into their car, and gets in a horrific car accident.

Who do you think is liable?

If you think the restaurant, you are absolutely right. The bartender, right again. BUT what happens when the restaurant is uninsured (or underinsured for that matter)?

The family is seeking a seven figure payout and they hire a top notch attorney that is now going after anyone and everyone.

Ding, Ding! The attorney is now including the owners of the salon. While on the surface it appears the salon owner has no negligence, it is now up to the court of law to determine who’s liable. So besides the emotional impact of the car accident, the salon owners have to deal with a lawsuit when they thought they did everything by the book.

How do you think this ended?

If this happened to you, do you have enough insurance coverage?

The goal is not to tell you to stop having company parties and celebrate your team rather, to spread awareness that accidents can happen. Preparedness is the key! Prior to hosting a party, discuss the scenarios with your specialized agent. It may be worth getting a special event policy. We live in a very litigious society so you need to be prepared and protect yourself as much as possible, that way you can relax, sit back and get ready for another great year!