Host Liquor Liability vs. Retail Liquor Liability

October 2, 2023

An Important Difference!

If you allow renters to bring in alcohol or serve it at your venue during events, it is crucial that you make sure you and your renter are protected in the event of alcohol-related claims.

On a Special Event Liability policy, Host Liquor Liability will only provide coverage if the insured (your renter) is NOT in the business of selling, serving, manufacturing or distributing alcohol.

So who is covered in what situations under Host Liquor Liability?

  • The wedding couple who is providing wine at the tables for free
  • The anniversary party hosts who hire a professional bartender to serve (see Retail Liquor Liability next)
  • The festival organizer who is not collecting any money from the sale of alcohol from the beer garden vendor

Who needs Retail Liquor Liability?

In the examples above, the professional bartender and the beer garden vendor will need full Retail Liquor Liability. They will have no coverage whatsoever if their vendor insurance policy only lists Host Liquor Liability. And vendors will not be covered by the event organizer's policy if they are liability for a claim.

What are other potential examples of renters or vendors that need Retail Liquor Liability?

  • An event host profiting from the sale of alcohol by selling tickets or asking for specific donations for the drinks
  • Any vendor being paid to serve alcohol
  • Local bar setting up to serve at an event may need additional coverage if their bar insurance doesn't cover off premise activity

If you are unsure of the renter's or vendor's activity and whether or not they need Host or Retail coverage, don't hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email. 530-500-2003 or