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12/16/2011 - Are you adequately covered to host a party?

There are insurance implications for those hosting holiday parties.

As holiday revelers make plans to host parties from their homes, there's a good chance alcoholic beverages will be served. But before drinks start flowing, the Insurance Information Institute says party hosts should be sure they have the proper insurance should someone be hurt or injured after having one too many.

"Because you can be held legally responsible for your guests’ actions after they leave your party, hosts need to be particularly careful," said Loretta Worters, vice president of the III. "While a social host is not liable for injuries sustained by the drunken guest (as they are also negligent), the host can be held liable for third parties, and may even be liable for passengers of the guest who have been injured in their car."

Before planning a party, the III cautions policyholders to get in touch with their independent insurance agent to see if their homeowners plans have coverage for this type of risk.

In addition, party hosts should strongly encourage their guests to designate a driver if alcohol will be served.  According to the American Psychiatric Association and crash statistics, alcohol consumption tends to increase during the holiday season.

Selective wishes all to have a safe and happy holiday season.

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