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Is Your Company Hosting A Holiday Party?

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Is Your Company Hosting A Holiday Party?

Holiday_People_Dinner-BBQParty It is the holiday season, a time for office parties and charity events. While gatherings can provide opportunities for professionals to mingle casually with their co-workers and clients and can help boost employee morale, they can also prove to be a liability for businesses that serve alcohol. That is why businesses should take reasonable precautions to prevent any risks and financially protect themselves by making sure they have the proper insurance, warned the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Forty-four states plus the District of Columbia have enacted liquor liability laws. These laws make it possible for a plaintiff to hold those who serve alcohol to an intoxicated or underage person responsible for any damage or injury caused by these same individuals after they leave the party. Most of these laws also offer an injured person, such as the victim of a drunk driver, a method to sue the person who served the alcohol. There are circumstances under these same state laws where criminal charges may also apply.

Liquor liability laws were intended originally to apply to taverns, bars, and other establishments selling and serving alcohol. However, the liability laws have exp anded over time to include “social hosts” (such as those holding a holiday party in their home or business) in some states giving them some exposure to the risk of liability for serving alcohol.

“In many states you can be held legally responsible for your employees’ actions after they leave the party,” said Loretta Worters, vice president of the I.I.I. “If you are throwing an office party where alcohol is served, you have a responsibility to make sure that your employees are capable of driving safely.”

Worters noted that when business owners host a holiday party and serve alcohol as part of the festivities, liquor liability would most likely be covered by their commercial general liability (CGL) policy. “It’s best to check with your insurance agent or broker first,” she said, adding, that “if an employee becomes intoxicated and assaults another employee at the party, the incident might be excluded under the CGL policy.”

In addition to a CGL policy, businesses should also consider purchasing an Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policy. An EPLI policy will protect a business from discrimination, sexual harassment, emotional distress, and other workplace-related issues. When you buy the coverage, make sure it includes “third-party” coverage. Third-party coverage refers to claims made by non-employees, usually clients or customers, who allege that an employee engaged in wrongful conduct such as sexual harassment or discrimination. This can be important coverage, for example, if someone in management has had too much to drink and makes an inappropriate overture to a client or customer. Without a specific policy endorsement for third-party claims, EPLI policy forms do not cover these types of exposures.

“Even innocent flirting or touching can be misconstrued and result in a lawsuit,” explained Worters.

In addition to overtly inappropriate behavior, if someone puts a video clip or picture on YouTube or Facebook that could result in reputational harm, it is also covered under an EPL policy.

Over the years, office parties have changed considerably. Alcohol used to flow freely, and employers would sometimes overlook inappropriate conduct, explaining away bad party behavior without taking any action. Today, lawsuits are so rampant that some companies have concluded office parties involving alcohol are not worth the risk.

If you plan to host a holiday party at which you will be serving alcohol, the I.I.I. offers the following tips to prevent a lawsuit:

  1. Advise employees to be responsible. Include a statement on the party invitation and/or circulate a written reminder to all concerned on the responsibilities to drink only in moderation and to avoid driving after drinking.
  2. Emphasize to management that they must lead by example.
  3. Hold the party at an offsite location. If problems do arise, it is better that they occur away from the business premises. Depending on the state, the liability will generally be on the restaurant than the company. However, it is not unusual for an employer to be named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit if an intoxicated employee leaves any company-sponsored event and injures himself or herself or another person as a result.
  4. Do not pay for alcoholic drinks. Guest will drink less if they have to pay for the drinks themselves.
  5. If you feel you must furnish alcoholic beverages, consider a drink voucher system to limit the number of drinks served. Or, serve alcohol for only a short period.
  6. Consider hiring a professional bartender. Most bartenders are trained to recognize signs of intoxication and will limit consumption by partygoers.
  7. Offer non-alcoholic beverages and always serve food. It is proven that food can help counter the effects of alcohol.
  8. Do not serve alcohol to minors.
  9. Stop serving liquor toward the end of the evening and switch to coffee, tea and soft drinks.
  10. Arrange alternative transportation. Anticipate the need for alternative transportation for all employees and guests and make special transportation arrangements in advance of the party. Encourage all employees and guests to make use of the alternative transportation if they consume any alcohol.

Worters advised business owners to talk with their insurance agent or company representative about their liability insurance coverage and any exclusions, conditions or limitations to their policies for this kind of risk. “Appropriate liability insurance coverage is necessary. In some cases special event coverage may be available that will cover both liquor liability and other liability exposures specific to the event.”

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Is Your Company Hosting a Holiday Party? I.I.I. Offers 10 Ways to Protect Your Business” http://www.iii.org website. Accessed November 28, 2016. http://www.iii.org/press-release/your-company-hosting-holiday-party-iii-offers-10-ways-protect-your-business

© Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.

Get Covered By Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance, commonly called workers’ or workmen’s comp, is a form of insurance designed to provide compensation to workers who have been injured while on the job.

While the details can vary significantly from one plan to the next, insurance plans in this category typically provide for some form of wage replacement, payment and/or reimbursement of medical costs, compensation for economic losses, possibly damages for pain and suffering, and settlements to the insured’s dependents in the case of a fatal work-related accident.

Given this broad range of covered areas – essentially combining the key features of disability insurance, health insurance, and life insurance, among others – workers’ comp is certainly one of the more critical forms of insurance an individual can obtain. By knowing all you can about workers comp you can ensure that if an accident happens on the job you are covered. If you are not you could find yourself and your family in trouble down the road. We all need money to pay the rent and buy food and getting compensation for an injury at work can help you to pay for these necessities.

Workers’ comp insurance is typically associated historically with labor or professional unions, and is often the result of coordinated campaigns to obtain the coverage for the union members. Proponents of workers’ comp cite improved working conditions, economic support for employees, and the safety net provided by the insurance, as key benefits of workers’ comp. Critics of this type of insurance cite increased costs to employers and potential infringement on workers’ rights to seek recompense on their own. Another concern that is frequently raised is the possibility of American companies moving parts of their operations or even their entire companies to areas with looser workers’ comp law. In the United States, however, workers’ comp laws are nearly universal, and almost all employers must carry the insurance in some form for their employees.

The body of laws governing workers’ comp insurance has become extremely complex and varies from state to state. For example, in many states it is illegal to terminate an employee for filing a claim or for reporting an injury incurred at the workplace. This isn’t illegal in all states, however. And while most states don’t allow employers to deny employment based on previous workers’ comp claims, employers are able to check a commercially maintained database of claims, a system that could potentially be abused by unethical employers.

Because abuse of the system has occurred on the part of employees as well, stiff fines and other legal penalties are in place for persons who file false claims for workers’ compensation benefits. While stories of supposedly injured employees engaging in physically dem anding activities are commonplace, little hard data exists to indicate what percentage, if any, of the claims filed every year are actually fraudulent.

Vigorous investigation by employers, including tactics such as secretly video taping claimants engaged in physical activity, have also undoubtedly helped reduce the number of false claims. Certainly the vast majority of claims filed are the result of legitimate, unavoidable work-place injuries.

Get Cash for Structured Settlement?

When accidents occur, whether an auto accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, wrongful death, or any other non workplace related injury happens, structured settlements are often set up with insurance companies to pay for these tortious acts. People who are in involved in personal injury or insurance related cases elect to receive a series of payments over a sunstantial period of time rather than receive an immediate lump sum payment. These payments typically total more than the amount a person would have obtained for an immediate payment. The injured party(Plaintiff) goes through a process whereby they elect to take this protracted payment, and sign off on a “Settlement and Release Agreement” allowing the Insurer(Defendant) to purchase an annuity policy on the insured’s behalf that would provide for monthly, quartely, or yearly payments to the injured party, who now becomes what is called the Annuitant.

With the advent of new 2002 Federal Laws, and further State Protections, the injured party now has the right to get cash for their structured settlement by selling this annuity stream to an independent third party if he or she so desires. These periodic payments that flow from an insurance company annuity contract(called a structured settlement), may be
transferred at anytime in the future for a lump sum today, but great care should be taken to ensure that the injured party obtains a proper court order. The reason for the court order is one of protection for the injured party, and that protection is twofold; first to protect the annuitant(injured party) from an unscrupulous transaction, and secondly, and just as important in our opinion, to preserve the tax free nature of the transaction. Without obtaining a court order, the proceeds received would be completely taxable, a fighteningly foreboding scenario.

The structured settlement holder should be aware that these annuity sales have specific legal guidelines that differ from state to state. These specific elements must be adhered to strictly in order to complete the transaction. Typically, the injured party receiving the payment stream must execute(sign) a new transfer and assignment agreement disclosing all contractual terms and the price to be paid.

At this point the injured party may be wondering how difficult it is for them to get cash for their stuctured settlement, since the procedure seems complex. In fact, the sale of a structured settlement annuity is a simple, straightforward process that any institutional funder has done thous ands of times, and will h andle all the paperwork properly. The only thing the injured party need do is make certain they provide the funder with the proper paperwork required in a timely fashion. This process is really a simple cookie cutter transaction. Once in court, the potential sale is announced to all interested parties and then is submitted to the court for their approval.

Bear in mind that this procedure is a process, and typically will take at least 90 days to consummate. In order to expedite the process, the injured party needs to make certain that they respond immediately to requests for information and paperwork from the funding party. The institutional funder should have a vast knowledge of the structured settlement business, and have consummated numerous transactions, and offer you referrals. This is for your protection and an acknowledgement that all proper legal guidelines will be adhered to. If your structured settlement company doesn’t meet these requirements, use someone else.

Can you get cash for structured settlement? Yes. Provided your follow these easy guidelines.

Gap Insurance: A Financial Safety Belt

Why is gap insurance considered as a financial safety belt? Simply put, it keeps you from being financially ruined when disaster hits your car. For example you are in this situation, you bought a late-model car three months ago using a car loan with a regular car insurance. The car costs $30,000 and you have already made three payments of $900 each month. Then, disaster strikes. An electric post falls and slams down on your car. The car was flattened to half its height.

Immediately, you reported it to the auto insurance company, which they in turn play with numbers, mileage, depreciation, market values, and other related stuff. After a couple of days, the adjustor informs you that the worth of your car at the time of the accident is $25,000. This is the amount that the auto insurance company will provide you. But the finance company that gave you the loan will still consider the car to be worth its original price. They also play with numbers, interest rates, taxes and license fees. Then they come up with the amount of $38,000. This is the amount that you need to pay them. If the auto insurance company releases the $25,000, where will you get the remaining $7,000? Your car is already a wreck but you still owe the finance company.

You need not face such a dilemma if you have a gap insurance. With the gap insurance, you can ignore the difference between the amount covered by the regular car insurance and the amount you owed the car loan company. This difference is called a “gap” and the gap insurance bridges it so that you need not rack your head for additional financial resources.

A car lease contract must also have a gap insurance. It is a feature that prevents you from draining all your finances. Some dealers who lease cars don’t offer a gap insurance. This is okay as long as they include a “gap waiver” in their lease contract. This waiver declares that you are no longer responsible for gap charges that may occur when your leased car is wrecked.

When you get a gap insurance, determine how much is offered in the gap policy. You should also know how much will be added to your monthly bill. A gap insurance, for it to be recognized, must be accompanied with comprehensive insurance policies that cover collision.

Sometimes, a gap insurance may no longer be needed if the terms in your regular auto insurance policy indicated that the company will pay off the full amount you owed from the car loan lender.

Financial planning and insurance

There are many vital parts of our financial plan: estate planning, mortgages, credit cards, and UK Secured Loans. One area you need to include is insurance. Insurance answers the question, “what if something bad happens?” No one likes to think about and too many people avoid the topic of insurance because they fail to see the benefit.

But there is a benefit! With insurance, you will have peace of mind that their loved ones will be taken care of if they die. So why are you reading about insurance on a site that has to do with loans? Simple. You may want to consider insurance to cover your loans so that if you were to pass away, your loved ones will not be saddled with unexpected debt.

And, if you have a secured loan that your loved ones cannot cover, you do not want your assets seized to cover the loan. That will add tragedy to tragedy for your loved ones!

So how do you know what kind of insurance to get to cover your loans? Or any expenses at all, for that matter? The easiest thing to do is to determine the length of time that a particular expense will be present in your life and get insurance that matches the term of the expense.

For example, any death or estate tax will always be present in your life because no matter when you pass away, those expenses will be incurred. Also, if you want to bequeath a gift to a charitable organization, you will likely always want to have that as an available gift to make.

However, for many other expenses, including your loans, a temporary solution is better. For example the mortgage on your house or the loan on your car are both excellent loans to create insurance for. This way, if you were to pass away while these expenses are still present, they will be automatically paid off at your death. And because you are matching the term of the loan to the term of the insurance, you are only buying insurance for as long as you have the loan.

For example, say you have a secured home improvement loan to last for three years while you build an addition onto your home. At the same time you take out a three year term insurance policy for the same amount as the loan.

If you were to pass away in the second year, the insurance would pay your loved ones the full amount of the loan, of which they can use two thirds of it to pay the remaining portion that is still outst anding on your loan.

People do this for many kinds of loans, including their mortgage, their automobile loans, and any other kind of loan they have. It’s an excellent way to ensure that your loved ones are not going to be saddled with debt if tragedy should strike.

Exploring the Different Types of Boat Insurance

When searching for boat insurance, you may be overwhelmed when you find that there are many different types of boat insurance policies available. In general, insurance companies only offer one general watercraft liability coverage policy; some others may offer additional coverage that you are able to purchase. If you have financed your dreamboat, the lender probably requires you to obtain specific coverage. There are many different types of coverage available that you can add, as an addition to your st andard policy.

The st andard policy, the watercraft liability insurance coverage, is required by law in most states. This insurance policy provides coverage in the event that damage occurs to a person or property as a result of actions taken on your boat. This is true whether or not it is during transportation or actually on the water. This is a law requirement in having this type of liability coverage, and each area will have its own requirements as to how much you will need. It is wise to consult with an insurance agent to find out what is necessary to meet the requirement of the law.

It is possible that medical payment coverage may be required in your area. This type of coverage pays for the medical expenses, up to a specified amount, for you and any passenger on your boat that result in an accident covered by the policy. As a suggestion, regardless of whether this insurance is required or not, it would be wise to consider it. Medical expenses as a result of an accident can become extremely high.

Another additional type of coverage to the st andard liability coverage is the wreck removal and pollution coverage. This should also be strongly considered. If your boat sinks or is involved in an accident for any reason, you are required to remove it at once in accordance with the law. If oil or gas leaks into the water as a result of an accident, you will be fined. The wreck removal and pollution coverage provides coverage for this type of incident, without the coverage you will be required to pay for the removal and fines out of your own pocket.

Just like in automobile coverage, you should definitely insure yourself against uninsured boats as well. This works in the same manner as uninsured motorist insurance your automobiles. If another boater, who does not have any type of insurance or enough coverage, collides with your boat on the water, this coverage will pay for the replacement of your boat and any needed repairs.

Most all insurance policies you purchase should cover the boat, motor, and trailer used to transport your boat. Liability coverage is not the only type of coverage that you will likely need in many cases. Make sure that you protect your boat, optional coverage that includes theft, v andalism, losses caused by storms, fire, sinking, capsizing, str anding, and collision. Speak to your insurance agent and find out what type of insurance is required by your area and the types of coverage they can offer you.

Social Host Liability

Misc_WarningTapeBe a Responsible Host When It Comes to Serving Alcohol at Parties

Whether you are hosting a Super Bowl party or greeting the New Year with friends in your home, if you are planning to serve alcohol at any type of party it is important to take steps to limit your liquor liability and make sure you have the proper insurance.

Social host liability, the legal term for the criminal and civil responsibility of a person who furnishes liquor to a guest, can have a serious impact on party throwers. Social host liability, also known as “Dram Shop Liability” laws vary widely from state to state, but 43 states have them on the books. Most of these laws also offer an injured person, such as the victim of a drunk driver, a method to sue the person who served the alcohol. There are circumstances under these laws where criminal charges may also apply.

While a social host is not liable for injuries sustained by a 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 in your home, it is important to speak with your insurance agent or company representative about your homeowners coverage and any exclusions, conditions or limitations your policy might have for this kind of risk. Homeowners insurance usually provides some liquor liability coverage, but it is typically limited to $100,000 to $300,000, depending on the policy, which might not be enough.

Most importantly, whether you are hanging out with a small group of friends for cocktails or throwing a big family bash, remember that a good host is a responsible host, and takes steps to ensure guests get home safely if they have been drinking.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Guests

If you plan to serve alcohol at a party the I.I.I. offers the following tips to promote safe alcohol consumption and reduce your social host liability exposure:

  • Make sure you underst and your state laws. Before sending out party invitations, familiarize yourself with your state’s social host liability laws. These laws vary widely from state to state. Some states do not impose any liability on social hosts. Others limit liability to injuries that occur on the host’s premises. Some extend the host’s liability to injuries that occur anywhere a guest who has consumed alcohol goes. Many states have laws that pertain specifically to furnishing alcohol to minors.
  • Consider venues other than your home for the party. Hosting your party at a restaurant or bar with a liquor license, rather than at your home, will help minimize liquor liability risks.
  • Hire a professional bartender. Most bartenders are trained to recognize signs of intoxication and are better able to limit consumption by partygoers.
  • Encourage guests to pick a designated driver who will refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages so that he or she can drive other guests home.
  • Be a responsible host/hostess. Limit your own alcohol intake so that you will be better able to judge your guests’ sobriety.
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages and always serve food. Eating and drinking plenty of water, or other non-alcoholic beverages, can help counter the effects of alcohol.
  • Do not pressure guests to drink or rush to refill their glasses when empty. And never serve alcohol to guests who are visibly intoxicated.
  • Stop serving liquor toward the end of the evening. Switch to coffee, tea and soft drinks.
  • If guests drink too much or seem too tired to drive home, call a cab, arrange a ride with a sober guest or have them sleep at your home.
  • Encourage all your guests to wear seatbelts as they drive home. Studies show that seatbelts save lives.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Social Host Liability” http://www.iii.org website. Accessed September 11, 2014. http://www.iii.org/article/social-host-liability

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.

Holiday Party Etiquette: A Good Host Is a Responsible Host When It Comes to Serving Alcohol

 Transportaion_Events-Holidays_People_Misc_CocktailsAndKeysThanksgiving marks the beginning of holiday season and for many that means party time. But hosts who serve alcohol should take steps to limit their liquor liability and make sure they have the proper insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Social host liability, the legal term for the criminal and civil responsibility of a person who furnishes liquor to a guest, can have a serious impact on party throwers. Social host liability, also known as “Dram Shop Liability” laws vary widely from state to state, but 43 states have them on the books. Most of these laws also offer an injured person, such as the victim of a drunk driver, a method to sue the person who served the alcohol. There are circumstances under these laws where criminal charges may also apply.

“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 I.I.I. “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 in your home, it is important to speak with your insurance agent or company representative about your homeowners coverage and any exclusions, conditions or limitations your policy might have for this kind of risk. Homeowners insurance usually provides some liquor liability coverage, but it is typically limited to $100,000 to $300,000, depending on the policy, which might not be enough.

Whether you are hanging out with a small group of friends for cocktails or throwing a big family bash, remember that a good host is a responsible host, and needs to take steps to ensure guests get home safely if they have been drinking.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Guests

If you plan to serve alcohol at a holiday party the I.I.I. offers the following tips to promote safe alcohol consumption and reduce your social host liability exposure:

  • Make sure you underst and your state laws. Before sending out party invitations, familiarize yourself with your state’s social host liability laws. These laws vary widely from state to state. Some states do not impose any liability on social hosts. Others limit liability to injuries that occur on the host’s premises. Some extend the host’s liability to injuries that occur anywhere a guest who has consumed alcohol goes. Many states have laws that pertain specifically to furnishing alcohol to minors.
  • Consider venues other than your home for the party.Hosting your party at a restaurant or bar with a liquor license, rather than at your home, will help minimize liquor liability risks.
  • Hire a professional bartender. Most bartenders are trained to recognize signs of intoxication and are better able to limit consumption by partygoers.
  • Encourage guests to pick a designated driver who will refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages so that he or she can drive other guests home.
  • Be a responsible host/hostess. Limit your own alcohol intake so that you will be better able to judge your guests’ sobriety.
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages and always serve food. Eating and drinking plenty of water, or other non-alcoholic beverages, can help counter the effects of alcohol.
  • Do not pressure guests to drink or rush to refill their glasses when empty. And never serve alcohol to guests who are visibly intoxicated.
  • Stop serving liquor toward the end of the evening. Switch to coffee, tea and soft drinks.
  • If guests drink too much or seem too tired to drive home, call a cab, arrange a ride with a sober guest or have them sleep at your home.
  • Encourage all your guests to wear seatbelts as they drive home. Studies show that seatbelts save lives.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Holiday Party Etiquette: A Good Host Is a Responsible Host When It Comes to Serving Alcohol” http://www.iii.org website. Accessed July 18, 2014. http://www.iii.org/press-release/holiday-party-etiquette-good-host-responsible-host-when-it-comes-serving-alcohol

© Copyright 2014 intouch Business, Inc. All rights reserved. Certain names and articles used with permission of owners. Trade names mentioned herein are owned by third parties.

Is Your Company Hosting A Holiday Party?

Holiday_People_Dinner-BBQParty It is the holiday season, a time for office parties and charity events. While gatherings can provide opportunities for professionals to mingle casually with their co-workers and clients and can help boost employee morale, they can also prove to be a liability for businesses that serve alcohol. That is why businesses should take reasonable precautions to prevent any risks and financially protect themselves by making sure they have the proper insurance, warned the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Forty-four states plus the District of Columbia have enacted liquor liability laws. These laws make it possible for a plaintiff to hold those who serve alcohol to an intoxicated or underage person responsible for any damage or injury caused by these same individuals after they leave the party. Most of these laws also offer an injured person, such as the victim of a drunk driver, a method to sue the person who served the alcohol. There are circumstances under these same state laws where criminal charges may also apply.

Liquor liability laws were intended originally to apply to taverns, bars, and other establishments selling and serving alcohol. However, the liability laws have exp anded over time to include “social hosts” (such as those holding a holiday party in their home or business) in some states giving them some exposure to the risk of liability for serving alcohol.

“In many states you can be held legally responsible for your employees’ actions after they leave the party,” said Loretta Worters, vice president of the I.I.I. “If you are throwing an office party where alcohol is served, you have a responsibility to make sure that your employees are capable of driving safely.”

Worters noted that when business owners host a holiday party and serve alcohol as part of the festivities, liquor liability would most likely be covered by their commercial general liability (CGL) policy. “It’s best to check with your insurance agent or broker first,” she said, adding, that “if an employee becomes intoxicated and assaults another employee at the party, the incident might be excluded under the CGL policy.”

In addition to a CGL policy, businesses should also consider purchasing an Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policy. An EPLI policy will protect a business from discrimination, sexual harassment, emotional distress, and other workplace-related issues. When you buy the coverage, make sure it includes “third-party” coverage. Third-party coverage refers to claims made by non-employees, usually clients or customers, who allege that an employee engaged in wrongful conduct such as sexual harassment or discrimination. This can be important coverage, for example, if someone in management has had too much to drink and makes an inappropriate overture to a client or customer. Without a specific policy endorsement for third-party claims, EPLI policy forms do not cover these types of exposures.

“Even innocent flirting or touching can be misconstrued and result in a lawsuit,” explained Worters.

In addition to overtly inappropriate behavior, if someone puts a video clip or picture on YouTube or Facebook that could result in reputational harm, it is also covered under an EPL policy.

Over the years, office parties have changed considerably. Alcohol used to flow freely, and employers would sometimes overlook inappropriate conduct, explaining away bad party behavior without taking any action. Today, lawsuits are so rampant that some companies have concluded office parties involving alcohol are not worth the risk.

If you plan to host a holiday party at which you will be serving alcohol, the I.I.I. offers the following tips to prevent a lawsuit:

  1. Advise employees to be responsible. Include a statement on the party invitation and/or circulate a written reminder to all concerned on the responsibilities to drink only in moderation and to avoid driving after drinking.
  2. Emphasize to management that they must lead by example.
  3. Hold the party at an offsite location. If problems do arise, it is better that they occur away from the business premises. Depending on the state, the liability will generally be on the restaurant than the company. However, it is not unusual for an employer to be named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit if an intoxicated employee leaves any company-sponsored event and injures himself or herself or another person as a result.
  4. Do not pay for alcoholic drinks. Guest will drink less if they have to pay for the drinks themselves.
  5. If you feel you must furnish alcoholic beverages, consider a drink voucher system to limit the number of drinks served. Or, serve alcohol for only a short period.
  6. Consider hiring a professional bartender. Most bartenders are trained to recognize signs of intoxication and will limit consumption by partygoers.
  7. Offer non-alcoholic beverages and always serve food. It is proven that food can help counter the effects of alcohol.
  8. Do not serve alcohol to minors.
  9. Stop serving liquor toward the end of the evening and switch to coffee, tea and soft drinks.
  10. Arrange alternative transportation. Anticipate the need for alternative transportation for all employees and guests and make special transportation arrangements in advance of the party. Encourage all employees and guests to make use of the alternative transportation if they consume any alcohol.

Worters advised business owners to talk with their insurance agent or company representative about their liability insurance coverage and any exclusions, conditions or limitations to their policies for this kind of risk. “Appropriate liability insurance coverage is necessary. In some cases special event coverage may be available that will cover both liquor liability and other liability exposures specific to the event.”

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Is Your Company Hosting a Holiday Party? I.I.I. Offers 10 Ways to Protect Your Business” http://www.iii.org website. Accessed July 18, 2014. http://www.iii.org/press-release/your-company-hosting-holiday-party-iii-offers-10-ways-protect-your-business

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.

Residential & Non-Residential Building Fire Estimates

Disaster_HouseFireFire Estimate Summaries present basic data on the size and status of the fire problem in the United States as depicted through data collected in the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). Each Fire Estimate Summary addresses the size of the specific fire or fire-related issue and highlights important trends in the data.1

Residential Building Estimates

Definition of Residential Building
A structure is a constructed item of which a building is one type. The term residential structure commonly refers to buildings where people live. To coincide with this concept, the definition of a residential structure fire includes only those fires confined to an enclosed building or fixed portable or mobile structure with a residential property use. Such fires are referred to as residential buildings to distinguish these buildings from other structures on residential properties that may include fences, sheds, and other uninhabitable structures. Residential buildings include, but are not limited to one- or two-family dwellings, multifamily dwellings, manufactured housing, boarding houses or residential hotels, commercial hotels, college dormitories, and sorority/fraternity houses.

Nonresidential Building Estimates

Definition of Nonresidential Building
Nonresidential buildings are a subset of nonresidential structures and refer to buildings on nonresidential properties. Buildings include enclosed structures, subway terminals, underground buildings, and fixed portable or mobile structures. The term nonresidential buildings refers to those nonresidential structures that are enclosed.Nonresidential buildings include assembly, eating and drinking establishments, educational facilities, stores, offices, basic industry, manufacturing, storage, detached garages, outside properties, and other nonpermanent residential buildings. The term nonresidential also includes institutional properties such as prisons, nursing homes, juvenile care facilities, and hospitals, though many people may reside there for short (or long) durations of time.

Nonresidential Building National Estimates (2003-2011)

Cause Definitions

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Source: U.S. Fire Administration, “Residential and Nonresidential Building Fire Estimates” http://www.usfa.fema.gov/. Accessed June 16, 2014. href=”http://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/estimates/index.shtm”>http://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/estimates/index.shtm

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