With Memorial Day Weekend upon us it’s time to break out those grills and invite some friends over! Make sure your good times keep rolling by avoiding social host claims. Check out these tips before hosting your next get together!

  1. Consider outsourcing responsibilities. Consider hiring a bartender or appointing a responsible guest to control access to alcohol. This person can be more objective if someone appears over-served (or underage). This is also great your property has a pool and children will be attending; have someone by the pool to prevent any unsupervised access.
  2. Make sure any entertainment or vendors supplying tents, dance floors or furniture have the appropriate coverage. Don’t find yourself responsible for someone tripping over your DJs equipment, or becoming ill from catered foods.
  3. Reward the designated drivers! Consider a door prize for your guests who will remain sober. A goodie bag of snacks is a great idea.
  4. Consider a sleepover. Provide pillows and blankets, or requests guests bring their own to avoid driving when other people may be driving under the influence. Bonus: you have a built in brunch group for your lazy Saturday or Sunday!
  5. Be cautious of allergens. Don’t assume something is allergen free because you’re anxious to feed your guests. Your guest would rather leave feeling hungry than be unknowingly exposed to an allergen.
  6. Restrain your pets. Not all of your guests will appreciate your dog or cat being near them, or may be allergic. This also prevents your dog from escaping through an open door and turning your gathering into a search party!
  7. Avoid slippery wood flooring. Consider picking a family member to watch for spills, particularly on steps. Place area rugs to catch drips in busy areas, such as beside a bar.
  8. Stop serving alcohol an hour before the party ends. Use this time to provide snacks and water while making sure everyone has a responsible ride home. Keep an eye on any guests who seem tense or over-served, you could still be found liable for their actions after they leave your property.
  9. Safely store prepared foods. Make sure your food is being served at an appropriate temperature and store it in a timely manner. You want your guests to call you the next day to tell you they had a blast, not that they got sick from improperly stored foods!
  10. Consider Event Insurance.  If you’re hosting a large group or renting a space, consider a policy to provide additional liability and property coverage for the event. Check out the link to our Event Insurance here.

Not only are host liability claims expensive, they can strain our relationships with the people we hold dearest. With a little preparation you can get ahead of a claims situation and keep your summer sailing smoothly!