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Homeowners reminded that parties can bring insurance liabilities

Posted On Tue, December 22, 2009

Many people often associate homeowners insurance with things like fires and severe weather events. However, those planning on entertaining over the holidays may find it advisable to know exactly what level of coverage their current policies actually offer.

A recent announcement by the Insurance Information Institute noted that people who have holiday parties, or any kind of gathering actually, can end up being held liable for guests who consume too much alcohol and end up in an auto accident or some other mishap.

The institute cited "Dram Shop Liability" laws which initially held bars and other such establishments responsible for allowing customers to get too intoxicated but which now apply in some cases to homeowners as well. Some states also allow homeowners to face criminal charges for holiday gatherings gone wrong.

"You don't want to allow anyone who has been drinking to drive home and possibly kill or injure themselves or others on the road," said Loretta Worters, vice president of the I.I.I.

With this in mind, the institute advises people to encourage their guests to have designated drivers and to also offer non-alcoholic beverages and food when hosting a gathering.

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