Heritage Insurance

Greg discusses safe alcohol serving advice for holiday gatherings in this episode of Ask The Expert. 800 CHAB radio presents Ask the Expert with Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance located in Moose Jaw.

Here's a full transcript of the episode.

Rob Carnie: Well, we are well into the holiday season. And the holiday season has meant party after party after party — and that'll continue through Christmas and into the new year. And Greg Marcyniuk from Heritage Insurance joining us to talk about that. And the fact that if you're hosting a party, whether you're a business or an individual, that you could run into some trouble, some liability trouble. But there's insurance that can cover us, Greg.

It's a complicated situation but well worth looking into.

Greg Marcyniuk: Liquor liability is not just limited to those who actually sell or serve alcohol and that's their source of business. It's also when you host something personally or as a company staff Christmas party.

So, if you're a company and you've actually hired a caterer and a bartending service, it's important that you stipulate with that individual that they have people that serve the alcohol and they're familiar with awareness training. Also, you require that person, or you should at least require that person to actually give you a certificate of liability insurance for event and liquor liability and name your company or the individual as an additional insured.

Now, when you are hosting a party, Rob, it's important that you should follow these rules — whether it's at home or if you have a company party. You should serve drinks rather than have a self-serve bar because, again, everybody, they just go ahead and pour. You should set up bar stations instead of having servers going around and providing alcohol because, if a server's handing the alcohol out, the person's more inclined to accept drinks they wouldn't normally have otherwise accepted.

Another thing is when you are selling the alcohol, don't sell it too low because, if you do, it encourages overconsumption. Offer a wide range of low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks as well. Require your servers to measure spirits, which is always a good idea. And you should always have food served with the alcohol.

The other thing is close the bar an hour before your designated time. And also, don't offer a last call because when you say, Hey, Last Call! all of a sudden, people just rush to that bar.

Rob: Everybody gets two or three.

Greg: Exactly.

Rob: I've seen that show.

Greg: And this is the most important thing is make sure that you entice your guests to either take a cab or subsidize cabs. Or also promote a designated driver program. There are different groups here in Moose Jaw that do provide pick up of people that have had parties and that, especially at business parties, i.e. the Kinsmen. So, I'd encourage you to contact them. So, very important that people are well aware of this.

Rob: So again, just to review, hire somebody to serve the drinks and make sure they're covered with liability insurance.

Greg: Yes, event and liquor liability. And again, you can purchase it yourself as an individual or as a company. We sell that very regularly over the course of the Christmas period just to make sure that you are covered in the event something ever does happen — because people are suing people.

Rob: It's affordable, and you can get it at Heritage Insurance in downtown Moose Jaw.

Greg: That's correct. Contact us at nohassleinsurance.ca or come to the corner of First and Fairford and we'd be more than happy to help you out.

(Video transcription by Speechpad)

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