Greg shares some tips to prevent the possibility of being sued while holding a holiday gathering 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: That time of year is upon us. Soon, many of us will be getting together for holiday season get togethers. Of course, COVID restrictions will be in place for all of us. So, gatherings will be smaller. But what about insurance? What about liability? Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance here to tell us all about it, Greg.
Greg Marcyniuk: Yes, Rob. Actually, you know, with the holiday season, you do get together with family and friends. And it is going to be smaller, as you said with COVID. But unfortunately, we have seen a growing number of lawsuits when people do host to the parties. So, first of all, I just want to talk about some tips to prevent the possibility of being sued over the holiday season.
So, first and foremost, you should watch what you eat and what you feed others. You're still responsible even if you didn't prepare the food, if you've ordered it in, you are still responsible if someone gets sick. So, it's best to check the food, be careful not to serve anything that appears to be undercooked, spoiled, or contaminated. Best thing I say is when in doubt, throw it out.
The other thing is mix up activities and not just the cocktails. Parties that center around drinking often results in guests drinking more. And although the holidays are a time of celebration, too much drinking could result in drunk driving accidents, which you could be responsible if you are hosting the party.
So, it's a good idea to provide activities or an entertainment that don't involve alcohol, and also serve a good meal and non-alcoholic beverages as well. And make sure that you have designated drivers or establish ahead of time some taxis, whatever so that it can assist in preventing accidents. The other option is looking at partying elsewhere, hosting a party at a public location such as a restaurant or a bar that has a liquor license.
And this can help decrease your liability for your host. Also, just either call a cab, get a room, or have a slumber party. And arranging these transportations or overnight accommodations prior is a lot safer alternative which eliminates drinking and driving.
The other thing, just say no to anyone that's appearing visibly intoxicated, and you're preventing an accident there again. The other thing, it's a great idea to go through and look at what your homeowners or your renter policy has for coverage in the event of this, whether it's due to food or whether it's due to consuming alcohol within your home or where you're renting.
So it's very important that you come down and talk to one of our brokers. Also, it's a great idea to look at either getting a special event liability for that specifically. Another great thing is considering a umbrella policy that will provide extra coverages in the event something does happen. So, great time of year to get together with friends. But again, it's a great time of year to sit down and talk to your broker to review what you have in place if you are hosting a party.
Rob: And we can do that at Heritage Insurance safely masked and safely social distanced.
Greg: That's correct. Masks are mandatory down here at the corner of Fairford and first West. And we'd be more than happy to chat with you and help you out through these times of COVID.
(Video transcription via Speechpad)