The Greatest Risk Exposures for Bars & Taverns

Bar and tavern owners have a lot on their plate every day of the week, especially on weekends. From running the business to handling purchasing to doing what they can to attract new customers while retaining regulars, thinking about exposures may be pushed to the wayside. However, being too busy or not prioritizing enough aren’t excuses when it comes to major liabilities in the industry.

By understanding the risks and obtaining the type and level of insurance for bars & taverns, establishments and their owners can cut down on the risks they face every day. Here’s a look at what owners should be protecting themselves against every day with comprehensive bars & taverns insurance coverage.


DUI’s tend to be the most common type of liability claim in the industry. This risk comes from over-serving alcohol to customers who then get behind the wheel and cause a threat to everyone else on the road. From fender-benders to fatalities, driving under the influence can be traced back to the bar where they were served.

Claims can also result from intoxicated patrons who operate other modes of transportation, such as boats, motorcycles, or snowmobiles after leaving bars & taverns. It’s not uncommon for an establishment to be named with other establishments in a lawsuit stemming from a DUI-related incident.

Activity Hazards

When people and alcohol mix, it opens up the door for tempers to rise and emotions to swirl. It’s not uncommon to have to break up a bar fight in a tavern, whether it’s an all-out brawl or loud argument. While these issues can be regular to a certain degree, having to account for broken bones, head injuries, and injured bystanders, bars have a lot to keep an eye on.

And beyond fights and arguments that get out of hand, bars & taverns need to also be on the lookout for different activity issues that can cause injuries. Things like shot chairs and burns from a flaming alcohol trick can land a bar in a world of legal problems.

To make sure these kinds of activities are covered, the insured needs to disclose these activities on their insurance application so appropriate coverage can be secured.

Flammable Decor

Speaking of flames and fires, flammable decorations or injuries to customers arising from staff accidentally spilling hot food or beverages can also be a claim waiting to happen. Burns are painful and can go as far as causing disfigurement and other permanent damage. These damages tend to be awarded by juries by large amounts.

It’s important to follow the legal outlines of what a bar can do with fire and the risks that can come from a single flame or hot plate.

Fake IDs

As much as bars & taverns want to cut down on fake ID’s, they always seem to squeak by. According to a recent study of 1,000 college students, nearly two out of every three polled said they had used a fake ID at some point in college. That means this is a big opportunity for bars to be on the hook for underage drinking violations.

Bar owners should be sure to consider investing in special ID scanners to help identify false ID’s and remind their door staff to be more cautious as to whom they let in.

Preventing all loss isn’t possible, but there are ways to cut down on possible claims that can come from these exposures and others like them.

About American Team Managers Insurance Services

Founded in 1998 by Chris C. Michaels, American Team Managers Insurance Services (ATM) has provided wholesale and MGA services to more than 5,000 independent insurance agents throughout the United States. Our goal is to establish close, long-term relationships with our agency partners and insurance carriers and provide competitive products for the Exclusive and Non-Exclusive markets that we serve. For more information on our products and services, give us a call at (877) 671-7503 to speak to a representative.