St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 is right around the corner! Will you be celebrating?
Many people’s celebrations involve some adult beverages. Aside from all of the issues drinking, especially binge drinking can cause you, there are also implications that can affect your insurance policies.
Your insurance agent can help you decipher insurance coverage when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day. One of the biggest issues could be a potential car accident. No one should ever get behind the wheel while intoxicated, but if they did and you were injured, would you be covered? Here are a few things you ought to know:
Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York suggests that unless there is a specific policy exclusion, the driver has liability coverage. They would have to pay for any injuries you suffer and property damage to your vehicle. There is always the chance that person does not have enough, or any, insurance coverage. This could create a whole other issue for you and could leave you in court rooms fighting for the money you are owed.
In the unfortunate event that you were behind the wheel, your insurance would cover the necessary payments to the other person, pending the cost and your coverage. However, other costs won’t be covered and the expenses of a DUI can be extremely high. BacTrack reports that in total, including potential jail and bail fees, lawyer fees, etc. a drunken driving case can cost between $13,000–$27,000.
If you will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party, be sure to set some ground rules for your guests. First and foremost you want to remind everyone that no one should be drinking and driving. You will also want to remind anyone underage they will be prohibited from drinking. It’s important to let your guests know you have a zero tolerance policy for both.
Laws vary state by state, but there are instances where the host can be held liable for a drunken guest’s brush with the law. In other words, if you are serving alcohol to an already intoxicated party guest, you could be held responsible. In New York this is untrue, but there are other states that vary on this.
You can be held liable for intoxicated minors at your home and after they leave your home. If a minor leaves your home and gets in a drunken-driving accident you could be held responsible. In some states, the same is true for a person of legal drinking age.
It’s extremely important to consider liability when you open your door to guests. There are also instances, unrelated to drinking, that you could be liable for when you are hosting a party. Be sure your home is safe for guests because if they get hurt – you could face a civil suit.
An umbrella insurance policy can help pay for costs not covered by your typical homeowners or renters insurance. Umbrella insurance, as the name suggests, offers a person an added layer of liability coverage. Lawsuit costs add up very quickly and the average person can easily have a difficult time affording it.
The bottom line is that you should ensure you and your guests are safe. If you have questions about coverage, your insurance agent can discuss your policy in more detail and recommend whether you should adjust your coverage levels or consider additional coverage or policies.