Alcohol, in moderation, acts as a social encouragement for adults. Serving beer and liquor may motivate some parents to show up at your event who otherwise would not. But even with a well-behaved crowd, you still need alcohol liability insurance… don’t you?
Alcohol liability insurance exists for good reasons. First, it helps protect a booster club’s financial health against alcohol-related losses, such as bodily injury or property damage and their associated legal fees. Having responsible measures in place reduces risks, of course. But alcohol insurance for events acts as a precaution. It gives organizers peace of mind should an alcohol-fueled incident or accident occur.
This piece discusses the pros and cons of serving alcohol at booster club events. By the end, you will have a clear idea of whether to include alcoholic drinks at your fundraisers. Or, you may decide that an alcohol-free event is the best approach.
Why Consider Alcohol at Booster Club Events
Your booster club exists for the good of the students, but it needs adults to function. And there’s no reason the grownups can’t unwind and have fun at the club’s fundraisers. For some, serving beer and liquor will make the event more attractive, a way to relax and loosen up a little. And that often leads to loosening the purse strings, too, which is great for fundraisers. Responsible drinking also relaxes people, making them more sociable.
However, with alcohol comes an element of risk and responsibility. Let’s look at the pros and cons of serving alcohol so you can make a well-informed decision.
Is It Legal to Serve Alcohol at Your Events?
Never sell alcohol at a fundraiser without considering the legalities and venue requirements. Holding your event at a venue that already has a license to serve liquor makes things easier. Alternatively, your club may need to apply for a license or a temporary liquor permit. Any alcohol liability insurance you have will become invalid if you don’t comply.
The best approach is to speak with your local authorities. Your county clerk can also advise you on state laws, as some states disallow the sale of alcohol at school fundraisers. Restrictions on alcohol service may also apply to school-connected events off the school premises.
Alcohol Liability Insurance: Who Should Serve Alcohol at Fundraisers?
Your local and state laws could mandate alcohol server training. So it’s wise to consider hiring licensed vendors to serve alcohol at your club’s events. Authorized vendors use servers trained in people skills and the responsible serving of alcohol. As a result, certified bartenders know how to prevent or handle alcohol-related incidents. Typical examples are underage drinking, intoxication, and drunk driving. Plus, trained vendors are better placed to mitigate potential alcohol liability lawsuits against your club.
Doing everything possible to ensure events are safe and secure is the mark of a responsible, successful booster club. That means protecting guests from drunken incidents and maintaining insurance coverage to safeguard your club or its officers against lawsuits.
Protect Your Board Members and Booster Club from Third-Party Claims
AIM’s Director & Officer coverage protects your officers and booster club against third-party claims. These claims can include bad management, misinformation, discrimination, and other inappropriate actions. If you face such lawsuits, our coverage pays up to $1,000,000 to defend you with a $0.00 deductible.
Licensed alcohol vendors should be able to add your organization to their insurance policy as an additional insured party. Vendors can also help you plan and answer questions regarding:
- The ideal number of serving stations for the venue/event
- Whether to sell alcoholic beverages for cash or use drink tickets
- What type of beverage will sell best for the occasion
- Where to designate any alcohol-free zones
- How to identify and handle an intoxicated person
- Whether or not to hire security
If it is legal to serve alcohol at your school fundraiser you still must consider if it is sensible for your event and audience.
Is It Practical to Serve Alcohol at Your Events?
The practicalities of serving booze at booster club gatherings depend on the event. For example, you wouldn’t want to serve alcohol to the adult participants of a bike-a-thon, jog-a-thon, or even a walk-a-thon fundraiser. That’s because the body needs to rehydrate and restore electrolytes after physical activity. Alcohol, though, promotes dehydration. It also impairs the muscle recovery phase and may even induce vomiting in some people.
It makes more sense to serve alcohol at slower-paced gatherings. Some examples are cook-offs, bake sales, raffles, auctions, etc.
Potential Risks of Serving Alcohol
Nonprofit organizations must understand the potential risks associated with selling and serving alcohol at events. Running out of drinks halfway through may leave a bad taste in the mouths of some guests. Likewise, you don’t want to buy more drinks than you need.
You may be keen to sell alcohol as part of your fundraising efforts, but there’s always potential for intoxicated guests to become loud or aggressive. In addition, poor practices like irresponsible serving may place your volunteers and attendees at risk. One way to reduce all these threats is to restrict the sale of alcohol per person by issuing drink tickets.
Your group’s host liquor liability coverage may include exclusions depending on your policy. The most common exclusions include drunk driving, purposeful injuries, and intentional property damage.
Event Alcohol Service
Serving alcohol at booster club fundraisers comes with a lot of responsibility. But it must always take a back seat to the main event, where the real focus should lie. Also, those serving alcoholic beverages should also be qualified to do so.
What Alcohol Liability Insurance Covers
AIM’s host liquor liability protects booster clubs licensed to sell, serve, or distribute alcoholic beverages. It protects your organization against unintended, alcohol-related bodily injury claims at your event. The insurance policy will also replace or repair property damage caused accidentally by an intoxicated guest. Coverage includes legal fees, court costs, and any criminal or civil damages awarded. This coverage is separate from liability coverage held by a professional bartender or caterer working your event.
8 Best Practices for Serving Alcohol at Events
Daytime drinking tends to be more controlled than in the evening. Still, there is always potential for disruption where liquor is involved. So here’s a recap of the eight best practices to help keep your fundraiser organized and protected against alcohol-fueled incidents.
- Make sure you obtain the proper liquor permit/license
- Plan how and where you intend to serve alcohol at the event
- Decide who will serve liquor (licensed vendor recommended)
- Have a safety plan and procedures in place
- Maintain a strict ID system to prevent underage drinking
- Control the flow of alcohol and serve it alongside food
- Help guests get home safely, e.g., offer rides or organize taxi pickups
- Take out an event insurance policy that includes alcohol liability insurance
Add any other points to the alcohol checklist above as appropriate.
General and Host Liquor Liability Insurance for Booster Club Events
AIM booster club event insurance coverage protects more clubs from potential liability than any other US carrier. We cover fundraisers, galas, school carnivals, cookouts, and fun runs. But did you know we also offer host liquor liability as part of your general liability protection for events that serve liquor?
Whether you give it away or charge, alcohol consumption can come with unique alcohol liability risks. Our host liquor liability insurance helps protect your club from financial loss caused by alcohol-related costs like damage, injury, medical expenses, and associated legal fees.
Alcohol Liability Insurance Closing Comments
Serving alcohol at booster club fundraisers can make a fun event more enjoyable. Responsible drinking is a great way to help guests socialize and get more involved. But serving alcohol will not go down well with every booster club event. So, if you decide to include a little social lubricant in your next campaign, make sure all members are on board, and always follow best practices for serving alcohol at club events.