The holiday season is synonymous with socializing and celebrations. If you’re hosting a party of any size, taking the right steps to ensure your safety and the safety of your guests is an important step in the planning process.
Here are some simple tips to protect yourself from liability at your next holiday party.
Prevent slip and falls
When you throw a party at your home, you’re responsible for the safety and well-being of your guests. This means providing a standard of care in keeping your property free from hazards.
During your event, ensure that all sidewalks, walkways and steps are clear of ice and snow and that there is adequate lighting to allow guests to safely enter and exit your home. Indoors, keep hard floor surfaces free from any moisture that could potentially cause a slip and fall.
Think of the children
Family-friendly parties or events present a set of hazards for children that can often be overlooked. As a host, eliminate any child-specific dangers like choking hazards, access to medications or toxic cleaning products, and sources of open flames like fireplaces or candles.
Keep the drinking in check
Many of us enjoy a holiday cocktail or two, but safety and moderation are key. As host, you are responsible for making sure your guests enjoy responsibly. If someone leaves your party, drives drunk and causes injury or death, you could be found liable. Limiting guest’s alcohol consumption, providing a place to stay, and actively preventing drinking and driving are all good practices as host.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada offers several tips for managing liquor liability risks including hiring professionals who are trained in the proper service of alcohol, making sure there are food options and a variety of non-alcoholic beverages available, and having cash or vouchers on hand for cabs.
Understand your existing insurance policy
Before hosting an event, make sure to contact your insurance provider and ask them to review your homeowner’s insurance policy with you. will be able to confirm what you’re currently covered for, such as slip and fall, and advise you on what other extra, short-term policies you may want to add for your holiday event.
Hosting a party at an off-site venue? Consider this.
Anytime you rent a venue, you are responsible for the premises being left undamaged. This is especially important for business owners as they are responsible for their employees’ safety and actions during their event. While there is always a risk of some damage occurring, especially when there are a large number of guests and alcohol is present, there are things you can do to ensure you do not incur the liability.
A smart option is to bring your rental contract to your insurance provider and figure out what additional short-term policies you need that will offer the best protection. They may ask you to consider event insurance, holiday party liability insurance or injury liability insurance. You need to be clear on what coverage you have and what you need ahead of time to prevent being involved in a potential lawsuit.
Certain liabilities can be avoided with the right preparation. To speak to someone about the best ways to protect yourself and your guests at your next holiday party, click here.