SWG HOST- Hospitality Insurance Services: Serving Peace of Mind for the Holidays

Nov 2019

‘Tis the season for organization-sponsored events at restaurants, clubs, bars, taverns, hotels, and pubs. And during this season of fun and festivities, commercial hosts have many reasons to be wary – especially where alcohol is made available.

MADD Canada estimates that alcohol and/or drugs is a factor in 1,273 (55.4%) of all car crash-related deaths in the country each year.(1) While employers are responsible for preventing foreseeable injuries to their employees, commercial alcohol providers are also at risk of being held liable if a patron drinks too much and hurts themselves, others, or causes damage to property.

As businesses ramp up for the holiday season, this is a strategic time for owners in the hospitality industry to revisit their policies. A savvy broker can help these businesses ensure they are getting all the coverage they need.

When Hidden Exposures Crash the Party

Alcohol consumption can turn a festive venue into an environment where lines are crossed, leading to sexual misconduct, property damage, or personal injury. But alcohol distribution is not the only liability owners have to worry about. Following are some of the major risks this season:

  • Commercial hosts can be held liable for altercations at their venue, for falls down the stairs, or even for injuries on the dancefloor.
  • Bartenders and other licensed establishments have a legal duty to ensure their patrons get home safely. If a vehicle accident is linked to patron intoxication, then the commercial host could be held liable.
  • Bars, pubs, and taverns can be held liable for over-serving alcohol if the establishment is alleged to have caused or contributed to an event where someone was injured.
  • If photos are taken at an event and shared on social media, then the photographer, venue managers and staff, or anyone distributing those images could be held liable for invasion of privacy.
  • As the season gets busier, a lot can go wrong both on the floor and in the kitchen – from fires, power outages, and equipment breakdown, to customers getting sick, burned, or allergic reactions from the food they’re served.
  • Venues with valet parking are at risk if a patron’s vehicle is damaged or wrecked by a valet worker.

SWGHOST Offers the Broad Coverage to Protect All Kinds of Venues

Every establishment has its own unique set of risks. To ensure their clients are well covered, brokers need an underwriter who can account for a range of exposures. SWGHOST – Hospitality Services Insurance is ideal for commercial hosts because it’s designed to accommodate most classes of hospitality risk. The policy covers restaurants, fine dining, pubs, bars, pool & billiard halls, and motel/hotels not exceeding 35 room rentals.

SWG can quote up to $3,000,000 property coverages depending on the town grade, construction, and age of the building. Liability is acceptable up to $5,000,000 in-house.

Extensions of Coverage include:

  • Personal Property of Officers and Employees
  • Any one officer/employee
  • Any one occurrence
  • Growing Plant, Trees, Shrubs or Flowers in the Open
  • Building By-Laws
  • Exhibition Coverage
  • Automatic Fire Suppression System Recharge Expense
  • Fire Fighting Expenses
  • Temporary Locations
  • Building
  • Equipment and Stock (Contents)
  • Debris Removal
  • Peak Season Increase
  • Building Damage by Theft
  • Fine Art
  • Professional Fees
  • Glass
  • Signs

Commercial General Liability:

  • Most classes of Hospitality risks
  • Bodily injury and property damage
  • Forcible ejection up to policy limits
  • Tenant’s legal liability
  • Non owned automobile – excluded if there is delivery service
  • In-house excess up to $3,000,000 limit


  1. https://madd.ca/pages/impaired-driving/overview/statistics