Holiday Gathering Gotchas

Now is the time many people begin planning holiday parties. Some will even hire vendors to handle catering, bartending, parking and decorations. If you’ll be doing the same, keep these tips in mind to avoid liability claims.

The Basics
Make sure you know the vendors you hire. Check them out as much as possible and make sure they’re licensed, bonded and insured – it helps to get details such as coverages and carriers. Also, make sure to get a signed contract.

Alcohol Safety
If you hire a bartender or a caterer that serves alcohol, be sure they have liquor-related liability coverage. Let them handle things once the party begins – including pouring all drinks and checking IDs. Not doing so could impact some liability coverages. They should also know to cut off anyone who appears to be over the limit.

Parking Plans
Hiring valets/parking attendants helps minimize collisions on your property, keeps roads clear and eases arrivals and departures. Whether you hire someone to park cars or not, be sure to keep walkways clear and add additional lighting for safety.

Decoration Decisions
If you hire a decorator, be sure to tell them where people will and won’t gather. This helps them choose the right decorations for the locale. For example – candles in a high traffic area are a recipe for disaster. Be sure to point out all electrical outlets too – this helps avoid overloads.