A super bowl party is an American tradition, with millions of football fans hosting game day soirees. But did you know that the buffalo chicken you serve could hold just as many risks as the beer?
When Jim Angleton throws a Super Bowl party, he wants it to be a winner. But a couple of years ago, a guest got into a post-game fender bender.
"They actually had some medications and they had a little bit of too much to drink," he says.
Now, before kickoff, he has a game plan in place, which includes a call to his insurance agent.
"We obtain a general liability insurance policy that covers our family, friends, guests that would come to our house," Jim says.
Jim's got the right idea.
The Independent Insurance Agents And Brokers Association of America (IIABA) says it's important for party hosts to understand the risks that go along with hosting a Super Bowl party.
If there's a fumble with food or alcohol, you could end up in serious legal trouble.
Bob Rusbuldt with IIABA says, "Nobody thinks they are going to be sued, and people get sued, so party hosts have to be cognizant that even friends can file lawsuits."
Leaving you responsible for things like lawyer's fees, lost wages, medical bills, even wrongful death claims.
Take food poisoning. It affects one in six Americans
each year, and can easily land partygoers in the emergency room.
"Even if the food is served by a caterer, by a pizza delivery shop, by a restaurant, you are responsible for what you serve in your house," Rusbuldt says.
That goes for drinks, too.
The American Bar Association says if there's an alcohol related accident, party hosts can be held liable in most states. And in other states, you can still be sued.
Dick Semerdjian with the American Bar Association says, "The argument they will make is that the social host knew, or should have known, of the level of intoxication of their guest when they left."
To protect your assets, look to the liability portion of your homeowners or renter's insurance, and talk to your agent about any exclusions.
“You need to make sure that you're adequately covered,” Rusbuldt says. “Most trusted choice agents will tell you that $100,000 is not enough coverage. They usually recommend a minimum of $300,000."
- Stick with brands or restaurants you trust.
- Store and handle game day grub properly.
- Consider not serving alcohol or, limiting the amount you serve
"If someone can't drive and everybody is intoxicated and there's no way to get that person home, please call a cab," Semerdjian says.
It's because Jim plays by these rules that he can relax and enjoy the big game.
"We sleep better at night, and we actually have a good feeling that we've done everything that we possibly can to mitigate liability."
If you want extra coverage, consider an umbrella policy. The IIABA says that for a couple of hundred dollars a year, you can get a million dollars worth of coverage.