Backyard celebrations

With the summer months upon us, many people will start hosting backyard parties for graduations and wedding receptions. If you plan on playing host, you must put a lot of time and effort in preparing your home for the influx of guests. In between organizing a menu and clearing the yard, you should also take a look at your homeowners insurance policy.

There are several ways your policy might preclude certain activities or cover others. This is especially true if you expect a large number of attendees and intend to serve alcohol. A celebration of any size has the potential to damage your home or yard, get people into trouble and perhaps even cause an accident. While these aren't normally the case for the overwhelming majority of yard parties, it never hurts to ensure you have the proper insurance coverage in the event of something going wrong.

Excess liability insurance
Check with your insurance agent to see what your policy covers. For instance, some homeowners' policies will cover the cost of repairs in case something gets damaged during the festivities. Liability insurance will cover the cost in case someone is injured during the course of the party. According to Insurance Information Institute, the majority of homeowners only have up to $100,000 of excess liability insurance while the institute recommended at least $300,000 worth of coverage.

Liquor liability
If you plan on serving alcohol to guests, you have a responsibility to do so in a civil and legal manner. This means guaranteeing no underage drinking and no one driving away intoxicated. Ensure your homeowners insurance does not prohibit imbibing alcohol on the property and that it covers your liability if the unfortunate happens and someone gets into an accident after drinking at your party. In a separate article, the Insurance Information Institute recommended you check your local laws to see what sort of social host liability laws mandate, since these vary from state to state.

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