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When the holidays roll around, many employers use this festive time of year to thank their employees for a well done year by hosting a party. Often, jokes are told, delicious food is shared and there is frequently drinking as well. Usually everything goes smoothly, with the exception of a mildly embarrassing moment or two and a few pounding heads the next day. However, before the doors open on this season’s gaiety, it is in your best interest as an employer to ask yourself what will happen if something goes awry.

This may have been a subject that arose when you were gathering insurance quotes for businesses. Whether it did or not, it makes sense to once again sit down with your agent and ask him or her about the extent and limitations of your coverage when it comes to your holiday bash. Here are some items to consider:

  • Will you be hosting the event at the office itself, at your home, at someone else’s house or in a neutral venue such as a restaurant? One thing that many party planners do not realize is that you can purchase additional coverage that protects you just for the day of the celebration.
  • Have you considered excess liability coverage? This type of insurance will protect you should an accident occur or you are required to pay someone’s costly medical bills. It could also be helpful if your party is being held off-site and an unforeseen event happens. In cases such as this, questions can arise as to whether you as the employer or the party venue is ultimately liable, and it never hurts to have extra coverage.
  • Is your commercial business coverage adequate? This question is particularly relevant if you are hosting your holiday extravaganza on the office premises. Although the likelihood is slim, it is certainly possible that work-related items could be stolen or damaged during the party or that a fire could start. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
  • Will you be having vendors at your party? These might include caterers, a band, bartenders, etc. Before you hire these people, make sure they have adequate insurance coverage, and don’t be afraid to ask for proof.

Tis the season to be jolly, and your holiday celebrations can definitely reflect the spirit of the season. Have a blast planning every aspect of the fun, and don’t forget to have a little talk with your insurance agent as well. If you plan ahead and make sure you are fully protected by your coverage, you can fully share in the merriment right along with your staff.

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