Summer Parties & Homeowner Liability

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Here in Nevada, the weather sure does feel like summer for a good portion of the year. But now summer is officially here. With the 4th of July kicking off a season full of parties, barbeques and time spent in the sun, it can be easy to see how much excitement is ahead. It may already start to feel as if there is a festival, party, wedding or backyard barbeque to attend every weekend from now until August. If you are one of the homeowners hosting one of those parties, do you understand your liability?

In Nevada, there are social host laws that may leave homeowners liable should anything occur after providing alcohol to guests. Although every state is different, many states have these laws. The range of legal liability depending on the law may also change based on the specific state, too.

First things first, what is a social host?
• Someone who serves alcohol or condones the consumption of alcohol
• May have no relationship with the guest

Social host liability expands on the legal responsibility for said social hosts. In states where social host laws apply, the intoxicated guest remains responsible for any wrong-doing, but shares that responsibility with the host.

The liability can be limited to:
• Injuries suffered by third parties
• Property damage suffered by third parties

The good news is that if you are planning to have summer parties at your home this summer, you can protect yourself. Many homeowners insurance policies can cover third party liquor liability. You may even choose to add umbrella insurance for extra liability protection.

With any party, you will always want to be sure you watch for any situation where you may be found negligent. This is a complex subject and jurisdiction, but typical homeowner’s insurance policies can protect you. (Your condo insurance can, too). Having a party with alcohol involved always raises the chances that something can go wrong, so you want to be prepared on all angles. This means covering all of the bases!

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