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Does a Bar Need Assault and Battery Coverage on Both the Liquor Liability and CGL Policy?

Is assault and battery coverage on a liquor liability form and a commercial general liability form the same?
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does a bar need assault and battery coverage on both the liquor liability and cgl policy?

Q: Is assault and battery coverage on a liquor liability form and a commercial general liability form the same? Does an establishment selling liquor need the coverage on both policies? 

Response 1: Neither the standard ISO liquor policy nor the ISO CGL policy expressly provide assault and battery coverage.

Response 2: Whether assault and battery coverage is excluded is subject to debate. Unless there is a specific exclusionary endorsement to the CGL, there is some level of coverage. The only exclusion that has some effect in the unendorsed CGL is the expected or intended injury exclusion. However, this only applies to the insured who expected or intended the injury and the separation of insureds provision grants coverage to other insureds, such as the named insured.

Essentially, coverage needs to be as broad as possible on all forms that may come into play following a loss, whether it be general liability or liquor. 

Response 3: The ISO CGL excludes any intentional loss, so there is no coverage for assault and battery under Coverage A—nor is there coverage under Coverage B because of the definition of "personal and advertising injury."

It depends if the liquor liability policy is an ISO policy or written on a proprietary form? Most are proprietary, so carefully read the exclusions to determine if there is coverage.

Response 4: Because a claim involving a “bar fight" could be filed as either an allegation that would trigger coverage under a liquor liability policy—improper sale of alcoholic beverages—or a general liability policy—negligent security of premises—it is best that neither policy contains an assault and battery exclusion.

Response 5: Get it on both policies. Note that many insurers put a sublimit on assault and battery coverage. For example, $250,000 applicable to damages and inclusive of all defense costs and claim expenses. The other commercial general liability coverages might still be the ISO standard of defense outside of the limits.

Response 6: I don't know if you need assault and battery coverage, but the insured doesn't want an assault and battery exclusion on any policy.

This question was originally submitted by an agent through the Big “I" Virtual University's (VU) Ask an Expert service, with responses curated from multiple VU faculty members. Answers to other coverage questions are available on the VU website. If you need help accessing the website, request login information.

This article is intended for general informational purposes only, and any opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s). The article is provided “as is" with no warranties or representations of any kind, and any liability is disclaimed that is in any way connected to reliance on or use of the information contained therein. The article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for obtaining such advice. If specific expert advice is required or desired, the services of an appropriate, competent professional, such as an attorney or accountant, should be sought.


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Friday, October 29, 2021
Liquor Liability