Liquor Liability Insurance - Social Host Program

Program Summary: Legal liability risk associated with the furnishing of alcoholic beverages by Harvard staff in a social or non-commercial setting (so-called Social Host liability) is covered as an integral part of the University’s Master Liability Insurance Program.  The policy responds to claims for damages due to negligent acts actually or allegedly committed by eligible Harvard representatives arising out of the consumption of alcohol for which that person is deemed legally liable.  The University’s Master Liability Insurance Program does not provide coverage for claims/ liabilities alleging bodily injury or property damage arising out of commercial activities involving the dispensing, selling or serving of any alcoholic beverage (see the program details for covering Commercial or Dram Shop operations).

Eligibility: With respect to social host coverage, the program generally only applies to events or sites located in the United States, Canada, or any of the U.S. territories where Harvard or an affiliate is responsible for organizing the event and sourcing the alcoholic beverages.  In these situations, only the University/affiliate and its employees, students and/or volunteers are able to be insured under the program.

Participation requirements: At University events where the service of alcohol is non-commercial in nature, the hosting department must:

  • Assure the event complies with the College’s alcohol policy (for Harvard College sponsored events; for all other schools and departments, the host or hosting department is responsible for seeing that the event is in compliance with all local liquor and entertainment license requirements and any applicable school-specific alcohol policy);
  • Be represented by a responsible person or event organizer who is at least 21 years of age;
  • Certify that there are no direct or indirect sales of alcoholic beverages to patrons/guests;
  • Certify that BYOB (bring your own beverage) is not permitted;

Policy Description: coverage for social host type alcohol beverage activities is fully embedded within the various polices comprising the University’s Master Liability Insurance Program and therefore subject to the same terms and conditions applicable to other perils insured by the policies.

Enrollment Procedures: There is no enrollment or reporting requirements imposed by the Risk Financing and Insurance Department for this type of University-sponsored liquor service to participate in the program.  All entities eligible for coverage under the University’s Master Liability Insurance Program are automatically covered for their host liquor liability exposures.

Claims Procedures: It is important incidents that could lead to a claim be investigated as soon as possible so that pertinent facts can be gathered and properly documented.  Notify the Insurance Department immediately at 617-496-8830 if you become aware of any actual or alleged injuries or damages arising from any event involving alcoholic beverages.