As of 2019 the Maine State Grange requires all renters to obtain and provide proof of Event Host Insurance as part of their rental contracts.
It is your responsibility to protect yourself and your guests.
If you plan to serve alcohol at your event, promote safe alcohol consumption. Maine allows victims to seek compensation for damages that result from intoxication. As the host of your event, you can be held liable if a guest is served alcohol when s/he is “visibly intoxicated.” In other words, you, as the event host, can be held legally responsible for the actions of a guest (including those of a minor) at your event, even after the guest leaves your event.
The certificate/proof of Event Host Insurance must include, at minimum:
- General Liability Coverage of at least $1,000,000,
- Liquor Liability Coverage,
- Damage to Premises Coverage of at least $100,000,
- Medical Payments for Attendees Coverage of at least $10,000, and
- A Waiver of Subrogation.
(The Rental Party may add other Coverage as it deems necessary or desirable.) It is required that the Event Host Insurance cover the entire time of the Rental Period, from acquiring the Hall key on the first day to the time that the key is returned at the end of the Rental Period, and including not only the event, but also the set-up time through the final cleaning.
Here are some resources and options to consider:
- Check with your Homeowners Policy to see if the event is covered, or inquire about a rider for Event Host Insurance.
- Special Event Insurance
- Insurance Canopy
Please consider these tips to reduce your liability as the event host:
- Make the focus of your event a celebration of a very special time, not as a chance to become intoxicated.
- Hire a professional bartender, rather than allowing guests to serve themselves. Professional bartenders are required by law to hold their own liquor liability insurance for an event; make sure your bartender has that insurance.
- Encourage the use of a designated driver. Make sure designated drivers at your event have a choice of non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy.
- Be a model of responsible drinking. Not only will you better enjoy and remember your event, but you’ll also be able to gauge the sobriety of your guests.
- Be sure that all your guests have alternatives to alcoholic beverages, as well as an ample and substantive selection of foods.
- Never pressure guests to drink, especially when they are visibly intoxicated. Discourage peer pressure being used to promote the drinking of alcohol.
- Near the end of your event, eliminate liquor from your beverage options. Have plenty of coffee, tea, water and soda available.
- Be aware of any alcohol consumption that may be happening outside the hall. Some of your guests may have brought their own alcoholic beverages and may be consuming them out at their car. Underage guests should never be allowed access to alcoholic beverages.
- Insist that intoxicated guests use a designated driver or sober guest to drive them home.