Liquor Liability Coverage for Councils
Worthy Grand Knights and District Deputies,
There has been some misinformation circulating as to whether local councils have insurance coverage when they sell liquor at council events and fundraisers. Much of this misinformation arose after the State changed insurance brokers and carriers in mid-2018. It was said that under the previous policy and carrier, the councils had liquor liability coverage. That statement was partially true, but arose because a certain council obtained a supplemental liquor liability policy.
Let's set the record straight on the current state policy covering all Florida councils There is a specific exclusion in the current policy for sales of liquor if the council is deemed “in the business” of selling liquor.
Generally, councils selling liquor only as a collateral function to the main event (installation of officers, a vocation dinner, fish fries, etc.) are NOT in the business of selling liquor at such events. So, for those sorts of events, the council has what is called “host liquor liability” coverage under the State’s current liability policy. (Prudence advises to avoid sale to minors or sale to inebriated Knights or patrons).
If a local parish or diocese requires proof that the Knights have insurance coverage, please contact the Lockton Affinity, LLC brokerage firm in Overland Park, KS to provide a certificate of coverage for a particular event (commonly known as a “proof of coverage”).
If a council is sponsoring a wine tasting or cigar/liquor tasting, there is no doubt in my mind that would fall into the exclusion of being “in the business” of selling liquor, and that the council must obtain a stand-alone separate liquor policy (that policy would then cover a period of time, not just the one event). This can also be obtained by contacting the Lockton Affinity brokerage firm.
One more clarification: Local councils are prohibited by Supreme from obtaining liquor licenses. If they are performing services for a civic organization, they should have that organization obtain the liquor license for that event and obtain the stand-alone liquor liability coverage.
Home Corporations are in a different category. According to Supreme and in my judgment, a Home Corporation that rents out the hall for various events but sells liquor must obtain a liquor license and arrange for their own full stand-alone liquor liability policy. They can contact whatever broker they so choose, but it is recommended they seek assistance from the Lockton Affinity, LLC in Overland Park, Ks. They are intimately knowledgeable about the Knights of Columbus and its councils selling policies in all 50 states. Because of the volume of KofC business they handle, likely you will get a better rate for such policy.
Our current state policy only covers Florida Councils as described above; it does not cover Home Corporations.
If anyone has further questions, I can be reached by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida State Advocate