Question: Summer is coming and we are thinking of hosting a community picnic, at which we plan to have a softball game and provide alcohol. Are we at risk by doing so?
YES!!! Prior to hosting any type of event like this it is essential to check your insurance policy to make sure you have coverage for these types of association sponsored events. An unexpected injury can expose the Association to liability that would completely undermine the reason to have these types of events. Any sense of community obtained by having these events can be easily destroyed by an injured owner or guest suing the association.
Sometimes there are special policies that the Association can purchase for the event. Contacting your insurance carrier will let you know if these types of coverage are available to you. In any event where the Association is providing alcoholic beverages it is important obtain coverage for the event.
If the Association is going to use an outside vendor to provide services at the event, carefully review the contract to make sure that there is language which holds the association harmless from any third-party claims. And make sure they have adequate liability insurance!