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Mandatory Liquor Liability Coverage for License Holders

Worcester, MA (August 26, 2010) - The State recently passed an amendment to M.G.L. Chapter 138, Section 12 that will require existing license holders and applicants for alcoholic beverages to have a minimum amount of mandatory liquor liability insurance coverage. The law is effective Thursday, August 26, 2010.

Until now, liquor liability insurance was not mandatory in Massachusetts. The new law states that restaurant and bar owners will be required to carry liquor liability insurance to include a minimum of $250,000 per person/$500,000 per accident coverage. In other words, policies must provide a minimum $250,000 for bodily injury or death of one person and a total of $500,000 per incident involving bodily injury or death.

In accordance with the law, any person who applies for a liquor license with the City during the remainder of 2010 will be required to provide a certificate of liquor liability insurance as part of the license application package. All existing license holders who are scheduled to renew for for calendar year 2011 will be required to provide a copy of the insurance policy with their renewal application in order to receive a liquor license for calendar year 2011.

The License Commission will begin outreach to all license holders beginning next month. A seminar is scheduled for Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 9:00 AM at City Hall. All license holders will be invited to review changes to law, including the liquor liability and changes to allow on-premise license holders to open at 10:00 AM on Sunday. Additionally, all license holders will receive a mailing advising them of seminar date and a copy of the new law. We will also post information on our web sites, Government Access Channel 12, and other venues to reach license holders.

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