Three Reasons You Could Be Sued For Hosting A Super Bowl Party

Any time you let people into your home as guests, you're responsible for their safety and well-being. If any guest in your house gets injured -- through your negligence or their own actions -- your homeowner's insurance policy may have to pay out (and you'll end up paying anything not covered, not to mention increased premiums).

So when you're putting together the guest list and planning the hors d'oeuvres for your big Super Bowl bash, remember the following areas where you need to be cautious.

1. Watch the food you serve.

Did you know that even if a food item prepared by someone else and brought to your party makes another person sick, that you're responsible? That means that if your best friend is a candidate for the Food Network show "Worst Cooks in America," you should discourage her from bringing any food to share.

How to minimize issues:

  • Make all the food yourself, and adhere to commercial kitchen food preparation guidelines. Make sure you follow best practices for hygiene and wash your hands frequently or wear gloves.
  • Hot foods should be heated to the proper temperature, checked with a food thermometer, and served hot. Cold foods should be placed on ice or returned to the refrigerator after everyone has been served.
  • Cater the party using a reputable commercial catering company that carries liability insurance. Or order pizza -- but if this food makes people sick, you're still responsible.

2. Keep an eye on the alcohol.

Just like if you were a bartender at your favorite restaurant, you bear the responsibility not to continue to serve intoxicated guests in your home. Has Uncle Joe already had a few too many? You need to stop serving him alcohol and ensure that he doesn't drive or endanger himself or others.

How to minimize issues:

  • Watch your guests who are drinking and make sure you don't serve them too many alcoholic beverages.
  • Hire a professional security guard, off-duty police officer or bouncer to assess guests and help with any alcohol-related problems.
  • Ask people to stay after the game, without drinking, until they have sobered up. This may mean making space available for overnight guests.
  • Call cabs for those guests who have had too much to drink or don't feel comfortable driving.
  • Make your party an alcohol-free one.

3. Check for safety and make any needed repairs.

Is the step up to your front porch sagging? Is the floor in your living room rotting through? If a guest to your home is injured, you will be responsible. Make any needed repairs before your party starts.

How to minimize issues:

  • Assess the areas of your home where guests will be present. Fix uneven surfaces.
  • Make sure lamps and lights work so your guests aren't in the dark.
  • Check doors to make sure they open and close properly.
  • Fix any plumbing problems so the bathroom is safe to use.

Before you host your party, talk to your insurance company to make sure you know what your policy covers. If you have any questions about your liability for guests in your home, reach out to a local insurance company, like Ronald H. Krupa Insurance Agency, to learn about different types of coverage.