Donald Gaddis Company
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Donald Gaddis Company
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Illinois Liquor Liability Insurance
It’s a busy night at Joe’s Tavern, and the proprietor Joe is scrambling to keep up with all the orders. Light beer here, whiskey shot over there, apple-tini - wait, apple-tini at Joe’s? Get outta here, he thinks to himself. Anyway, Joe fails to notice that the patron ordering the whiskey shot just happens to be on his 8th one, meaning he is well on his way to complete inebriation. The patron knocks back the shot, throws his money on the bar and stumbles out to his car. A few minutes later, the worst happens – he runs a red light and crashes into another car, leaving himself and the other driver seriously injured. Since Joe’s Tavern is located in Illinois, Joe can be held responsible for this accident. Illinois allows victims of injury and/or damage resulting from the actions of an intoxicated individual to bring suit against those licensed purveyors who provided alcohol to the intoxicated person (a property owner that simply allows consumption on their licensed premises can also be drawn in on these claims). The victim must prove that the purveyor caused the intoxication, and awards are limited to specific maximums (note that only a victim can sue/collect, not the intoxicated person or their family). This is commonly known as the Dram Shop Act. The available limit is divided into 3 subcategories - details follow (the limits under the Act are adjusted annually in accordance with a Consumer Price Index Formula – 2009 limits are listed):

· $71,686.18 for recovery for either loss of society or means of support (but not both). The term "loss of society" includes loss of love, affection, and companionship.
· $58,652.33 for recovery for bodily injury.
· $58,652.33 for recovery for property damage.

While these award amounts are relatively low and seem to indicate that low limit policies would be adequate, it is important to note that one accident can give rise to multiple claims. In our example above, the intoxicated driver could have struck a vehicle with more occupants, or a third car could have been involved in the accident. The intoxicated driver also could have had a passenger that was injured. In all of those scenarios, the available awards would be multiplied by the number of injured parties. So even with the limit caps listed above, an accident involving multiple parties could cause a low limit policy to be used up quickly, leaving the insured to make up the difference.

There are certainly other facets to liquor liability coverage, but hopefully this brief rundown has provided a basic understanding of the law conveying responsibility to alcohol-related businesses in Illinois. Obviously this law necessitates that all liquor establishments have proper insurance coverage in place to address possible claims. Let the experienced and extremely responsive staff at Gaddis Company help you obtain this coverage. We have 2 binding authority markets with flexible terms and competitive pricing, and with some basic information we can give you an indication over the phone. Give us a call today!

U.S. States Available

  • U.S. States Available:
  • Provider Type:
    Managing General Agency
  • Admitted:
    All Available States
  • Carriers:
  • Carrier Ratings:
    A Rated
  • Commission:
  • Min Premium:


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  • Illinois Liquor Liability Application
    We can use just about any liquor liability application as long as it includes the relevant details like type of establishment, total sales including breakdown of liquor vs. food, closing time, entertainment & security information (if any), prior carrier/loss history, etc.


Working with Gaddis Company couldn't be easier as we do not require you to complete long detailed broker agreements. In order to place business with us we only require the following documents:

- Copy of license showing you can place business in the state where the insured is located.

- Proof of current Insurance Agents E&O coverage for your agency.

That's it!

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Donald Gaddis Company has other insurance programs like Association Professional Liability Insurance.