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Agents and brokers should be able to present underwriters with a full breakdown of how alcohol is sold and consumed at a business seeking coverage. This is critical to understand as this liability and exposure can differ based on the type of business. (Credit: Master1305/Shutterstock) Agents and brokers should be able to present underwriters with a full breakdown of how alcohol is sold and consumed at a business seeking coverage. This is critical to understand as this liability and exposure can differ based on the type of business. (Credit: Master1305/Shutterstock)

The microbrewery market is built on innovation — innovation in flavors, business models and even beer names. Yet this modern, clever and adaptable industry is beholden to some comparatively old rules, regulations and laws. So-called dram shop laws determine to what degree a bar or other seller of alcohol is liable for injury caused to or by their intoxicated patrons. These laws vary state-by-state, which means businesses in different states assume different levels of liability when they serve wine, beer and liquor. No matter the state, there are a few things insurance professionals should know about these laws and regulations to help limit insureds’ liability.

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