Don't let your Super Bowl party become a super bust

February 1, 2013 8:33:57 PM PST
A Super Bowl party is an American tradition, and millions of football fans hosting game day get-togethers. But if you are not careful, you could be headed for legal trouble.

From under cooked food to over serving alcohol, your next Super Bowl party could be your last if you don't know the law.

A few years ago, one of Jim Angleton's Super Bowl party guests got into a post-game fender-bender.

"They actually had some medications and they had a little bit too much to drink," Angleton said.

Now before kickoff, he calls his insurance agent.

"We obtain a general insurance liability policy that covers our family, friends, guests that would come to our house," Angleton said.

The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA) says it's important for to understand the risks when hosting a Super Bowl party.

"Nobody thinks they are going to be sued, and people get sued. So party hosts have to be cognizant that even friends can file lawsuits," said IIABA's Bob Rusbuldt said.

Take food poisoning.

"Even if the food is served by a caterer, by a pizza delivery shop, by a restaurant, you are responsible for what you serve in your house," Rusbuldt said.

If there is an alcohol-related accident, party hosts can be held liable in most states, including Texas.

"The argument that they will make is that the social host knew, or should have known, of the level of intoxication of their guest when they left," said Dick Semerdjian with the American Bar Association.

The liability portion of your homeowners or renters insurance policy may offer some protection.

"Most trusted insurance agents will tell you that $100,000 is not enough coverage. They usually recommend a minimum of $300,000," Semerdjian said.

Here are some tips: Stick with restaurants or brands you know, store and handle food properly and consider not serving or maybe limiting the amount of alcohol on hand.

If you want insurance coverage, an umbrella policy runs about $200 a year.
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