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By in Latest News Comments Off on Does Your Insurance Cover Axe Throwing?

Does Your Insurance Cover Axe Throwing?

By Annie Stontz, Illinois Casualty Company

Axe throwing has become an increasingly popular activity, and many venues have begun catering to this interest. As most of these businesses combine the activity with serving food and alcohol, Illinois Casualty Company’s Underwriters have been receiving questions about whether there is coverage for this.

Most people could understand our concern over the risk that comes with combining alcohol consumption and axe throwing. As the activity has become more popular, we are seeing an increase in mobile axe throwing businesses that offer to bring the sport to a bar or restaurant.

If your bar/restaurant hires a mobile axe throwing business that can provide proof of insurance, will that be enough to protect your business?

There are a few things to consider before offering this activity at your bar/restaurant.

  • Is this a one-time event or will it be a regular recurring activity?
  • Will the activity take place on your premises or be contained and controlled by the axe throwing vendor?
  • If this is a recurring event and your bar/restaurant has facilities in place, what controls are there to prevent axe throwing at times other than when the vendor is present to supervise?
  • Does the vendor’s current GL coverage have limits equal to or exceeding that of your policy?

It is highly recommended that you have your attorney review the contract with the vendor. The agreement should clearly make the vendor liable for all injuries resulting from any axe throwing activity and contain “hold harmless” language for your business.

Even if all the boxes are checked, there can still be scenarios where a suit brings your business into the claim. The allegations for an “injury” can be based on negligence, intoxication, or both. The injured party can be a participant or a spectator.

How the claim or suit is presented determines which policy applies and whether you can tender the defense to the vendor. As with many situations like this, the more serious the “injury”, the more aggressively creative plaintiffs get, and the more difficult it is to remove your business from liability.

Understanding the issues will help you determine the extent of the risk you are willing to accept.


Editor’s Note: Illinois Casualty Company is the exclusive preferred vendor of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association for liability insurance products. Qualifying PLBTA Members can save up to 10% on their businessowners and liquor liability insurance. For more information about insuring your business with ICC, visit and talk to an ICC agent in your area.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Taverns Tip: How to Help Your Patrons Safely Dance the Night Away

Taverns Tip: How to Help Your Patrons Safely Dance the Night Away

by Amanda Fagan, CISR, CIC
Illinois Casualty Company

Loss Control Specialist

Having a dance floor at your establishment can be a draw for many customers.  For an event venue, adding a dance floor can bring in additional revenue.  A nightclub can entice more patrons to join the fun when dance platforms and light-up floors are available.  While dancing the night away is most often a happy occasion, there are times when a dance floor can bring the party to a screeching halt, causing damage to patrons and your business.

ICC’s Loss Control and Liability Claims Teams put on their dancing shoes and pulled together a checklist of tips to help you create an environment for your patrons to safely get their groove on.

    • Post signage, install proper lighting, and mark the edges of steps or ramps with brightly colored tape or paint
    • Install handrails along all sides of dancing platforms, including the steps
    • Have wet floor signs easily accessible or better yet, close off an area until spills can be completely cleaned and dried
    • Use a designated mop and bucket for dance floor areas – not one that is also used in the kitchen area and may hold grease
    • Know the type of chemical cleaning solutions that are best for your flooring material – using something not made for your floor could cause issues with traction, especially when met with sugary and sticky alcohol spills
    • The easiest way to avoid spills is to not allow food or drinks on the dance floor
    • Make your dance floor a plastic only area where glassware is not allowed
    • Require that shoes are always worn in your establishment
    • Have more than one staff member to monitor the dance floor areas and watch for spills or potential conflicts between patrons
    • Remove patrons that are exhibiting signs of inappropriate behavior or intoxication
    • Provide written policies and procedures for your employees and follow accordingly
    • Keep a log to track spills, confirm proper cleanup was completed, and file a report if a slip, fall, or other incident occurs – include camera footage, witness statements, itemized receipt(s), employee schedule, and police report if available
    • Offer continuous training and safety reminders for your staff to aid in the prevention of claims

Dancing the night away should be enjoyable all the way through last call and arriving home safely.  Keeping these tips in mind can help you create an inviting dance space where the safety of your patrons and your staff are a priority.

For more information about insuring your business with ICC, visit  You can locate an ICC agent in your area at


The above story appeared in the April 2023 edition of Pennsylvania Beverage Media. Illinois Casualty Company is the preferred vendor of the PLBTA for liquor liability insurance products.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Are You Liable for an Off-Duty Employee’s Conduct?

Are You Liable for an Off-Duty Employee’s Conduct?


Most employers assume that they are not responsible for the conduct of their off-duty employees. However, under certain circumstances, an employee’s off-duty conduct can be imputed to the employer.

Consider this example: an off-duty security guard stays at the bar for a drink after their shift ends, and an altercation breaks out. The off-duty security guard, believing that they have a duty to act, decides to assist other members of security to stop the fight. Unfortunately, during the fog of the altercation, the unruly patron is seriously injured at the hands of the off-duty employee. Since the act of breaking up an altercation is arguably foreseeable and is for the benefit of the employer, any negligence on the part of the off-duty security guard could be imputed to the employer.

To help the business owner potentially prevent and avoid these situations, we have included some guidance to navigate this thorny area of the law. By implementing these protective measures, you will likely be in a much better position to defend these types of claims if they arise.

  • As with any area of your business, it is important that you communicate your expectations to your employees. If you do not, they will be left without a guiding compass when problematic situations arise.
  • It is imperative that you explain to every employee when they are hired that they are not allowed to perform any work-related activities when they are off the clock. If an incident does arise, the off-duty employees should be instructed to alert a member of management or security. Once the incident has been resolved, the employee can then provide the proper authorities with their observations and an account of the events that transpired. Off-duty employees should never physically or verbally interject themselves into an altercation.
  • Employees should be instructed to clock out when their shift is over. It is important to have a record keeping system that shows when the employee has clocked in or out. This record could be vital if there is any dispute at the time the injured party asserts a claim.
  • Off-duty employees still in uniform on the premises can cause confusion should an incident occur. If off-duty employees choose to remain on the premises as patrons, they should be instructed to change out of their work uniform to avoid the appearance that the off-duty employee is acting on your behalf.
  • Most importantly, the business should have a surveillance system in place to capture any incident that may arise. A copy of the video should be kept and not recorded over, in case a claim is made. If footage is given to the police, a copy should still be maintained by the business owner.

Find an ICC agent in your area by visiting our website,

This story appeared in the July 2021 edition of Pennsylvania Beverage Media, the official monthly magazine of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. It was written by Nick Crosby, Esq., Litigation Counsel, of the Illinois Casualty Company.

Qualifying Members of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association can save up to 10% on their businessowners and liquor liability insurance with Illinois Casualty Company.