Governor signs nightclub liability insurance fix

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 2:52 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont bar and nightclub owners are toasting new liability insurance reforms signed into law by Governor Phil Scott.

The venues earlier this year faced barriers to renewing their liquor liability insurance which protects the bar owners and employees from lawsuits. Experts said Vermont was one of the riskiest states for insuring bars.

The new dram shop reform law, in part, removes the establishment’s landlords from the chain of liability.

Chris Karr, the owner of the Pickle Barrel in Killington, says the change has opened the door for more insurance companies to provide services in Vermont. “We have already seen a change in the market started to happen and all of a sudden insurance companies which at one point would not give me a quote on insurance are now giving me quotes,” he said.

Under the measure, the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery will also study whether bars and restaurants should be required to hold liability insurance.

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Vt. bar owners seek ‘dram shop law’ reform