2014 Illinois Statutory
Dram Shop Limits Determined
1998 amendments to the Illinois Liquor Control Act,
commonly known as the Dram
Shop Act, require the Illinois Comptroller to annually determine the
increase or decrease in the liability limits for causes of action
brought under the Act, in accordance with the consumer price index
(CPI-U) published by the Bureaus of Labor Statistics.
The 2014 figures are
based on an increase in the CPI-U of 1.50% from 2013. The liability
limits for claims occurring on or after January 20th, 2014 are
$65,017.86 for bodily injury and property damage (each), and
$79,466.27 for either loss of means of support or loss of society
resulting from the death or injury of any person.
perspective, below are the limits over the last decade.
Bodily Injury & Property Damage
Loss of Society/Loss of Means of Support
numbers speak for themselves. In the last ten years, Bodily Injury
and Property Damage have risen by $11,925.81, respectively, while
Loss of Society/Loss of Means of Support has increased by $14,575.99.
The lesson we try to stress to our clients is that the cost of Liquor
Liability claims goes up every year. If you're still carrying the
state minimum of $300,000 in liquor liability coverage you have a
potentially dangerous exposure, and one that is often inexpensive to
one person claim, you very well may be ok with a lower liability
limit. But even a two person claim, with maximum damages awarded per
person for Bodily Injury, Property Damage and LS/LMS, you could face
a potential claim well north of $300,000 - putting you almost
$100,000 out of pocket without considering whether your policy limit
includes or excludes defense costs.
with a $500,000 Liquor Liability limit, it doesn't take much
stretching of the imagination to envision a potential claim that
would exhaust half a million dollars of coverage. Increasing damage
settlements such as this are precisely the reason that $1 Million in
liquor liability coverage has been the industry standard.
you're in Illinois and are "protected" by the Dram Shop
limits, or a state without a dram shop statute to cap the damages you
may face in a suit, the warning is the same: these big claims happen
more than you may hear about. Don't be caught off-guard and
underinsured and jeopardize the the assets and future of your
liability limits do you carry? Ever had a huge liquor liability
claim against you - how did it turn out? Please
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