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Clarification on requirements for liquor liability insurance

SC Dept. of Revenue has responded to request on whether policy requirements are occurance or aggregate limits

Updated 9-27-2023

DOR/ABL website has been updated to reflect this information

Origin​al post 8-22-2023

A letter was recently sent to the S.C. Department of Revenue asking the following question: “In the Department of Revenue’s opinion, would a licensee or applicant satisfy the requirement under S.C. Code Section 61-2-145 by presenting a certificate of insurance that provides an aggregate limit of at least $1 million?”  

SC Statute 61-2-145 requires certain ABL licensees to maintain a liquor liability insurance policy with “a total coverage of at least one million dollars during the period of the biennial permit or license”.  The letter stated, “Insurers often issue commercial liability insurance policies with per occurrence limits, which is self-explanatory, and aggregate limits, which applies to the life of the policy.  However, the statute referenced above does not define or specify whether the “total” minimum coverage limit applies to the per occurrence limit, or the aggregate limit, but does refer to the life of the policy.”

The Administrator for the Alcohol Beverage Licensing Division of the S.C. Department of Revenue responded with, “A liquor liability insurance policy with a total coverage or aggregate of at least $1 million is acceptable without regard to the per occurrence payout.”  

While this is a significant development that provides carriers with the option to provide coverage with a per occurrence limit that is less than $1 million, we still need to address issues related to joint and several liability and proximate cause. 

tort-reform-750.jpg For more information, contact Frank Sheppard at