Liability Exposures for Property Insurance
Ah, summertime! Nothing beats the feeling of sunshine on your skin and the taste of your favorite thirst-quenching beverage. It’s the season of spending your days outside, relaxing by the pool or in the shade of the large tree in your backyard. It’s also a time to be extra cautious about items that could pose liability risks around your home.
A few important points
Regardless of whether you rent or own, it’s highly recommended that you have tenant or property insurance, both of which contain third-party liability coverage as part of your package. Your liability coverage is used in the event that someone gets hurt while visiting your home and sues you for damages. It covers your legal fees, the costs of any medical care that your visitor may need as a result of the injury.
There are several household hazards that could result in a liability claim. Keep reading for some examples of risks that can be found around your home.
This is one of the biggest risks that exist on your property. Your pool is your go-to on hot summer days when relaxation is a must, but to others, it can be viewed as a hazard. According to the Ontario drowning report1 (between 2010 and 2014), 11% of aquatic deaths occured in a private backyard pool, where 40% of fatalities were of children between the ages of 0-4 years. Here are a few ways to prevent accidental drownings in your private backyard pool: install a gated fence around your property, keep a solid cover over your pool when not in use, and always have someone supervising the pool when in use.
Did you know?
You can rent a private pool by the hour in select locations in Ontario? Swimply.com is a website that specializes in facilitating the rental of private property (like AirBnB). They currently only do pools, but they’re working on adding home gyms, basketball/tennis courts and the like. Swimply.com also offers their own million-dollar insurance policy along with the rental, at no extra cost to the renter. If this is something that appeals to you, please notify your broker immediately to make sure that your current homeowners or tenant policy will support this kind of additional liability, otherwise your insurance company may deny any claims that need to be submitted.
Safety around the home
Amazon Canada’s 2021 first-quarter profits more than tripled over last year’s sales, fueled by the surge of online shopping caused by the Covid-19 novel coronavirus pandemic. This means a lot of parcels being delivered and just as many knocks at your front door. This also means that the possibility of the Amazon delivery person tripping over the toy that your child left on your walkway increases. Ensuring that you keep both the interior and exterior of your home clean and clutter-free is integral to reducing the risks of an injured guest. Other hazards included in this category are slippery driveways and/or steps, loose floorboards, weak tree limbs, even aggressive pets. That’s right, your furry friend can be considered a liability. Should they harm a guest by biting or scratching, the injured can submit a liability claim against you for any medical costs as a result of the wound.
Did you know?
Even an uninvited guest can submit a liability claim against you if they hurt themselves on your property. Have you ever heard the stories about someone breaking into a home, hurting themselves and then suing the homeowner for damages? As astonishing a situation as this sounds, this has actually happened. Dealing with the trauma of such an event is hard enough; having liability coverage for your home will at least alleviate the stresses of lawyer fees and associated costs.
The minimum amount of liability coverage that’s available for a property or tenant insurance policy is $1,000,000, however the option exists to increase it (at an additional cost). The higher your liability limit, the less likely the chances are that you would have to absorb some of the costs of such a claim. Another good point to remember is that in the event that an incident should occur on your property, the injured party has two years to file a claim.
There’s a lot of information regarding property insurance, most of which can be confusing. That’s what we’re here for. Give us a call to discuss your policy and we’d be more than happy to break everything down for you.