The Risks children present Homeowners:

Before letting your kids leave the house or sending your children out to play, be mindful of the liability they can present.

This risks or liability can put your assets or net worth at risk.

Are you prepared?

In many cases, your homeowner insurance covers damage to your neighbor’s property if your son or daughter is legally liable, and your liability coverage – whether through your homeowner insurance or a personal umbrella policy – may respond if someone is injured on your property.

But what happens when you or your children are not around?

It’s always a good idea to keep track of where your children are playing and who is playing in your yard.

If an injury occurs on your property, you could be liable for the medical expenses and other damages.

You will want to make sure you have taken all the measures necessary to prevent injuries and to protect yourself financially with insurance.  (If you’re a renter, please also consider the risks you face – i.e. renters insurance)

Don’t overlook the liability that bikes, scooters, toys, and battery-powered toy vehicles can present. Young children can easily lose control of these mobile toys or leisure vehicles.

If your child injures someone or causes property damage while operating a toy vehicle, not all homeowner policies provide coverage. Reviewing your policies with a professional independent agent will help ensure you are adequately covered.

Also discuss any changes to your property with your agent.

Throughout the the year it is possible your risk and exposure has changed significantly.

Perhaps you have purchased a trampoline or are thinking about installing a swimming pool. Each may be considered an “attractive nuisance” – a legal principle that makes the homeowner responsible if a child trespasses on your property and then is injured.

Trampolines and pools are attractive to children and especially when parents aren’t around can be very dangerous.

Your liability for trampoline and pool injuries may not be covered by all insurance carriers, so you will want to make sure you are covered if you have these items. In some cases, you can protect yourself by making sure that your yard is fenced and that there is a self-closing, latching gate. Consider a pool alarm for additional protection.

The additional liability associated with the internet and social media is an interesting evolving arena.  Cyber bullying and liable are growing exposures with everyone having access to publishing tools.

See also…The risks of Social media: understanding online defamation

And even with every safety precaution, nothing can replace attentive parental supervision when children are playing.

No need to be a Helicopter parent but have fun, be safe and be careful out there!

About the author

Arnold Smith

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