What happens when a holiday visitor is hurt on your property?

If your holidays are anything like mine, they’re mainly about three things: good times, great food and memories that will last a lifetime. While the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, nothing can ruin the holiday cheer more than when a visitor gets hurt on your property.

Injuries can happen when you least expect it. A guest could trip and fall down your staircase or slip and fall in your driveway. While your first concern is probably that your guest is injured, your next worry may be that you’re personally liable for their injuries. Let’s take a closer look at the issue.

With homeownership comes great responsibility

Being a homeowner comes with a lot of responsibilities, some of which are surprising to first-time homeowners. Not only are you responsible for making your mortgage payments and paying your property taxes, home insurance and utility bills on time, you’re also responsible for safety and wellbeing of visitors while they’re on your property.

One of the most common injuries that happens during the holidays is slip-and-falls. Your brother could be walking up the front porch steps when he suddenly slips and hits hit head. Injuries can happen to everyone from the letter carrier to door to door salespeople. So are you responsible for covering the injuries of anyone who gets hurt on your property? In all likelihood, you are. In fact, you could get sued if someone gets seriously injured due to your negligence.

Protecting yourself with home insurance

One way to protect yourself from being sued is by purchasing a home insurance policy that offers legal liability protection. If a guest injures themselves while they’re at your place, you’re required to submit a claim through your insurance provider. Your insurance provider will protect you up to a maximum amount. Depending on how serious the injury is, any claim above that amount not covered by your insurance company and will need to be paid out of pocket. That’s why it’s important to purchase a sufficient amount of liability protection for a worst case scenario.

The best way to avoid a holiday lawsuit is to take measures to protect your guests. This starts from the moment your guests enter your home. To avoid slip and falls, make sure your front porch steps are cleared of snow. If your front porch steps ice up, use salt or sand for added traction. Likewise, shovel your driveway, so guests are less likely to slip.

The holidays are a dangerous time for your home. By taking the necessary precautions you can avoid guest injuries, and you'll be more likely to have a happy and safe holiday season.

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