New Year…New Lawsuits – Protect Yourself!

As we start the New Year, it is always a good idea to take a look at your insurance protection to make certain that you are still properly protected in the event of loss or damage to your belongings. In our “sue-happy” society it is equally, and possibly more important, to also review your liability coverages. My collegue, Jeff Orloff who writes on insurance related topics for the Renter’s Insurance blog has provided the following important information that addresses renter’s insurance but is also applicable to home, farm, and business owners as well:

Renter’s Insurance and Liability Coverage

Many people make a decision regarding a renter’s insurance policy based on protecting their personal possessions. Those who opt to forgo a renter’s insurance policy often fail to realize that in addition to protecting their property against damage and theft, renter’s insurance also protects you in the event you are responsible for bodily injury or property damage to others.

Liability is a hard word to define because it is a legal term and there are many different forks that the definition can take like liability in solido, joint liability, and contingent liability to name a few. However explaining liability is quite simple. Liability is synonymous with responsibility. So when it comes to renter’s insurance, if you are responsible for loss or damage that occurs on the property you are renting you can be liable for damages. Let’s look at few scenarios that can paint a better picture of liability for a renter.

• You own a dog and that dog bites a visitor. You are liable for damages that result from that dog bite.

• A visitor slips and falls on a wet floor on the property you are renting. If they are hurt, you are liable for damages.

Photo by Christian Patterson

• You the toaster oven on and a fire starts. You are liable for damages to the building structure.

Misconceptions about liability

Most people ignore the need for renter’s insurance because they are under the impression that the insurance policy that the landlord has on the property will cover any losses or damages. Unfortunately this is one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to insurance. Insurance policies held by landlords protect them against loss or damage to the building’s structure and protect them for liability damages due to injuries that result from malfunctions or negligence surrounding the building structure. But in a case where the tenant is liable, their insurance will most likely not cover damages, and they certainly won’t protect the tenant.

In each of the cases presented above the tenant is the person who is liable for damages. They were the one who was negligent and without proper insurance coverage they can be sued personally for any damages.

As you can see, it is very easy to become responsible (liable) for damages or injuries to other people and property. Start off the New Year right: review your insurance protection and contact us at The Writer Agency, LLC to discuss your options. Call or click: 308-436-4202


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