Are You Liable for Summer Fun?

Ready…Set… Summer!

Summer is usually the season that everyone is pumped for. It usually begins and ends with a huge surge in recreational activities. In the beginning, school ends and parents start searching for leisure and recreational activities for themselves and their children. These activities vary from extravagant vacations or summer-long camps to simply buying play and sports equipment (or getting it out of the gar age and/r basement) and renewing passes for the local parks and community pools.

Summer Fun’s Dark Side

One thing to always keep in the back of your mind is no matter how simple the activity it, things could potentially go wrong.  Using sports equipment such as tennis racquets, baseballs, baseball bats, Frisbees, lawn darts, or horseshoes has the potential to harm others. Fun activities like skateboarding, biking, go-karting, etc can be very dangerous if one isn’t careful. It becomes even more of a risk when kids begin inviting friend over to use your equipment or novelty items such as swimming pools. Potential liability comes from either you having fun at the expense of other persons or their property, or failing to take safety precautions that persons you’ve invited to your home (or other places) are safe to enjoy themselves.

How to Preserve Your Fun

The simplest way to anticipate for your summer liability is to ask yourself some questions:

  • What can I do to keep others safe from my activities?
  • Am I prepared to be responsible for property I damage or people I hurt?
  • How do I make my home and yard safe for fun-seeking visitors?
  • Am I keeping my guests to these events safe?

 

Although accidents do tend to occur no matter how safe we are, many of them can be prevented by making sure that you and your children are responsible while enjoying summer activities. Operating bikes safely and in low traffic areas lessen the chance that others will be hurt. The proper use of games and equipment also make the possibility of having someone injured more unlikely to happen. In other words, it’ is vital that your family uses sports and game equipment safely and properly. Adult supervision is critical for potentially dangerous activities such as the use of motorized recreational equipment, trampolines, and swimming pools (including small wading pools). It’s also important to make sure guests you invite for camping or hiking trips are watched after carefully. In many instances, it is your responsibility to make sure your guests are safe when you invite them to enjoy outings, particularly boating or other activities involving water-related equipment.

Home Inspection

Another way to reduce the chance of others being hurt is to do an inspection of your home and yard. Do you have an acceptable fence (this is usually one with a secure lock on it) to protect young children from falling in or drowning in a pool when you’re not around? Is your back yard ‘play area’ well-maintained and strong enough to support the weight of the children using it? Is your yard and driveway free of tripping/falling hazards? Are dangerous items such as tools, chemicals and lawn equipment kept out of reach of children? (your best option is to have them securely locked in a shed or in another type of storage space) If you can answer “no” to any of these questions, you’re more likely to be held liable for an accident.

Insurance Plays a Role

When these unforeseen accidents do happen, they may result in medical expenses and, more seriously, lawsuits.  You need to make sure you are financially protected in these situations. Don’t just assume you have coverage, especially when an activity involves motorized or powered equipment. You may have to add coverage to your homeowner policy or even buy special coverage for mini-bikes, mopeds, boats, all-terrain vehicles, etc.

So instead of hoping you don’t end up in one of those awful situations, make safety a part of your summer fun. It is also always a good idea to stop by or call up your insurance professional to ask any questions you may have about your coverage and to make sure you have the right coverage to ensure and support your summer fun!

 

 

 If you have any further questions involving your existing policy or you are inquiring information about a possible future policy, please call us at (631) 738-7300 or get a quick quote at www.vrpinsurance.com

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August 21st, 2012 by VRP Insurance Agency