Know Your Personal Liability Coverage and Safeguard Your Home

Ways to Keep Your Home and Guests Safe

DENVER, CO, November 1, 2007 -- In the coming weeks thousands of people will travel in trains, planes and automobiles to visit friends and family for Thanksgiving, and then again in December when Christmas and Hanukkah roll around.

While you're decorating your home with holiday cheer, getting guest rooms ready, and writing up your grocery lists, it's smart to make sure you are also taking the proper precautions to keep your home safe for your guests. This goes hand-in-hand with ensuring that you have the right amount of liability coverage within your home insurance policy and understanding the added benefits that umbrella insurance provides.

In the event that an accident occurs, then you'll be well protected.

Safeguarding Your Home for Holiday Guests

Family gatherings include members of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents. Walking through your home and property and correcting any potential problems will help to prevent injuries that could occur.

Inside the home:

  • Keep stairways clear of toys, shoes, loose carpeting, etc.
  • Avoiding rugs in areas of your home where people can potentially trip and fall.
  • Keep stairways, hallways, and entry ways well lit.
  • Apply nonskid strips to the bottoms of bathtubs and use nonskid rugs outside of bathtubs and showers.
  • If you use extension cords, use tape to secure each cord to the floor to avoid tripping.

Outside the home:

  • Make sure sidewalks and outdoor steps are clear of toys or objects that block a clear path for walking.
  • Repair any cracks or missing pieces on sidewalks and walkways.
  • If you live in an area with snow, keep sidewalks, staircases and paths clear and free of ice and snow. Add sand to the ground to help avoid slipping hazards.

Childproofing the home:

  • Move chairs, cribs, beds, and other furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing onto sills.
  • Install hardware-mounted safety gates at the top and bottom of every stairway.
  • Attach childproof covers to corners of coffee tables, furniture, and countertops with sharp edges.
  • Add childproof covers to all electrical outlets.

When Accidents Happen -- Personal Liability Insurance

Even when you take all the necessary precautions, there is no fool-proof way to avoid accidents from happening 100% of the time. This is why it's smart to know how your home liability insurance works and the protection it provides you and your family.

Home Liability Insurance -- This coverage protects you against a claim or lawsuit resulting from bodily injury or property damage to others for which you are legally liable. This coverage pays up to the policy limit, which typically ranges from $300,000 to $500,000.

  • NOTE: Proof of negligence needs to be established in cases of bodily injury. For example, if Uncle Joe has a few eggnogs too many and falls and hurts himself as a result, that would not qualify as negligence on your part.

Renters Personal Liability Insurance -- Your renters insurance policy also includes liability coverage that works in a similar way to home insurance liability coverage. Typical coverage starts at $100,000 with most renters insurance policies, but you are able to increase this amount up to $300,000 by talking to your insurance agent about a floater.

Umbrella Insurance -- Providing Added Protection

An umbrella policy picks up where your home or renters liability coverage leaves off. This provides you with added protection beyond the $300,000 or $500,000 worth of liability coverage you currently have. For example, f you are sued for $500,000 but your policy provides only $300,000 in liability coverage, you are left paying $200,000 out of pocket.

The need for umbrella insurance can also occur outside the home. Since your liability insurance travels with you, if someone in your family causes an accident on the ski slope that results in a $600,000 claim, your home's liability insurance covers the first $300,000 and your $1 million umbrella insurance picks up the remaining $300,000.

This added level of protection is extremely affordable, with most policies starting at around $15 a month.

Take advantage of NetQuote's other research and articles to better understand personal liability protection, understand how renters insurance works, plus ways to save money on home insurance and renters insurance. See if your personal liability coverage meets your needs with a free homeowners or renters insurance quotes today!