Winter is upon us, and it seems well established! The cold weather makes us feel like cooking comforting meals, which usually means hosting get-togethers and sharing moments with family and friends. Therefore, it’s important for hosts to be aware of situations that could create awkward situations with your guests.
Maintaining your premises
With the arrival of the snow and cold, you must pay attention to the maintenance of your premises, otherwise you may have to face possible litigation, requiring you to activate your home insurance contract.
Stairways, handrails, entrances, and ice accumulation
Let’s say you didn’t shovel your porch after a substantial snowfall, and forgot to pour salt on your steps after the snow turned to ice. If a visitor or a delivery person were to have a nasty fall at your doorstep, get injured, require surgery, and be unable to work for several months, would your insurer intervene?
In fact, if you are clearly found liable and the bodily injuries sustained by your visitor are directly caused by your neglect in properly maintaining your premises, then the civil liability component of your home insurance contract will assume your defence!
Your insurer will analyze the complainant’s claim and will compensate them based on their injuries, future losses resulting from their condition, and the limitation of your insurance contract. In addition, if legal action must be taken, your insurer will cover the legal fees.
Snow accumulation on the roof
Is your roof slanted and does snow often accumulate on it following a snowfall, so much so that a significant amount remains permanently during the cold period? If warmer weather were to suddenly cause the snow to fall on a vehicle parked nearby and damage it, would you be covered in case of litigation?
Just like in the previous example, under the civil liability component of your policy, your home insurer will be able to act in terms of the damage caused. However, the third party’s car insurer will intervene first, but will have the right to recourse for the amount paid.
In short, you must be found liable for your insurance contract to apply, and for your insurer to defend you for the damage caused and compensate prejudiced third parties. However, you must be mindful and proactive to avoid ending up in an uncomfortable situation, especially when it involves your relatives. When in doubt, contact your Lareau broker for advice.