The Holidays & Homeowners Liability

“250 strands of lights, 100 individual bulbs per strand, for a grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights.  I dedicate this house to the Griswold family Christmas.” - Clark Griswold

Christmas is around the corner and you are not about to let Tom next door out-decorate you this year. You have purchased all the latest and greatest lights and blow-up lawn decorations, but now you have family on their way into town and there is last minute present shopping to be done. How are you going to get these decorations up in time? There are many companies, handymen, and helpful neighbors that can help you reach your Christmas decoration goals.  But before you hire someone to deck your halls with boughs of holly, are you covered if they go for a sleigh ride off the ladder or the roof?

When hiring a professional to do any work around your property, you want to confirm that they carry their own insurance. If you hire an uninsured company or handyman you may be completely liable for any property damage or personal injury. In this case, your homeowners personal liability and medical payments coverage will come into play. You may also be held liable for any usage of your own equipment by a hired professional, such as a ladder, or for any injury caused by an accident or defect in that equipment.

All homeowners and renter’s policies offer personal liability and medical payments coverage.  Personal liability coverage is issued at a minimum of $100,000. It is recommended that you carry at least $300,000 or $500,000 if the carrier offers those limits. The personal liability portion of your homeowner’s policy provides protection for accidents you are liable for that occur on your property and result in bodily injury or property damage to others. 

The personal liability works alongside of the medical payments to others coverage. Medical payments coverage is there to help pay for reasonable and necessary medical expenses of non-residents who are accidentally injured on your property, up to the coverage limit. Your personal liability coverage would be there for claims of negligence that caused an injury or a lawsuit filed due to an incident. 

Do not hesitate to contact our office to confirm that you have adequate coverage. Remember, don’t let Cheryl’s new she-shed be the talk of the neighborhood.


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Raymond Killian is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Raymond is experienced in all lines of personal insurance.