Liabilities That Can Raise Your Insurance Rates

Most people buy home owners insurance to protect their property from damage BUT did you know that liabilities from accidents can drive your insurance rates up more than damage can.  Typically when someone is harmed on your or by your property they will sue for millions.  Yes, millions.  Therefore, an insurer will make an assessment of premiums based on what your liabilities are and not just the cost of what it will take to replace what you have.  Here are a few potential liabilities to be aware of:

Fenced In PoolDrowning is the leading cause of fatal injury for young children.  The CDC estimates that more than ½ of drowning deaths of young children could have been prevented by properly fenced in pools.  As well, homeowners can be liable for injuries that occur even when their pool is used without their permission.  Sure, insurers will cover homes with pools BUT typically at higher rates and with limited liability on their end. 

Dogs:  Not just another member of the family according to most insurances companies.  Insurance companies take these pooches very seriously.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that more than 4.7 million people A YEAR are bit by dogsMore than 50% of those bites occur on the owner’s property and 1/3 of those results in insurance liability claims. Ouch!!  

Tree Houses:  Here’s a stat, every day approximately 8,000 children are treated in emergency rooms from fall related injuries which is about 2.8 million children a year.  Tree houses are considered the main culprit of these accidents so some insurance companies have included “tree house exclusion clauses” in their policies, some reject homeowners outright and others put high premiums on their policies.  Make sure you know in advance what your policy covers especially in a neighborhood full of young children.  That tree house looks very tempting especially when no one is around to supervise!!

Heating Fires: Every year heating fires account for 36% of residential fires in rural areas.  Before installing a wood stove or fireplace you may want to call your insurer to see how much/if any your rates may rise.  As well, most insurers may require certification that the unit was installed properly but if they were not notified of its existence will not cover the damage or liability at all.

Sewer Backups:  No one wants to think about this mess but “it” happens and just like floods typically “it” is not covered by a standard homeowner’s policy.  On average, our nation’s sewer lines are 30 years old so depending on how old your neighborhood or home is you could be looking at a high likelihood this will be in your future.  Damage from this disaster can be costly and you’ll want to know if you are covered before disaster strikes.

Home Businesses:  A typical home policy covers a max of $2,500 for business equipment in your home.  This typically does not cover business-related liabilities if a customer or other persons are injured on your property.  If you do not have specific business insurance that covers the business in your home and you don’t notify your insurer of your business you chance not being covered. 

Hope this information helps you in advance of disaster!!!