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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Backyard Trampoline Safety and a Homeowner’s Liability

Trampolines help your kids burn off excess energy, and they’re a great weight loss tool for you. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all consumers avoid using trampolines because unsafe use of this backyard toy can cause head and neck injuries, fractures and sprain. As a homeowner, don’t set up a backyard trampoline until you find out more about your liability.

Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

Trampolines are fun, but the expenses could quickly outweigh any enjoyment. Some insurance companies will not insure your home if you have a trampoline. They may either cancel your policy or exclude coverage for any trampoline-related injuries. Either way, you’ll be personally liable for any injuries that occur.

Set It Up Properly

If your homeowners insurance policy does cover your trampoline, be sure you set it up properly as you increase its safe operation.

*Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when setting up and using the trampoline.
*If possible, place the trampoline at ground level rather than above ground.
*Remove tree branches and other hazards located nearby.
*Provide adequate padding on the springs as you prevent pinching.
*Secure a safety net around the trampoline.
*Inspect the trampoline and all its parts regularly for wear and tear.

Provide Constant Supervision

Guests who are injured while using your trampoline can sue you. Be sure you provide constant supervision to ensure everyone practices safe jumping. That means only one person at a time should jump, and no one should do somersaults or flips, two major causes of spine injuries.

Fence-In Your Yard

You’re liable for injuries that occur by anyone who uses your trampoline, even if the jumper doesn’t have your permission or trespasses in your lawn. Protect yourself with a tall fence. It should have a self-latching lock on the gate for greater security.

Your family and friends can enjoy fun in your backyard thanks to your trampoline. Be sure to understand your liability, though, before you install one.

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Backyard Trampoline Safety and a Homeowner’s Liability

Trampolines help your kids burn off excess energy, and they’re a great weight loss tool for you. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all consumers avoid using trampolines because unsafe use of this backyard toy can cause head and neck injuries, fractures and sprain. As a homeowner, don’t set up a backyard trampoline until you find out more about your liability.

Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

Trampolines are fun, but the expenses could quickly outweigh any enjoyment. Some insurance companies will not insure your home if you have a trampoline. They may either cancel your policy or exclude coverage for any trampoline-related injuries. Either way, you’ll be personally liable for any injuries that occur.

Set It Up Properly

If your homeowners insurance policy does cover your trampoline, be sure you set it up properly as you increase its safe operation.

*Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when setting up and using the trampoline.
*If possible, place the trampoline at ground level rather than above ground.
*Remove tree branches and other hazards located nearby.
*Provide adequate padding on the springs as you prevent pinching.
*Secure a safety net around the trampoline.
*Inspect the trampoline and all its parts regularly for wear and tear.

Provide Constant Supervision

Guests who are injured while using your trampoline can sue you. Be sure you provide constant supervision to ensure everyone practices safe jumping. That means only one person at a time should jump, and no one should do somersaults or flips, two major causes of spine injuries.

Fence-In Your Yard

You’re liable for injuries that occur by anyone who uses your trampoline, even if the jumper doesn’t have your permission or trespasses in your lawn. Protect yourself with a tall fence. It should have a self-latching lock on the gate for greater security.

Your family and friends can enjoy fun in your backyard thanks to your trampoline. Be sure to understand your liability, though, before you install one.

Read more

5 months ago · by · 0 comments

Super Bowl Party? Considerations Before Serving Alcohol to Party Guests

Are you having a Super Bowl party – perhaps hoping to watch the 9ers win in Vegas this Sunday? What responsibilities do you have, though, if you serve alcohol?

You’re Responsible

If one of your guests drinks and injures someone or causes an accident during or after the party, you could be responsible thanks to social host laws that vary between states. Understand your state’s laws and be prepared to serve alcohol responsibly because your intoxicated guests’ actions could become your liability.

Protect Your Assets

Your home, bank accounts and paychecks are at risk if you’re found liable for an intoxicated guests’ actions. Lawsuits could run into the millions of dollars, especially if someone is seriously injured/killed. Protect your assets when you:

  • Stay sober
  • Limit drinks
  • Don’t play drinking games
  • Say no when someone’s had enough
  • Designate a driver to take guests home, call a taxi or let guests crash at your house until they’re sober

Never Serve Alcohol to Minors

Every state and even municipalities within a state enforce different laws about serving alcohol to minors. However, you’ll stay on the right side of the law if you don’t serve alcohol to minors during your backyard parties or leave alcohol available during parties your kids might host when you’re not home. Doing so could get you fined or jailed.

All Home Insurance Policies are not Created Equal

Home insurance policies can include social hosting liability that you’ll need if you serve alcohol to party guests. Review your policy today and make sure it includes adequate social hosting liability coverage. If it doesn’t, discuss your options with your agent or shop around for a policy that will protect you and your assets.

Know the facts so that you can protect yourself and your guests. Be sure to review your homeowners insurance policy, too, as you maximize your coverage and prepare to have a fun and safe celebration.

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8 months ago · by · 0 comments

Prep for Holiday Visitors – Review Your Home Insurance Policy

With the upcoming holidays, your house is going to be filled with guests. Is your pantry filled and your bathroom clean? Even more importantly, update your home insurance policy as you prepare to welcome guests to your home for the holidays.

What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?

Most homeowners buy insurance to cover property damages from storms or accidents. It also covers personal property that’s lost, damaged or stolen. Plus, homeowner’s insurance pays for medical treatment or lawsuits associated with injuries people sustain while visiting you.

Make Sure you Have Enough Liability Coverage

You don’t expect accidents to happen in your house, but a visitor could trip over frayed carpet, get food poisoning or fall off the backyard trampoline. Or maybe the traditional Thanksgiving day football game gets rough, and your cousin’s expensive watch breaks, a seasonal storm blows a branch on your friend’s vehicle or the toilet overflows on your uncle’s expensive leather shoes. These injuries and damages are all examples of accidents that liability insurance covers.

Increase Your Coverage Limit

To ensure you have enough liability coverage, check out your policy and talk to your insurance agent. Most policies include a liability coverage limit of $100,000, but you should consider increasing that limit to $300,000 or even $500,000. An accident that affects more than one guest could quickly use up that coverage and leave you with a big bill. The increased coverage limit ensures everyone can receive medical treatment, and it reduces your out-of-pocket expenses if you’re sued.

Buy an Umbrella Policy

An umbrella policy is another insurance product to consider. It adds additional coverage that could be very beneficial as you entertain guests this holiday season.

Because you plan to host holiday guests this year, do more than stock the pantry and clean the bathroom. Update your homeowner’s insurance policy. It gives you peace of mind and prepares you for anything that might happen.

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

11 Steps Prepare Your Property For Safe Trick Or Treating

Are you planning to welcome trick or treaters to your home this month? Follow 11 steps that prepare your property for safe Halloween fun.

1. Clean your walkways.

Jack-o-lanterns are cute, but they are also tripping hazards. Remove decorations and all clutter or debris such as toys, yard tools or twigs from your sidewalks, steps and walkways.

2. Clear the yard.

Ideally, kids will stay on the walkway and front porch as they retrieve their candy. However, you will want to clear your yard so curious and excited kids don’t trip on any toys, branches or yard tools.

3. Repair broken sidewalks and steps.

Inspect your entryway and steps carefully. Then repair any broken stepping stones, loose railings or other hazards.

4. Install lighting.

Your front porch light is turned on to welcome trick or treaters, but you may also need additional lighting to ensure safety. Solar-powered walkway lights or a string of lights can illuminate your walkway and porch.

5. Change your location.

Instead of making kids walk up your long driveway or steep steps, stand or sit in a location that’s easy for them to access.

6. Lock doors and windows.

On trick or treat night, your attention is focused on your front door. Lock all the other doors and windows in your house so no one can gain access to your home while you’re out front. Remember to lock your garage and car, too.

7. Secure valuables.

Move your grill, mower and other valuables to the shed or another secure location. With this tip, you prevent potential burglars from adding your home to their future target list.

8. Protect your pets.

Some kids are scared of animals. Also, pets can become startled and bolt or bite when they see strange costumes or dozens of noisy kids. Always secure your pets so they and the kids are safe.

9. Extinguish candles.

Open flames pose a fire hazard. As an alternative, try battery-powered bulbs, or install Halloween-themed covers on your flashlights.

10. Consider allergies when choosing candy.

Many kids are allergic to nuts or dairy. Place a teal pumpkin on your step to show trick or treaters that you offer safe alternatives like books, stickers or toys.

11. Update your property and homeowners’ insurance policies.

Despite your best efforts to promote safety, someone could be injured while on your property. Be sure your property and homeowners’ insurance policies are updated and include adequate coverage.

Trick or treating is a fun family activity. As you give out treats this year, follow these 11 safety tips. They secure your property and reduce your liability risks.

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1 year ago · by · 0 comments

Summertime – Does Your Home Insurance Cover Your Pool?

Summertime fun often includes swimming in the pool. Whether you already have a pool in your backyard or are thinking about putting one in this year, you may wonder if your home insurance will cover your pool.

Personal Liability Coverage

If someone is injured while swimming in your pool, the personal liability coverage on your homeowners insurance policy will pay for it. Update this coverage amount when you install your pool to ensure it’s sufficient.

Related Structure Coverage

Your insurance company may classify your new in-ground pool as a related structure, similar to a storage shed or detached garage. Increase the related structure coverage on your homeowners insurance policy to cover damage to your pool. Keep in mind that this coverage won’t pay for pool maintenance.

Geography Matters

Find the majority of backyard pools in warm climates. Based on this fact, insurance costs for your pool may be cheaper if you live in the warmer southern states and more expensive if you live in cooler northern states.

Erect a Fence

To prevent accidents in the pool, many insurance companies stipulate that you surround your pool with a fence that includes a self-latching gate. Consider whether or not you have the space and ability to erect a fence before you install a pool.

Consider the Diving Board or Slide

Some insurance companies won’t cover accidents that happen on the diving board or slide. That policy will influence whether or not you install one of those pool accessories.

Consider an Umbrella Policy

Even if your homeowners insurance policy covers your pool, consider an umbrella policy. It provides extra coverage after your homeowners insurance limits are met. The extra protection gives you peace of mind if you need to file any pool-related claims.

A backyard pool provides hours of fun every summer. Before you install one, though, talk to your insurance agent. Get all the facts.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

Physical:
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

Mailing:
PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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(831) 661-5697

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