Picture this. It’s May long weekend and your friends from out of town are coming up to visit. You haven’t seen each other in years so you decide to throw a little house party in their honour and invite everyone you know. You’ve got everything ready for their visit: the food, drinks, and even that new sound system you’ve been wanting for months. People start arriving and in no time you’re all enjoying yourself, laughing and reminiscing out on the deck when all of a sudden disaster strikes. Screams pierce the air as the forty or so people drop the eleven feet or so to the ground below. People lay in a crumpled mess of broken wrists and ankles.
That sounds awful, doesn’t it? The awful thing is that it happens more often than not. Decks are something that must be built to code and maintained for optimal longevity. It is recommended that decks are inspected every two years with an annual inspection on new buildings for the first two years. Cleaning and general maintenance should be done a minimum of twice a year. This includes gutters and drains, railings as well as deck surfaces as debris may cause water-build up that can damage the surface and structure of the deck. Inspections should be carried out by certified building inspectors and are usually provided by your insurance company.
That really seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Keep your deck well maintained and clean and there will be no injuries. Well, that’s simply not the case for every person. That’s why we at The Home Insurance People recommend $2,000,000 in Liability insurance. Liability insurance is meant for the people who come to your house. Whether it is family, friends, or the postman – everyone on your property should be protected in case of injury. Injuries can range from a dog bite to something as extreme as a deck collapse. If the injury results in an inability to work or a permanent disability, the injured person may choose to sue you. This is where your Liability insurance kicks in to keep you protected and to provide for those who have been injured. Depending on the amount of foot traffic at your home or if there is ongoing construction it might be worthwhile to ask your broker if additional Liability insurance would be right for you.
Also important to know is that most home insurance companies offer Voluntary Medical Expenses. Voluntary Medical Expenses may be used when someone is unintentionally injured on your property such as if they trip on your front step and fracture their arm. You as the homeowner, have the option to pull money from your Voluntary Medical Expenses in order to compensate the injured person for any time off work or medical expenses. This is beneficial in having the ability to be done without the drawn-out aspects of the legal system. Limits may equal up to $5,000 so ask your insurance broker what yours is.