Although summer is winding down, there is still plenty of opportunity for friends and family to gather at someone’s home or at a public venue. Before you plan your outdoor event, be sure to review your liability coverage.
Wedding receptions, barbecues, graduation celebtrations, reunions and birthday parties are only a few examples of outdoor events where people gather on your property or a property you have rented out. As the host, your concerns extend beyond the planning and financial costs of the event—especially if alcohol is being served. Here are a few things to keep in mind when hosting an outdoor event, where the potential for liability on your part for an injury should be taken into account.
A lot of responsibility comes with serving alcohol at your events. Slower response times and poor judgment make outdoor games such as football, three-legged races and lawn darts more dangerous. Make sure adults who supervise children are competent and sober.
It is also vital to know that you may be held liable if a guest leaves your home or party intoxicated and injures or kills someone, or damages someone’s property, on their way home.
One of our agents can tell you whether your potential liability would be covered by your homeowner policy. Coverage for liability arising out of serving alcohol to guests is referred to as host liquor liability and is not covered by all insurance companies.
If you own a backyard swimming pool, you may be liable if someone is injured. Keep in mind who uses your pool. If it’s children, are they supervised? Do you limit the number of swimmers in the pool at one time? Are there slides or diving boards that could increase the risk of injury? Many insurance companies do not issue policies on properties with these types of pool equipment.
Playground, Yard Equipment
Does your backyard or venue have play equipment, like swing sets or a bounce house. Although unlikely, children have been injured after bounce houses have gone airborne due to high winds. And as many of us can attest, equipment like trampolines or monkey bars can also lead to injuries.
If you have a trampoline, keep in mind that some carriers exclude trampolines from coverage or charge extra premium. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that thousands of people are injured each year while using trampolines, especially when more than one child is jumping at one time.
As part of the underwriting process, we may request documentation that safety measures are in place for bounce houses and trampolines.
Renting a Venue
If you rent a shelter at a park to host an event, be sure to ask us if your homeowner’s liability insurance covers property damage of the rented location.
While the chances are slim that anything will go awry, if you plan an event, it is a good idea to review your homeowner’s liability coverage with us to make sure you are covered should an accident occur.
If you are planning an event, or if you have questions about these coverages, please contact Lang Insurance at 636-229-7000.