Summer in the Lakes Region generally brings a surge in recreational activity, from summer house guests to a week at your lakefront camp to enjoying simple outdoor toys and sports equipment in the back yard during family barbecues.
Unfortunately, there is always a chance of injury even when playing an innocent game of kickball, Frisbee or horseshoes, whether at home or while enjoying the sun at one of our many local beaches. Get a group of kids together with skateboards, bikes, Hover Boards and even wagons and chances are someone will eventually get hurt.
We’re not suggesting you forgo these summer activities. Yes, there is potential liability that comes with inviting friends and family to enjoy some outdoor fun in your yard, pool, boat or camp, but you can lessen your risks by taking reasonable precautions to protect your guests so they may safely enjoy themselves. While injuries may still occur at times, you are much less likely to be held liable if you demonstrate precaution and aren’t neglectful or reckless.
How to Preserve Your Fun
The easiest way to protect yourself and your guests is to ask the following questions:
- What can I do to keep other persons safe from my activities? (Example: Am I staying a safe distance from others and preventing little ones from wandering into the area when I’m swinging a baseball bat?)
- Am I prepared to accept responsibility for people I hurt or property I damage? (Example: Am I willing to take financial responsibility if my fireworks ignite a neighbor’s home or injure someone?)
- How do I make my home and yard safe for fun-seeking visitors? (Example: Have I repaired broken steps, and loose railings, pick up tools that could be tripped over and secured loose bricks in the walkway?)
- Am I keeping my guests safe? (Example: Am I operating my boat in accordance to the rules and regulations set forth by New Hampshire Marine Patrol?)
While accidents happen, many can be prevented by making sure that you and your family enjoy activities responsibly. The proper use of games and equipment decreases the likelihood of serious injuries. Adult supervision is critical for potentially dangerous activities such as the use of motorized recreational equipment, trampolines, and swimming pools.
Simply inspecting your home and yard may open your eyes to hazardous situations. Eliminating these hazards is one way to decrease your risk. Do you have an adequate fence with self-locking gate to protect young children from a pool? Is your playground equipment well-maintained and sturdy? Is your property, both inside and out, free of tripping hazards? Are dangerous items such as tools, chemicals and lawn equipment kept out of reach of children? It’s easy to become blind to things we see every day. Try looking at your home and yard through a fresh set of eyes and at the level of a child. You’ll be amazed what you may find.
Insurance Plays a Role
Despite the most diligent efforts, accidents can still occur, sometimes followed by medical expenses and, more seriously, lawsuits. Your family’s financial health relies on the proper protection against such potentially devastating consequences. Don’t assume your insurance has you covered for every situation. You may have to add coverage to your homeowner policy or even buy special coverage for common recreational vehicles like minibikes, dirt bikes, mopeds and all-terrain vehicles. Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss the personal liability insurance on your home, condo or renters policy.