Many Homeowners are unaware of the many characteristics about their particular home that make them a higher liability risk than their neighbors. Insurance Companies are well aware of the potential liability hazards that exist in the typical suburban residential neighborhood and they charge their policy holders accordingly. Many of these risks are less than an afterthought for a homeowner, but they are the most common reasons a homeowner is sued by their neighbors.
Backyard swimming pools, swingsets and trampolines are just some of the risks that insurers increase rates or decline to offer coverage for. An in-home business and a biting prone dog breed are some of the less obvious examples. Insurers will want to make sure you take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of an injury or lawsuit. Locking fences around the swimming pool and a certificate of completion for a dog training class are some of the steps a homeowner can take to prove to their insurer that they are a “good risk”.
In addition to making sure that your home poses no danger to your neighbors, make sure contractors you hire to work around your house pose no danger to you by requiring them to show you proof of insurance before they start work. Your insurance agent will be happy to help you review the proof of insurance to make sure it is adequate.
For more information on risks about the house check out Rachel Koning Beals column in US News and World Report.
For more information on how biting dog breeds affect your rates and insurability, check out Tim Grant’s article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.