Our Fort Myers injury lawyers often remind motorists about the importance of auto insurance, particularly the need to purchase policies with significant liability limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident at a minimum, and higher limits are recommended and typically available for a modest increase in premiums. Likewise, uninsured motorist/uninsured motorist coverage, which is optional in Florida, offers vital protection to you and your family in the event you are involved in a collision with one of the many uninsured or underinsured drivers on the road.
But we spend less time talking about your homeowner’s liability insurance, which is also a critical component when it comes to protecting the financial well-being of you and your family. The increasing challenges facing Florida homeowners when it comes to purchasing and maintaining homeowner’s insurance has been a frequent topic in the news lately. But those challenges are related to the storm damage portion of your policy as hurricanes become more common and power powerful along the coast each year.
Often overlooked is the vital protection offered by your homeowner’s liability insurance, which protects you and your family if someone is hurt on your property or otherwise makes a claim against you stemming from a variety of other scenarios. Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral urge you to review your policy and ensure you are carrying sufficient limits. While this will vary, depending on a variety of factors, including the extent of unprotected wealth vulnerable to a claim, we consider $300,000 to be the bare minimum, with much higher limits, and even a separate umbrella liability policy, the best bet for most families.
Property Injury Liability in Southwest Florida
The most common property injury claims faced by homeowners include:
- Dog Bites: Many homeowners are surprised to learn that dog bites are the leading cause of injury claims against a homeowner’s liability policy. It’s important to understand your policy coverage when it comes to pets. An increasing number of insurance carriers will not cover certain dog breeds determined to be an increased risk, and others will exclude dog bite claims unless an animal is listed on the policy. The average dog bite claim in the United States is more than $30,000.
- Injuries on property: The amount of protection owed to someone visiting your property depends on their status under the law, which is determined by whether they are there to conduct business (highest duty of care), are an invited guest, or are a trespasser. Keeping your property in good condition is the best way to ensure you do not face a claim. When it comes to children, homeowners have special obligations under the state’s attractive nuisance doctrine, which can hold homeowners responsible even when a child trespasses onto a property, if they were drawn to a dangerous condition, like junk cars or other hazards, and are injured as a result.
- Swimming pools: Owners must take special care if a swimming pool is on the property. In almost all cases, the law requires gates, fences, door alarms, and other barriers to entry. Knowing and understanding the legal obligations is part of being a responsible pool owner.
- Responsible hosts: The law also may hold you responsible if you serve alcohol to someone who later causes an accident. This is particularly true when it comes to underage consumption. Be a responsible party host.
Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know that making property safety a priority can significantly reduce, and even eliminate, the chances that you will be found responsible for an accident.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.