When Life’s “What Ifs” Send you running for cover

My husband would call me “over paranoid,” I call it a hazard of the Trade. Those fun things: Trampolines, puppies, Tree houses and swing sets. Things you dream of for your family.

One Day we are getting a boat.

a 4-wheeler would be nice for the camp

That Playground set with the rock wall would be awesome for the kids.

These things to most people are exciting. For me… They are a million red flags.

What if:

Someone falls off the trampoline, the swing set or out of the Tree house

What if Some one taunts our dog and he bites them or what if he gets excited and knocks them over.

All of the “What ifs” that would in most worlds be considered “True Accidents” run to my mind.

In todays legal climate there seems to be no such thing as a “true accident”. I have unfortunately had the privilege of hearing of several of the so called “accidents” causing people to loose homes, money, relationships and worst of all peace of mind.

I told my husband when we got a dog that no one is allowed near the dog unless one of us is with them. Now, in my opinion we have the sweetest dog. But, I have heard the stories of the “sweetest dog: biting a neighbor or a friends child and the next thing you know the owner of the dog is being served with a lawsuit for medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress, Loss of future employment, loss of consortium (If you are not familiar with this one… Look it up), Loss of future pleasure of life, loss of future relationships, and so on. Lets say the dog was just defending itself from a kid bullying it… its not like the dog could testify on its behalf.

Now enough with the doom and gloom and on to somewhat of a solution, In the current legal climate you can sue anyone for anything. What can we do to protect ourselves:

Umbrella Policy – this will offer you a layer of coverage over your home and auto liability.

Disclose to your agent If you have a pool, dog, trampoline, or ATVs.

Review your policy to make sure that there are no exclusions for these things on your policy, If there is an exclusion you could possibly buy back coverage or buy back limited coverage for a small premium.

Again, I state, “Hazard of the Trade”. Until you yourself have experienced what some consider “frivolous lawsuits” or until you have read the verbage of one of these lawsuits, my rant may seem to some as paranoid. Hopefully, you will be spared any of this. However in the chance you may find yourself facing this issue, you may want to try to insulate yourself and your assets. A call to your agent to discuss your exposures and policy exclusions can offer peace of mind in regards to the “what ifs” in life.

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