Mackay Insurance Blog
Does My Home Insurance Plan Cover Slips and Falls On My Property?
Autumn is quickly turning into winter here in Quinte, Ontario. And now that most of the leaves have fallen, homeowners are preparing their properties for the first snowfall. That means goodbye leaf rakes and hello snow shovels!
As you prepare for winter, don’t forget to focus on slip and fall prevention. Although many of us like to prepare for the winter season with holiday decor, the more crucial step is to ensure your property is safe for your family and guests.
Did you know accidental falls are the most common cause of hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits? According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), there were 654,000 ED visits caused by accidental falls in 2016-2017. And resulting injuries varied from fractures to more extreme head injuries.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has also noted that Ontario's snowfall and warmer winter temperatures increase the risk of these fall-related ED visits.
This means homeowners need to be extra cautious when that first November snowfall does hit. Heavy snowfall paired with a mild climate can make for a treacherous landscape.
Don’t get caught off guard with a slip, trip and fall claim! Know what your home insurance policy covers and learn how to prepare your property for the unpredictable snowy season ahead.
Your Home Insurance Plan Covers Medical Payments and Personal Liability
Your home insurance plan protects against numerous types of loss and damages, from theft to house fires, fallen trees, accidental falls etc.
Typically when we think of the term damages, we think of structural damages. Those caused by wind, rain or vandalism. But in a legal case, damages actually pertain to the amount of money compensating for loss, medical expenses, and suffering.
As a homeowner, you are responsible for keeping your property safe. This means keeping up with proper maintenance and ensuring safe conditions.
If someone slips, trips or falls on your property due to dangerous conditions, they could very well sue you! And if you are negligent or at fault for those injuries, you’re held liable.
This is where your home insurance policy comes in!
Your home insurance helps cover medical payment expenses and protects you if you are found liable.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payment coverage helps pay for medical expenses related to the injury on your property.
This can include:
- Hospital stays
- ER visits
- Ambulance rides
- Physical therapy etc.
Personal Liability Coverage
Personal liability coverage protects you financially if you are negligent or at fault.
How do you know if you are legally responsible for the injuries obtained on your property? Answer the following questions to find out!
- Did you cause dangerous conditions on your property?
- Did you fail to fix unsafe conditions on your property?
- Should you, as a reasonable person, have known about and repaired hazards on your property?
You could be found negligent if you answered yes to any of the above questions.
Negligence means you failed to reasonably take care of something - causing damage or injury to someone else.
If you are found negligent, your home insurance will help cover you with personal liability coverage. This coverage helps pay for legal expenses, settlement costs, lost wages etc.
Someone Just Slipped and Fell On My Property! What Should I Do?
First and foremost, make sure they’re okay. Call an ambulance or find medical treatment if necessary.
Write everything down! This includes a complete accident description from the injured person and all witnesses. Don't forget to jot down the necessary witness contact information as well!
Contact your insurance provider and transfer all further discussions to them. You will also want to provide them with all the details you collected in Step 2 and any other information they request.
Take photos of the injury, the area where the injury occurred and any other necessary components.
Find out why the injury occurred and learn how to prevent future accidents.
How To Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents On Your Property
As mentioned above, you are responsible for ensuring the safety of your property. While this applies to indoor and outdoor areas, this article focuses on your outdoor property.
Outdoor Winter Property Maintenance Tips:
- Install railings where necessary.
- Shovel and salt your driveway and walkway as necessary.
- Provide sufficient lighting for your walkway.
- Fix any wear, tear and damage to your property (i.e. an uneven or cracked sidewalk).
Even leaves and other debris can cause a hazardous walkway for visitors. So keeping your walkway clear before the snow comes is just as important!
You may be responsible for maintaining your rented property as a tenant. If you’re unsure, review your tenant contract or clarify these details with your landlord. And don’t forget to get their answer in writing! You may be found responsible if someone injures themselves on your rented property.
Invest In Complete Coverage With a Mackay Home Insurance Plan!
Accidents happen. But they’re not inevitable!
Contact your Mackay Insurance broker today to discuss your home insurance needs! We're committed to protecting your home - for you, your family, your visitors and your wallet!
You can contact us online or call one of our two Quinte office locations below!
Our Belleville Office: 613-966-5740.
Our Napanee Office: 613-354-2555.