Most property owners never think someone can suffer a serious accident in the home. Yet, it is not uncommon for this to occur. If something happens to someone visiting, you may be responsible for their losses. Your home insurance policy may be able to help you cover these costs. However, in that moment, what do you need to do?
Knowing how to react is important to minimizing damage, supporting your visitor, and minimizing financial loss. Here is a look at what to do.
Immediate Need Assessment
Whether someone falls down the stairs or hits their head on something, take care of that person first. When possible, stabilize them. Never move them. Instead, call 911 if necessary. Request emergency care for the individual. This ensures you are helping that individual to get the care he or she needs.
During this time, be sure to be supportive. Ask questions. Follow the instructions of the emergency personnel on the phone with you.
After that person is stable and safe, you need to think about what happened. If possible, take photos of the area without disturbing it. Was there some indication that the home was not safe? For example, if there were missing floorboards or the step was slippery, this could mean the home was unsafe.
When speaking to the individual, police, or others, never admit guilt. You do not want to say this is my fault. Instead, provide only accurate information about the incident. Facts are the only thing necessary here.
Call Your Insurance Agent
If the incident is significant, you may be able to file a claim with your home insurance agent for the damages the individual suffered. This may cover his or her medical bills, lost time at work, and long-term care, as necessary. Remember to discuss with your agent the details of the event. In some situations, you may not be responsible after all.
When someone falls, take these steps:
- Get the individual medical help as necessary.
- Take photos of the area to document what happened. Clean up only after completing this task.
- If illegal activity took place, call the police. Ensure full documentation.
- Seek information from the individual about what happened. Or, if you think it best, contact the agent to handle this.
Your home insurance aims to cover you for losses like this. Specifically, your liability insurance offers this coverage. Take the time to speak to your agent about your coverage now. Be sure it fits what is happening at your home.
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