Having the neighborhood kids at your home to play with your own children can be exciting for everyone. However, it also means you hold some responsibility for other children's well-being. It is important to know what to do if something were to happen to one of those children.
Taking these steps allows for you to protect the children but also to ensure you are not negligent. Your home insurance coverage can help you, too.
When Something Happens, Take Immediate Action
The most important step for you to take is the easiest one to take — make sure the affected child is safe. Do your best to defuse the situation. Then, decide what type of medical care the individual needs. If there is bleeding or any type of life-threatening situation, call 911. Follow their directions. It is always important to find the child's parents as well.
Responsibility for Losses
In the aftermath of the incident like this, it is not uncommon to receive requests from the neighbor about the costs of the medical care necessary. Several things can happen here.
- The parents might want to file a claim with your home insurance for the medical bills the child experiences. A simple ride in the ambulance or a call to the fire department can be thousands of dollars.
- The parents might believe you were negligent and want to file a lawsuit against you. Most often, this is not the first step, but in large-scale events, it can be a reaction parents have.
What Should You Do?
Your first goal here is never to admit any wrongdoing. Simply gather information. Then, contact your home insurance provider.
In most situations, this is all you need to do personally. Your agent and claims adjusters then go to work for you. They will contact the neighbor and gather information. The insurance company and the neighbor generally end up working things out based on the negligence applied. If there is a lawsuit, your home insurance policy generally provides for the financial compensation necessary to pay for an attorney to represent you. And, if a settlement occurs, your policy covers it up to the limits listed.
Most importantly, recognize the importance of ensuring everyone in your home is safe. Then, take steps necessary to work with your home insurance agent to file such claims. Such claims can be hard to manage because of relationships. That is why your agent is there to help.