Home > Uncategorized > That’s Personal, Liability pt 2

That’s Personal, Liability pt 2

Tom & Matt wrap up their discussion about personal liability coverage including some “real world” examples! Visit them online at www.hollandshometownagency.com for more information or to contact them for a quote!

Listen to the podcast HERE

Scenario #1:

Family leaves town on vacation and ask the neighbor kid to come by and take care of their dog. Their dog hasn’t shown any signs of aggression in the past but the family warns the kid to leave the dog alone while he eats. During one of the visits, the kid starts petting the dog while it is eating. The dog leaps up and bites the kid in the face, causing a bruised eye and several stitches. The doctors tell the family that the kid may need reconstructive surgery as the years progress because of his age & the extent of damage to his facial nerves. Is this a “covered occurrence”?

Answer:

Yes! This actually happened several years ago involving one of our insureds. They had picked up the dog as a stray, so they did not know the background or temperament of the animal. In the end, luckily the neighbors were understanding and accepted the insurance company’s offer of the policy limit instead of bringing about a lawsuit. The family was instructed to get rid of the animal by the insurance company in order to continue coverage beyond the renewal date.

Scenario #2:

Your son or daughter takes an embarrassing video of a classmate (not uncommon these days with cell phone cameras & iPods) and posts it online. The classmate suffers so much harassment from the other kids because of the post that they tragically end their life. Would this be considered a “covered occurrence”?

Answer:

This is a tough call. And one that a lot of insurance carriers are on the fence about because it is a grey area and has not yet been tested in court. In recent months there have been news stories like this, kids being harassed/beaten up/made fun of via online blogs & videos that have met with very tragic results. The question is, did the son or daughter post the video with the “intent” of causing the classmate to be harassed knowing that they were close to the point of suicide. You see, when you read the policy exclusions again – first it states that intentional acts are not covered. Second it states that physical or mental abuse is also excluded. This is a tough one indeed and it will take a court case to determine where the coverage will stand.

We have done research and in talking with one of our insurance brokers, they are developing an “Internet Activities” policy that may address many of the concerns people have about interacting on the World Wide Web when it comes to their personal liability. I have no details as of yet, but was told that it most likely will be coming out by the end of the year. When we do get more details, I think it would be a good idea to talk about it on the show since this is an important topic to discuss.

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