By Beth Weinhouse
Parenting, Risks, and Liability Insurance Coverage
As a parent, you can sometimes find yourself responsible for other people's children. Car pools, play dates and birthday parties can seem completely harmless, but you may be legally or financially liable if a child is injured on your property, in your car, or in your care.

A new survey released by Liberty Mutual Insurance finds that despite the fact that the majority (83%) of parents drive and host other children in their home, more than half (51%) don't consider the insurance risks inherent in these situations.

"As a full-time professional and mother, I know that time is precious," said Samantha Ettus, parenting and lifestyle expert. "However, parents need to refocus on safety and that means really taking the time not only to safeguard behavior in the home and car but to also understand your insurance policy to make sure your family is properly protected."

Samantha Ettus

In order to put safety and protection first, it's a good idea to understand potential risks and how you can make sure you're covered in case of accidents that involve guests in your home or passengers in your car:

  • Understand your liability coverage. Nearly half (46%) of parents are unaware of their liability coverage if someone is injured in their home, and more than a third (37%) are unaware of their liability coverage if someone is injured in their vehicle. Ensure your homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy has adequate liability coverage to cover injuries or illness that take place in your home or on your property. This will provide financial protection if someone is injured on your property or you are sued for home insurance related damages.
  • Be aware of your medical payments limits. Medical Payments coverage included in your auto policy covers medical expenses for anyone in your car who is injured in an accident, and can even cover your own children if they're injured in someone else's car. Without adequate coverage, you could be liable for the injuries of all passengers in your vehicle.
  • Consider an umbrella policy. Just 12% of survey respondents had an umbrella policy that would provide comprehensive coverage in case of a potential accident. For as little as a dollar or two a day, your assets will be protected if you're ever involved in a costly lawsuit.1 The additional coverage helps pay for damages and expenses above liability limits of your auto insurance or home insurance policy. Remember that if you're involved in a car accident, it's not only the driver or passengers in the other car who may sue you; you could also be vulnerable to lawsuits by the parents of any children riding in your car.
  • Practice safe habits. Many parents take turns driving their own and other people's children to after-school activities. Be sure to take every possible step to prevent accidents from happening-for instance, never allow more children in your car than you have adequate seats, seatbelts, and/or car seats to hold them in.
Take the steps to ensure that your family's liability insurance policy best fits your needs so you're protected in case accidents happen.

1 Rates may vary by state and applicants are individually underwritten. Premiums may vary.


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