Slip and Fall claims and Homeowners Insurance

If you slipped and fell at a neighbour’s house, will her home owner’s policy cover all your expenses?

You may not be that fortunate in every instance. Unlike auto insurance, home owner’s insurance in not compulsory. If the homeowner has an existing mortgage over her property, then the mortgage company may require it. However, if the owner’s property is free and clear of all financial encumbrances, there is no obligation placed on her to have home insurance in place.

What then?

Ascertain whether the home owner property is insured as soon as possible and submit your claim. There is no registry that contains this kind of information so you may need to employ some investigative skills. Home owners are reluctant to volunteer this kind of information because they know that their insurers are likely to cancel their policy even for a single claim against them. If you encounter any resistance from the owner in providing you with the relevant information, you may have to sue for damages.

Making a claim against the home owner

You must supply proper documentation including medical bills and expenses and proof of loss of income to the assigned adjuster. Bear in mind that there usually is a limit of $5,000 or $10,000 paid out for medical expenses by most insurers. Liability coverage is a separate disbursement. If you cannot arrive at a settlement with the adjuster, get a lawyer and sue for damages.

Must there be Negligence for Liability Coverage to Kick In

You must prove negligence on the part of the home owner to be eligible for a liability coverage payment or reimbursement for medical expenses. It is simply not enough that you slipped, lost your balance and fell. The home owner must have done something, or neglected to do something that caused your injuries.

Your best alternative

To avoid a long protracted law suit, or constant delay by the insurance company while you endure excruciating pain and suffering, be aware of your surroundings. If an area appears to be unsafe for any reason, do not walk there. Look out for loose ends rugs, carpet, spills, ice, etc and take every precaution needed for the safety of the individual. Financial awards can never adequately compensate for life-long injuries, or disabilities.



[George McLaren]

George McLaren is a Paralegal student at Centennial College in Toronto studying professional communications with Omar Ha-Redeye.

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