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Tis the season to be wary: Home (insurance) for the holidays p2

We are continuing our discussion of insurance issues not really unique to the holidays but certainly more easily overlooked at this time of the year. Some of us love the bustle of preparing for parties, making last-minute or well-planned forays to the stores and rifling through catalogs looking for deals on shipping and gift wrapping. Some of us would rather hunker down with our homeowners insurance policy just to be absolutely clear about our potential liability if carolers stop by and when we have our annual neighborhood get-together.

The truth is, homeowners and renters who are among Florida's holiday hosts this year really should review their insurance policies. In particular, they should review the liability coverage. Third-party liability is the insurance that covers injuries to guests. Slipping on spilled champagne, choking on an olive pit, cutting a finger on the cheese slicer -- all of these could lead to a claim against your insurance. Especially important is what your insurance will cover if someone gets sick from something you serve and if someone gets drunk at your party and then injures himself or another in a car accident.

In terms of the drunk driving risks, as we said in our last post, in Florida a host may be liable if he serves alcohol to a minor who is then involved in a crash. That is not the case in most other states, so it's worthwhile to check. In fact, any time you serve alcohol at a party, you should double check local and state laws as well as your insurance coverage. The host may not be liable for the drunk driver, but he may be liable for the drunk who dives into the shallow end of the pool.

We'll finish this up in our next post.

Source: IndependentAgent.com, "Holiday Party Hosts Could Be Serving Up Lawsuits," Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Dec. 6, 2012

We help people who are involved in coverage disputes about their homeowners or renters policy in situations like the ones discussed above. If you would like to learn more about our Miami-based practice, please visit our website.

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