Why is it So Difficult to Protect
Against "Attractive Nuisances"?
If you are a homeowner and looking forward to having the appropriate insurance policy for your home, you need to know some crucial factors beforehand so that you don’t get in trouble later due to ignorance. Rates for homeowners’ insurances are based on many factors, one of them is “attractive nuisances”. If there is a high chance that someone, especially a child or toddler can get injured or attacked on a policyholders' property, it can make the insurance rates significantly higher than other people. And theelements that can increase the rate just by staying on your property are called ‘attractive nuisances’. You should try to hire a good public adjuster as they are in the best position to properly guide you from unnecessary financial hardships caused by attractive nuisances.
What Are Attractive Nuisances?
An attractive nuisance is actually a feature of a property that is both attractive and dangerous for people, children to be more precise. Or you can call it a fatal attraction if you want. Attractive nuisances can be graded as any kind of potentially dangerous feature on a property, which has the possibility to entice or lure little toddlers or a bit older children into dangerous or unsafe situations.
These nuisances can be anything. They can be something as obvious as swimming pools or trampolines, or something that are lesser known as risks such as a low-hanging roof or landscape designs. Other than that playground equipment, tree house, broken down vehicle or appliances etc. can also be labeled as attractive nuisances. Features like these are like magnets for children as they have a natural curiosity for fun and propensity for adventure, and even though you can technically call it trespassing, in the case of an injury or something worse, you’re likely to be found liable in the court.
The Doctrine Behind Attractive Nuisances?
Courts have stated a law that if a homeowner has an attractive nuisance on their property, then they have a responsibility to take initiatives to protect children from harm. This law states that homeowners can potentially be held responsible if anyone, a child to be precise, gets injured on their property due to an attractive nuisance. It can be any kind of object, which is potentially dangerous while being inviting to children at the same time. But for a homeowner to be found responsible, the accident will have to meet some certain criteria. These criteria are-
- The homeowner has the knowledge that there is a chance children might trespass on their property
- An attractive nuisance on the land has the ability to cause harm or death to people, specially children
- The child or the children that were harmed are too young to understand that something can be harmful to them
- The cost to maintain the attractive nuisance is smaller than the risk it poses to little children
- The homeowner’s failure to take necessary action to get rid of the attractive nuisance
The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine simply indicates that if it’s possible to provide children safety against an attractive nuisance reasonably, then a homeowner is required to do so. Once the protection and safety measures have been taken by the homeowner, then they should purchase the suitable amount of homeowners insurance. At times, it becomes really difficult to determine which party is responsible for the nuisance, and proper baseline inspection is required to keep things covered.
How Attractive Nuisances Can Affect the Insurance Rates for Homeowners and How They Can Protect Themselves?
At first you should think more before having attractive nuisances like swimming pools or trampolines at your home. However, if you get them anyway, your homeowner insurance premiums are likely to go up by a lot. Some companies might even completely deny the coverage of your home. In the case of having attractive nuisances like pools at your home, you should consider raising your liability limits and then invest in an umbrella insurance policy in addition. This part of your homeowners insurance policy can pay for your court costs and any judgments that might go against you, including the medical bills of an injured party.
Other than these, a landlord can protect themselves by showing that they have followed all property and building safety codes. They should also take some more steps to protect themselves from the attractive nuisance problems. They are-
Removing the Hazard
The first option is to completely remove the hazard in order to prevent injury on your property. This is an easier solution for nuisances such as old appliances or construction debris.
Securing the Hazard or the Property
Another option is that you can secure the object or the whole property in general. This could include putting a fence around a swimming pool and other similar measures.
Following Your Local Law
A great way to protect yourself is to make sure that you are up to date on all building and property inspections. You can help your case if you can show that your property complies with all health and safety codes.
Talking to Your Insurance Company
You can also call your insurance company to see if they have a list of items that would be considered attractive nuisances, as well as any recommendations they have for negating these hazards.
From the above discussion you can see how cautious you have to be to protect yourself from attractive nuisances and their hazards. It is a difficult thing to be cautious all the time and manage to get rid of them. But for your own good, you must protect others and yourself from the attractive nuisances, and then you can have a better insurance rate.
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