Re: First Aid & Liability
John Pannell (PANNELLJ@DELPHI.COM)
Thu, 6 Oct 1994 22:33:33 -0400
>>Ya got renters insurance (covers your boom box, computer, other
>>necessities)? It will probably also have a personal liability portion.
>>Not all that expensive, in my experience.
>Most students I know don't have renters insurance. It's just another
>expense. (Hell, my girlfriend doesn't have it.) The other thing is,
>I'll BET you'd get cancelled as soon as they were done defending you
>in a case like that. Liability insurance companies are pretty quick
>on the trigger.
WARNING: Wordy insurance company employee about to respond!....
You all are straying into my area of expertise *g*! I'm an actuary and work
for a property/casualty insurance company in North Carolina. Just to be
clear, I speak for myself only, not the actuarial profession and not my
Moving on... Some states have laws and regulations that would forbid an
insurance company from cancelling your homeowners policy due to one
liability claim. Absent a law, most companies will not cancel for a single
liability claim unless there was reason to believe there was fraudulent
activity (and they either paid because fighting the fraud would cost more
than paying it, or they fought and lost in court) or the negligence on
behalf of the insured was so blatant that, in their opinion, the insured is
much more likely to suffer claims in the future.
You are right most renters, not just college students, lack a basic renters'
policy. Most see no need, since they don't own the home. Many are unaware
that such coverage exists. A few don't wish to (or can't) pay for it.
Renter's policies do have coverage for liability losses.
Another alternative for college students: If you are still a dependent of
your parents and live with them for at least part of the year, your
possessions at college may be covered under your parents' homeowners
polcies. The specifics and amount of coverage vary, check with your
insurance agent or company.
>...(I speak from experience--we had a dog once that allegedly bit a little
>girl--doubtful, as this dog wasn't a biter and there was another dog in the
>neighborhood that looked almost exactly like him that ran loose all the
>time, as opposed to ours that only got out by accident from time to
>time--and in the ensuing fracas, Mom and Dad's homeowners was cancelled.)
Don't be offended, but this sounds like it might be in the category I
described above, re: fraudulent claims: Fraud by the girls parents,
perpetrated against your folks' insurance company. I also don't know the
specifics, but did you own a dog like a pit bull, or another breed known to
attack. There is also the possibility the company was seeking to leave the
marketplace where you lived, for a plethora of reasons. I doubt the single
claim, was the _sole_ reason for cancelling the policy.
>That said, the expense involved probably makes this prohibitive, and
>most if not all Scoutmasters and Scouters in general are probably going
>to continue to rely on their homeowners underwriter to protect them
>in a liability case.
I would reccommend that scout leaders check into getting an umbrella policy.
Coverage is available in amounts up to over $1million in excess of what is
provided by your homeowners. Generally it is affordable. This is also
good if you have teenaged children around.
Now that you know more about insurance than you wanted...
For those familiar with insurance, please forgive my non-technical response.
I was aiming to be understandable and not apply all the correct
techno-jargon. A lawyer, I am not!
John E. Pannell
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City