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Personal Perspective


By August 1, 2008No Comments

One of the favorite rituals of the spring season is the yard sale. Homeowners love them because they change cleaning from a dreaded chore into a profitable enterprise. However, the whole experience can quickly turn into a nightmare should someone slip and fall, and you are considered legally liable. That’s why it is necessary to know exactly what your Homeowners insurance covers before you tag the first piece of merchandise.

The standard Homeowners policy provides you with $100,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or property damage that you or your family members cause to other people. This coverage extends to both the cost of defending you in court and any judgments against you, up to the limit of your policy.

Another feature of the liability protection provided by your Homeowners insurance is the no-fault medical coverage. This is designed to permit a person who is injured on your property to submit their medical bills directly to your insurance company, eliminating the need for a lawsuit. Most policies include between $1,000 to $5,000 worth of no-fault medical coverage.

Of course, we live in a society that loves any opportunity to sue, so it might be wise to add to your liability protection. As a first step you can increase the amount of liability coverage provided by your Homeowners policy to $300,000 or $500,000. For additional protection, you need an umbrella or Excess Liability policy. This type of coverage typically costs between $200 to $350 per year for $1 million of additional liability protection.

The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) offers the following list of points you should consider about insuring your yard sale:

  • One-Time Event. Yard sales that are one-time events for the sole purpose of selling unwanted personal items are usually covered under a standard homeowner’s policy. However, it is important to have enough coverage, so be sure to check with your insurance agent.
  • Frequent Yard Sales. If you plan to have frequent yard sales, you should purchase a separate policy for business liability, or an in-home business policy.
  • Charity Fund Raiser. If the purpose of the sale is to raise money for a charity; you will probably be covered under your Homeowners insurance policy. But it’s also a good idea to contact the charity to see what type of insurance protection they can extend you.