Are you planning a party anytime soon?

Social gatherings are enjoyable, but have you considered the potential consequences you might experience as a homeowner and host if an accident were to occur?

The following scenarios are not uncommon at parties:

  • Someone is injured in a fall and requires medical attention.
  • A guest suffers from food poisoning or an allergic reaction to the meal you serve.
  • Somebody drinks too much and causes an auto accident on the way home.
  • A fight breaks out and one or more people are injured.

Because of such risks, it’s wise to talk to your homeowners insurance agent to verify the amount and kind of coverage you have. Make sure your liability coverage is adequate to protect you in case someone decides to sue you.

That’s why we routinely advise you and all our clients to consider an umbrella liability policy — which provides coverage over and above all the standard protection you get from your homeowners and automobile policies.

An umbrella policy is extraordinarily cheap. You can easily get $1 million worth of coverage for a few hundred dollars a year. It’s so cheap, in fact, that no one will sell it to you except the carrier of your other policies because they earn so little on umbrella insurance that they don’t bother selling it except to existing customers.

You should get a policy for at least $1 million.

If you’re holding a party, you can minimize your risk in other ways too.

Just as you made sure your home was safe when your children were small, do the same now for your party guests. Some will arrive and leave when it’s dark outside, so remove any hazards on your property between where people will park and your front door (some will cut across the lawn). Are there steep steps? Any holes in the ground? Be on record as warning them of such things — and make sure there’s adequate outdoor lighting.

If you have a swimming pool — even though it’s covered — a trampoline or a basketball court, make sure that adults are present if children are outside.

Finally, if you’re serving alcoholic beverages, be sure to have some designated drivers on hand — or the phone number of a taxicab company or the Uber app on your phone.

Better safe than sorry, right?