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Discussion Starter #1
We canceled our Halloween Haunt / Display this year, due to concerns about Liability resulting from an Injury.
We happen to live in a really nice 11 unit Town House / Condo complex, and "We" have decorated for years.
Last year, we have one NUT CASE ( The guy is a Frigging Cancer to everyone ) in our little community, who was on the Band Wagon about Liability and Insurance concerns.
In spite of the fact that "WE" have been Decorating the Entire property, for years and years now......this One Idiot ( Who Loves to look for anything to ***** about ) is voicing his concerns about the entire Strata being SUED......due our Haunt.
His concerns are unfounded, as NONE of our Display is a Threat to anyones Health or Safety.
Every Prop and Display is Fenced Off..with 3' - 4' foot high "Spooky" Picket Fencing everywhere.
IF.....we were to just have Kids and Adults enter our Property, without any Decorations on Display.....They would be just as likely to Trip or Fall....due to their own Costumes of choice, or due to their own fault.
If the Strata, is Openly inviting Trick or Treaters onto the Property......with or without Decorations being in place......I would think.....that the Strata is accepting responsibility for any Injury that might take place on their Property.
As I was saying......there is just One person in our complex, that has the Council sticking their heads in the sand, and bowing to his every ***** and Complaint and Command.....and it resulted in us....Not doing a thing for Halloween last year.
My Blood is STILL Boiling over the Strata's siding with this Looney Toon.
So, having said that.........for those of you that own your own Homes.......Free Standing Homes......How do you Protect yourselves from any Law Suits coming your way......due to any Unforeseen Injuries that could happen, on your Property...while little kids are Trick or Treating on your land.
It could happen.....very easily.
A small child or a parent could Trip and Fall down your stairs!
A small child or Parent could Trip on your sidewalk.
A small child or Parent could cut themselves on your gate coming in or going out.
So many things, could happen on your own property......that is totally out of your control, of your own power.
So......How do we ALL.....Protect ourselves from any Injury Claims that could possibly happen.
Halloween Displays and Props look so much better in the Dark or in Dim Lighting......but.....that Darkness or the Dim Lighting could be the cause of an Injury......How do we ALL Protect ourselves from an Injury Claim due to improper Lighting?
How do we Protect ourselves if a small child or adult was to trip into your Ghostly Picket Fence.....and they fell and hit their head on one of the Pickets?
As I say......"ALL" of our Props and Displays are BEHIND a Fenced off area......soooo there is No Way.....that any of our Props could cause an Injury to anyone...Unless....they were to climb over the Fencing.
To paint a better picture for you......"WE"......have the Entire "FRONT" Lawn area in front of our Home to use....sooooo..for years now....we have used that entire Lawn area......to Display our Grave Yard scene.
Our Lawn is facing the Street in front of our Condo.......and there is a Sidewalk between our Lawn and the Street.
We Place our 4ft High Picket Fence.....completely around our Grave Yard Haunt.....and there is No Way.....that anyone can Hurt themselves......unless....they intentionally Trespassing on Private Property.
Our point is.......that there is No Way.....that any of our Haunt can cause Injury to anyone......Not a Chance.
But......How do YOU people out there.......or "Us"...... Protect ourselves from any possible Law Suits or any Injury Claims, IF.....someone was to ever, File a Claim......False or Legit?
Its Boxing Day for us.......up here in Vancouver.......Only one day past Christmas Day......and I am already working on Next Years Halloween Game Plan.
Before I can do anything.......I am needing to get the Legal issues out of the way.
I am dying to hear, what you other Haunters think......and see and hear how you all protect yourselves, from any potential days spent in the Court House?
Merry Christmas to you all, and Wishing you the Very Best Year.... "ever"..... to come in 2018!
 

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So sorry you are going through this. Living in a HOA does limit your say so on what can be done on the common area property. If/when someone gets injured in a common area, the condo association insurance will be held responsible.It depends on the claim scenario if it’s a covered loss or not. This has NOTHING to do with the individual home owners insurance...so I’m confused why this person is so concerned?? Sounds like someone just doesn’t like Halloween. As for free standing homes, it also depends on the claim scenario if it’s a covered loss or not. And it differs from insurance company to company. It would also depend on the size of your haunt. When in doubt, call your agent to ask if you will need additional coverage for your haunt/event. Hope this helps:) Happy Haunting!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So sorry you are going through this. Living in a HOA does limit your say so on what can be done on the common area property. If/when someone gets injured in a common area, the condo association insurance will be held responsible.It depends on the claim scenario if it’s a covered loss or not. This has NOTHING to do with the individual home owners insurance...so I’m confused why this person is so concerned?? Sounds like someone just doesn’t like Halloween. As for free standing homes, it also depends on the claim scenario if it’s a covered loss or not. And it differs from insurance company to company. It would also depend on the size of your haunt. When in doubt, call your agent to ask if you will need additional coverage for your haunt/event. Hope this helps:) Happy Haunting!! :)
Thanks Zombie for your input.
As they say.....there is ALWAYS "ONE".....Like this guy....in everyones Neighbourhood.
This guy, is the self appointed Whiner.
He is just a piece of work, who considers himself some sort of Graduate, from the "Google Law School" of "Know it all's".
He passed the Bar Examine (with Flying Colours ) , for sticking ones nose.....into other peoples Business.
The guy is just a total pain in the Butt.
Whether it be Halloween and him calling the Fire Marshall to do an Inspection of the Haunt ( Which Passed with their Blessing ) or Christmas Lights and Decorations and a Huge Outdoor Court Yard Christmas Tree not being to code ( Which they were! ) ? or washing ones vehicles on the City streets ( Which does not concern him, at all ) , or building props for Halloween ( On Common Property...which no one else has an issue with ).... There is always ONE person like this Moron, in everyones Neighbourhood.
This one, just goes out of his way, to be a Pain in the Butt for everyone.
And Yes......"everyone" Hates the sight of this guy.......but....being an HOA....they have to address each and every "On Going" Complaint from this unstable individual.
In a way, his constant complaints have caused us all, to pay even closure attention, to Safety and Building Codes and Bi Laws....which is an Ironic..... good thing.
My point is and was........How do other Property owners ( Whether it be HOA or a Private Detached Home ) Protect themselves from Injury Claims?
How do Home owners Protect themselves from ending up in Court.......due to someone Falling down their Stairs on a DARK Halloween night?
Each and every Haunt is enhanced by being DIMLY Lit or by being in Total Darkness at times......our Haunts could lead to Injuries, due to the very Poor Lighting.
Kids or Parents Tripping due to Dim Lighting.....would be enough to bring on an Injury Claim......and it would probably stick in a Court Room.
Do any of us, ever think...... about being sued due to an Injury?
Do any of us, ever think.......about facing a Law suit.... due to our Props distracting someone in a Dimly Lit area of your Property?
We canceled Halloween last year, due to this one Halloween Grinch........But.....I was in the process of building a Horse Drawn Hearse...to display in our Front Yard..and my Number One Fear.......was some Kids or even some Adult Kids......Climbing up on the Hearse for some Fun Selfies.....when we are all in bed......and Falling Off the Hearse and Injuring themselves in the Fall.
How do we Cover our Butts, if someone fell off a Prop.....Late into the night?
Would they be Trespassing?
Would they be responsible for their own self induced Injuries?
How do we Haunters Protect ourselves from Injury Claims and Law suits......"IF"......someone injures them self, while Trick or Treating on our Properties?
How do we Protect ourselves from Law suits ....."IF".....some one Trespass's onto our our Haunts, climbs onto one of our Props.....and they Hurt themselves.....when they Fall Off?
This Topic is not just about HOA's......it is about us all......and how do we avoid being Sued.....due to some one hurting themselves on your Property.....on Halloween Night?
Do we have to put up Signs......Saying......."STAY OUT"!......."No Trespassing"......"Trespassers will be SHOT" LOL?
Does anyone Increase their Insurance Coverage for Halloween?
How do we "ALL".......Protect ourselves, from Injury Claims and Law suits, if.....someone gets Hurt on your Property.....over the course of the Halloween season?
You never ever know.....how any Court might Rule?
 

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State Law gets mixed into it here in the states, so what's true in california might not apply in New York. So, the only real way to know what you're covered against is for you to talk to your insurance agent.

As a general rule, though, Home Owners Insurance would cover the house owner so long as they are not advertising or taking money (either entrance fee or donation, be it to charity or no).

There are generally reasonable coverages one can get for an event here. Cost depends on anticipated number of people, generally.

Some umbrella policies can cover over and above your home owners insurance as well.

Now that we have teen drivers, we've opted for the umbrella policy as it also covers things in case the kids do something stupid the rest of the year. Previously, we'd buy event insurance for the 2 nights.
 

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The years we were having over 600 concerned me also. We called our insurance man and he said the homeowners would cover it. And yes I had a lady fall over backwards and fell off the sidewalk. Scared the heck out of me but she said she was ok. Gotta be careful with people, some are crazy. We had a woman one year that asked us how much our house payments were.......strange thing to say for Halloween.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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I never have enough people to worry about it nor do I have an HOA to worry about, but I agree with others, you really have to talk to your own insurance agency & agent. Every state & county is different & if you decide to open a pro haunt & charge people actual admission fees then that's a whole 'nother set of insurance issues & rules.

So you should plan 2018's festivities in detail (like literal maps, drawings, lists, etc.) then check with your insurance person & HOA now & get your ducks in a row now to avoid any issues that can come up in October. CYA (cover your a$$) now so if anyone has a problem you can say "oh look, here's my insurance policy with coverage for this" or "I have a permit from (insert appropriate county/state agency here)."

You can't be too careful with this stuff, especially if you have "one of THOSE people" who have nothing better to do than obsess over the smallest fine print in the HOA's contract. You gotta fight fire with fire & know your stuff going into it all.
 

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I agree with what others have said above about contacting your insurance agent and ask what is covered and what isn't. I know some insurances won't cover injury on a trampoline or a playground set. Some won't cover injury from a fall off a stoop or deck over a certain height off the ground or stairs if no hand rail or railing is in place. Another person you may want to speak with is an attorney who handles injury lawsuits to get an idea if whether an injury that occurs on your property by someone who was trespassing would be their fault or yours. I have heard of people who sued home owners after being injured while breaking in and robbing the home and won even though they were breaking the law at the time they were injured. I know of homeowners who have been sued by people who fell on the sidewalk in front of their house, that is actually city property but is up to the homeowner to maintain it.
 

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add me to the list of "call your insurance agent" supporters.

and i'll add that the individual in your case may not have anything against halloween, he may just be overly cautious about liability. as litigious as our world can be, it's a valid concern.

at our halloween party this year, a friend of mine got really, REALLY drunk, and then refused to crash at our place or let someone drive him home. he drove home himself, and thank god he made it safely. now, if he had killed himself or someone else, leaving aside the guilt i would have felt for the rest of my life, i *probably* wouldn't have had any liability under the circumstances, but that's a chance i'm not taking again. rather than run the risk of losing everything i've worked for, i'm taking precautions to make sure nobody ever leaves my house as a danger to themselves or anyone else. it's not because i hate halloween or fun or alcohol, it's because i'm not having my life ruined over an idiot friend who can't make good decisions.

i'm not saying that's the same situation you're in (which is to say, i'm not remotely comparing you to a bad drunk), but i am saying i can understand a person wanting to make sure that all the bases are covered if they could potentially have any personal liability. it's easy to say it can't happen or that everything is taken care of, but law school case books are filled with stories of people whose lives were turned upside down over something they never anticipated could happen.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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So Myra, I think your answer is check with your own insurance agent & then the HOA/condo board. Don't exaggerate or lie about anything, be perfectly up front & as I said, have all your ducks in a row, because I'm sure there will be a million questions asked & you should be ready with a million & one answers.
 
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