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Taking Awkward Family Gatherings to a New Level

As Rhode Islanders, we may be tempted to think, “That would never happen here”, when hearing about a recent high profile case where an aunt sued her nephew for an overzealous hug. Talk about awkward family gatherings! Although certainly providing good fodder for comedians and dinner party chatter, there is an important lesson to learn from this story.

The aunt lost. There were weaknesses in the case, but the main point was that the aunt was hoping to leverage her family’s homeowner liability policy to help pay for her medical expenses stemming from the accident. If she had won, then the process would have worked the way it’s designed to work. The homeowner buys a policy designed to cover their assets from lawsuits that stem from unexpected accidents that occur on their property. In this case, the aunt’s lawyers were unable to prove that her nephew acted inappropriately so they didn’t pay, but the policy did still protect the homeowner, covering the legal fees associated with the trial.

It’s an interesting story, and one that should trigger all of us to dust off the last policy coverage statement received. It’s important to review this periodically to ensure that the appropriate amount of insurance is in place to adequately protect hard-earned assets that have been acquired over the years. Insurance is an important piece of financial planning. As demonstrated in this case, one that would have saved this family close to $130K in damages plus the cost of their defense.

Often times an insurance policy is purchased at the time that a home is financed. Although renewed each year, when was the last time you actually read over what your policy covers?  Have your assets grown since you purchased the policy?  This is a valuable exercise to perform every few years.

For more information in personal liability or your rights as they relate to accidents that have occurred on someone’s personal property, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Rhode Island.

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