June is Homeowners Month, Protect Yourself and Your Assets
June is Homeowners Month at Michael V. Favia & Associates in Chicago. Our law firm and network of professional connections can help Chicagoland homeowners protect themselves and their families. We work hard to provide a welcoming home for ourselves, family, and friends. In this short article let’s make a checklist of a few things we can do to make sure everyone is safe and protected from harm this summer as we focus on homeowner liability policies and protect yourself and your assets.
Call lawyers more often than you think you need to. That is sound advice because your legal, financial, and insurance professionals are here to answer all your questions and point you in the right direction to get exactly what you need to guard against exposure to personal liability. Don’t risk it all because you didn’t think far enough ahead to what could go wrong. The law firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates presents you with frequent advice about protecting people and families from all that can go wrong in the world. Contact attorney Michael V. Favia with legal questions and for introductions to trusted Chicagoland professionals for needs and interests.
Homeowner Liability to Invited Guests and Contractors
June is a great weather month in Chicago and before it gets too hot and humid it is fun to get together with friends and neighbors. We also might host small home and garden events with business contacts and friends in groups. Accidents can happen, especially when there are people who may be unfamiliar with the home, property, and landscape.
Filing a lawsuit against a friend or neighbor seems like the worst thing someone can experience, especially when seeing that person again is inevitable. If a guest is injured at your home or on your property where you are legally responsible, an insurance claim can be made. Before making a claim with any insurance company, contact a personal injury attorney first. With your Chicago injury lawyer, discuss your personal liability and exposure, because personal liability is possible if the insurance does not pay a claim or the claim exceeds the policy limits. At the end of the day, neighbors understand that some insurers will pay claims without a problem and others seemingly need a lawsuit on file to get people paid appropriately, and that’s why you need a lawyer like Michael V. Favia.
Contractors for home landscaping, maintenance, and repairs, should all be state-licensed and bonded with insurance to cover themselves if they fall from a ladder while working on roof gutters, for example. There may also be reasons for your attorney to get involved if for some reason exposure to personal liability is an issue. It never hurts to call your injury lawyer and get their opinion, even if they don’t need to get involved directly.
Managing Insurance Claims When People are Injured, or Property is Damaged or Stolen
Always keep good notes of your conversations and written exchanges of information with insurance agents and others involved in the process of making a homeowners insurance claim and managing the project of getting the work done. An attorney might need to get involved to file a lawsuit. It might be something as seemingly simple as replacing a tile roof which is out of the ordinary course of most roof replacements so the additional costs and materials might not make sense to a claims adjuster and the matter ends up in litigation, likely settling before anything gets filed with a court of law.
Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Personal Liability and Exposure
An insurance policy is only as good as the company that pays the policy claims. Much to the surprise of some, insurance companies are good at spotting claims they think should be denied. A denial could result from someone doing something that the policy terms do or do not allow.
Liability limits in homeowners’ policies can mean the policyholder is responsible for some or all the claims, personally. Suddenly a statement you might have made to someone else, assuming an insurance company was paying, is now being used against you to get a personal judgment for money. If you spoke first with your injury lawyer, you may be in a better position with less to keep you up at night worrying.
Buy Umbrella Insurance Policies and Use Trusts to Protect Assets
Protecting wealth and assets requires additional insurance coverage and legally owning assets and interests to beat whatever challenges could come. Umbrella coverage is additional insurance to cover claims that exceed the limits of your homeowners’ policy, for example, or pay claims when the first declines. Typical umbrella policies are underwritten for one to five million dollars and are surprisingly affordable.
Trusts protect money and property assets for the benefit of named beneficiaries and shield them from the reach of others. If for example you are sued for a million dollars and your house and assets are owned by a trust, all you possess is the beneficial interest, which cannot be taken by another. Chicago real estate attorney Michael V. Favia can help you with setting up the best trusts to protect your home and money.
Preserving Your Home and Structures with Homeowners Insurance, and Making Claims
Homeowners’ insurance policies cover your home and structures on your property so that damage from hail, fire, flood, tornadoes, and other storms. As well that policy covers most manmade damage. As one insurance company’s television advertisements claim, yes, they covered that, we see how just about anything can happen. Make a claim to protect the asset whenever you can, and that is good advice because it is important to protect the value of an asset by keeping it in good repair and proper function. Therefore, making homeowners claims for hail damage and similar issues around the property like the cracked and raised sidewalk that a tree pushed up, creating a potential risk to others.
Walk the property and inspect for problems and conditions that could cause someone to be injured on your property. Stairs, patios, doors, and railings are all potential hazards leading to common injuries. It is important to keep your home and property in proper condition and it may be a surprise to find out that your homeowners’ liability policy will partially or fully cover a repair. Contact your agent and get familiar with your policy and ask questions. You might even become a more knowledgeable consumer and find a new insurance provider that offers a policy that best suits your needs.