Recent decision on visiting slipping on a wet household step is a reminder why you need contents insurance.

Garden stone path with grass growing up between the stonesOne of Steve Manning’s early YouTube vlogs (video blogs) explained why it was important for all of us to have contents insurance. He explained it was not just to cover you for the loss of your household contents but to both his and my mind, it is the public and personal liability coverage that you have with the policy, typically $20 million. To view the video please go here.

Just how important this coverage is was brought home to me in the recent Queensland Court of Appeal decision of Silwood v Chandler [2016] QCA 273.

Here a visitor to the defendant’s home slipped on a step which had been washed down that afternoon and not dried. It appears that was no sensor lighting in place and due to the time of night the step and the fact it was wet was not visible to the visitor. The visitor slipped and put their arm through a glass window sustaining a very nasty gash to their arm. The full extent of the injuries I am not sure but they do sound quiet serious.

The home owner argued, without success that some allowance should be made to the award to the fact that the visitor had been drinking. The amount was not disclosed.

The 3 judges involved, Atkinson J, McMurdo P, and Gotterson JA upheld the trial judges decision to award $650,000 to the injured party. Can you image trying to fund that plus the costs of both the first trial and the court of appeal yourself. This is where a few hundred dollars to purchase contents insurance does not sound that bad now does it!

Remember, insurance ain’t insurance, to make sure you have the right coverage to protect you, please speak with an insurance broker.

One response to “Recent decision on visiting slipping on a wet household step is a reminder why you need contents insurance.”

  1. Bradley McAllister says:

    Another great article Allan, and drives home the fact that even a fairly small incident can cause great financial burden.

    Our office were discussing this today and we wondered if it would be more the liability cover afforded with Home Building insurance that would indemnify this event, rather than Contents Insurance; as the incident occurred at the situation which the insured owned?

    Regards,
    Bradley

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