Hosting an outdoor event? Consider liability exposure 1st - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

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Hosting an outdoor event? Consider liability exposure 1st

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John Candaso

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Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 4:00 pm

From a petting zoo in your backyard to a bounce house at your neighborhood park, celebrations of all kinds this time of year are held outdoors to take advantage of Arizona’s spring weather.

Unfortunately, these events can easily expose homeowners to liability risks that could have devastating financial repercussions.

Before hosting your next gathering, keep the following in mind in order to better protect your assets:

• Location, location, location. Consumers have greater liability when hosting an event at home or at a park as opposed to a third-party location, which adds a layer of liability protection between the event and event host.

• Check commercial limits. If you are hiring entertainment or amusement, ensure vendors have adequate commercial liability insurance coverage. This information can and should be requested in advance of the event taking place. If a vendor does not have or cannot provide this proof, beware — as this is going to make your assets easier to get to. Instead, opt for a company that can provide this information.

• Check personal limits. The amount of liability coverage consumers need varies from person to person. In fact, you may even consider adding an umbrella policy. Added coverage may cost more, but it’s money well spent. The best way to find out how much coverage you need is to consult a licensed insurance agent, especially before hosting any type of event.

• Make safety a priority. Having adequate coverage is just the first step. Party hosts should always make guest safety a priority. In the case of a bounce house, for example, it’s imperative to ensure the bounce house is properly anchored and always supervised.

When it comes to liability coverage, you’re essentially drawing a line in the sand that shows what someone has to cross to get to your personal assets. The further away that line is, the more peace of mind you have!

John Candaso is an Ahwatukee resident and licensed insurance sales agent with AAA Arizona. He has more than 20 years of industry experience and can be reached at jcandaso@arizona.aaa.com.

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