Year after year, slips, trips, and falls remain the number-one insurance claim for property owners. More than three million people visit the emergency room each year because of falls, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The average hospital visit costs $30,000 to $50,000. Add in factors like ongoing medical bills and lost wages, and the cost of claims mount. Serious slip-and-fall losses, in fact, have plagued the habitational and hospitality sectors, with negligent awards running into the millions. Yet most if not all of these claims are preventable.
How to Prevent Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Each year, it’s important for property owners in the multi-family sector and hospitality industry and those managing community associations to help reduce the potential for slip-and-fall accidents. Distinguished provides a Slip, Trip and Falls Inspection Form your insureds are welcome to use to assess their business and property risks.
Slip-and-fall accidents occur in both public and private areas used by guests, staff and residents. Have your insureds take a look at the big picture of the facility to identify key areas to address:
Flooring—Assess the Smooth Surfaces and Carpeted Areas
- Check for common indoor trip hazards: Any flooring/tiles/carpet/steps/paths in need of repair? A simple fix can go a long way in safeguarding against accidents.
- Make sure indoor and outdoor surfaces remain dry and free of debris at all times.
Stairs—Exterior and Interior
- Evaluate the treads for wear and tear.
- Check handrails.
- Lighting: Adequate lighting prevents unnecessary accidents.
Sidewalks and Parking Areas
- During winter, snow and ice removal should be a top priority. During other seasons, making sure the sidewalks and parking areas are free of cracks, holes, and breaks should be an ongoing assessment.
Bathrooms and Pool Areas
- Due to the presence of water and the potential for serious damage, it’s important to beef up measures in bathrooms and pool areas. In the pool area, make sure there are non-slip surfaces, mats, and regular maintenance so floors do not remain wet.
- Share with your insureds our tips specific to the bathroom area with easy-to-implement fixes.
- Make sure the staff has non-slip footwear.
- Assess equipment to make sure it’s in good working order.
In addition to mitigating risk through ongoing site inspections, make sure your insured’s policy is adequate. While making sure spaces are as safe as possible is the first line of defense, accidents still do happen. That’s when having the right insurance package comes in, including a comprehensive Umbrella policy that offers additional protection, which you can tailor to each client’s specific needs.
When Someone Slips and Falls at a Commercial/Multi-Family Property
Imagine while a service provider is conducting a routine service he slips on ice on the path in front of the property and ends up with long-term medical issues. For protection from such an occurrence, Distinguished’s Real Estate Umbrella program is available with high liability limits for both commercial and residential property. With limits from $1 million to up to $275 million, coverage is available for a broad range of properties, including condos, apartments, office buildings, strip malls, and warehouses.
A Trip at a Hotel or Restaurant Results in an Injury
A restaurant’s patron trips on a mat that was buckled and needs to go to the ER to assess a related injury from breaking a glass that cut his arm. Both our Restaurant Umbrella and Hotel Umbrella policies offer peace of mind when and if a claim is submitted. Our specialty division is the longest running in the U.S. and insures more than 300,000 national hotels.
Keep HOAs Safer for Every Resident
A visitor falls down the stairs at a shared space in a condo complex, which results in a costly negligence lawsuit that alleges the stairs were not illuminated properly. For co-ops, timeshares, planned unit developments, or traditional homeowners or condo associations, you can find the right Umbrella coverage for your insured to protect against such lawsuits. Umbrella limits are available from $1 million to $170 million.
Distinguished is available to discuss each of our Umbrella policies and we can help you address your clients’ liability exposures.