Why should I be concerned about slip and fall accidents?

3 minute read Published on Sep 30, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

Why should I be concerned about slip and fall accidents?

Do you ever stay up at night, unable to sleep because you’re thinking about all the things that could go wrong in your life? What if a meteor crashed through your roof? What if you saw your crush on a bad hair day? Worst of all, what if a slip and fall accident occurred in your home or business? We can’t do anything about a meteor or bad hair day, but if you want to ease your mind about slip and fall accidents, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn more.

All businesses and homeowners should consider what could happen if someone slips and falls on their property. As a property owner or tenant, you have a legal obligation to maintain your premises and ensure anyone on your property is safe or you could be found liable for any injuries.

Slip and fall coverage provides protection in the event that someone slips, falls, or is injured while on your property, and then takes legal action against you. This type of insurance is often included in a broader policy known as general liability insurance.

How can I avoid slip and fall accidents?

Your best protection against slip and fall accidents is to avoid them in the first place. It’s important that you inspect, repair, and document the state of your premises on a regular basis.

Basic preventative maintenance

Check and fix uneven surfaces, such as cracks, as soon as possible to eliminate tripping hazards. Inspect your steps and handrails for damage and mark any potential hazards clearly, to warn people entering your property while under repair. Place warning signs to mark any slippery areas inside and outside your building or home, and remove any spills as soon as possible.

Any debris or items left on the ground, inside or outside your property, may cause slip and fall accidents. Make sure walkways and floors are always clear, and ensure your property has adequate lighting. Consider non-slip flooring and advise visitors to wear appropriate footwear.

Take extra care during the winter months

Remove snow on your property and sidewalks or consider hiring a professional snow removal company to comply with bylaws and maintain safe access to your home or business. Make sure you have enough salt and gravel to keep icy pathways and parking lots safe during the winter season. Some insurance companies require business owners to have a professional snow removal contract in place and to document snow and ice removal. Furthermore, keep an eye on weather forecasts and take pro-active measures to address winter-related risks. Being prepared can decrease the probability of an accident significantly.

What should I do to if a slip and fall accident occurs?

Every business should establish and follow an inspection and maintenance policy. The Government of Ontario provides additional information on how to prevent and handle slip and fall accidents.

If a slip and fall occurs on your property, it’s essential to document the incident. Include details such as the date, time, location, and contributing factors.

To avoid slip and fall accidents, a small repair or brief inspection can save you a lot of time and money down the road.

For homeowners

Keep your property maintained, repair any damaged areas in a timely manner and ensure you have the coverage you need.

  • You could be legally responsible for causing an injury due to poor maintenance or negligence.
  • Liability coverage is included with most personal home insurance policies.
  • Policies have a limit or maximum amount they will pay if you are sued. You can find your liability limit on the declaration page of your policy, for example $1,000,000 to $2,000,000. Ask your broker for advice based on current trends.

For business owners

Keep your property maintained, repair any damaged areas in a timely manner and ensure you have the coverage you need, to protect your business in the event:

  • There is an unsafe condition on your premises.
  • You fail to post warning signs advising of any known hazards.
  • The accident could have been avoided if you had taken precautions.
  • You fail to have written inspection and maintenance procedures in place.

We are here to answer questions and help you navigate slip and fall accidents. Contact your BrokerLink broker to learn more about the types of home or business insurance available, and to ensure your business or homeowner insurance policy has the appropriate amount of coverage.