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Journeys : Oct Nov 2010
26 October / November 2010 When the lawyers' letters arrive It's not just house fires and car crashes that require us all to have adequate insurance. What if your dog bites someone or your balcony collapses during a party? RACT Insurance -- the state's largest general insurer -- has seen it all. Legal liability, unfortunately, looms large in almost everything we do, or things that go wrong where we have ultimate responsibility because of our ownership or our actions. Yet it is something we rarely think about until the lawyers' letters start flying. It is good to know that legal liability cover is provided under both your home building and contents insurance, but it is often misunderstood. Legal liability on your building policy covers you for events that happen on your property for which you are liable as the owner-occupier of your home. Your contents policy covers you for events for which you are liable outside your home property but within Australia. Just how easy is it to suffer a legal liability claim requiring support from your insurance cover? Very, according to RACT Insurance. From our files -- legal liability claims: • The simple act of helping out a school group to undertake a clean-up of the school yard ended dramatically when a tree being felled hit some cars, causing significant damage. This resulted in a claim worth over $12,000. The cover provided under an RACT Insurance contents policy ensured our customer was adequately covered and not out of pocket. • Burning off some branches and leaves got out of hand. A fre damaged the next door neighbour's fence and destroyed a stock pile of wood. This led to a claim for damages of nearly $3,000 -- just from doing the weekend gardening chores. You might think these activities have little risk but unfortunately sometimes unforeseen circumstances occur, and it is important to have the appropriate insurance coverage -- not just to protect your property -- but also to cover your potential legal liability. • Your legal liability for someone else’s property is one thing. You must also consider your legal liability for injury to someone else. Sometimes incidents occur in the most unforeseen circumstances. For instance, children skimming rocks on a lake while camping led to a stray rock striking a person in the mouth, which required dental work. The cost of this claim was in excess of $25,000 – not a bill you would want to be footing unexpectedly as a result of a seemingly harmless bit of fun. • Issues relating to personal injury have also been experienced through dog bites and falls from railings on balconies not being secured properly. Although in the minority, when compared to other claims we experience such as storm or bursting pipes, these situations can be most unexpected and if you are not appropriately covered they can have a huge impact. RACT Insurance Tasmanian Youth Portraiture Prize Sponsors' Choice Staff at RACT Insurance, Clemenger Tasmania, GEON and Tasmanian Regional Arts were once again asked to vote for their favourite entry in this year's RACT Insurance Tasmanian Youth Portraiture Prize. Agnieszka Sikorska-Meilkle, from Trevallyn, was the clear winner with her portrait titled 'Happiness', a portrait of her son. Agnieszka wrote the following to accompany her work: Hello, my friend. Guess what? I finally did it. I painted a portrait of my son Kuba. This idea has been with me for a long time, but I never felt ready for it. As you are aware, children change so fast, especially in a mother's eye. After some time and thought, I decided not to paint a traditionally posed, realistic portrait, as that belongs to art history. I wanted to capture his active personality, so I stopped and imagined what Kuba is like. He has this amazing energy that allows him to be everywhere, here one moment, then over there and back here again. My boy smiles at me, takes my hand and leads me to the world of happiness, where we can walk on air without falling down. Delighted and happy. That is how my painting was created. Hope you like it. I wish you to find the happiness too. For more information on the exhibition dates and other fnalists, go to www.typp.com.au
Aug Sep 2010