As COVID-19 restrictions around public and private gatherings ease, the prospect of seeing friends and loved ones can be exciting. If you’re considering opening your home to people outside your social circle, take a risk-based approach and understand the implications and exposure to risk that may occur and not be covered under your personal insurance policies.

Hosting an event

When hosting an event, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of those who attend, no matter how large or small the event. The Government of Canada has provided some guidance on proper measures to take.

Precautions you should consider include taking actions to prevent transmission between people, seeing if modifications can be made to your venue to make it a safer environment, and clearly communicating all safety protocols to your guests before their arrival. You should also confirm that you are adhering to any provincial or municipal mandates on the size of your gathering. Cancelling a planned event should always be considered as an option, especially with non-essential functions or when precautions cannot be implemented or adequately communicated.

It’s essential to be aware that a standard Personal Homeowners policy will likely not cover you if you are faced with legal action for the transmission of COVID-19 during an event in your home. In a Personal Homeowners policy, the transmission of any communicable disease, including Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, by any person listed on the policy is excluded from coverage. There is no coverage for personal injury or property damage resulting from any illness, sickness, or disease transmitted intentionally or unintentionally by a covered person to anyone, or any consequence resulting from that illness, sickness, or disease. There is also no coverage for any damages or personal injury resulting from the fear of contracting any sickness, illness, or disease, or any consequence resulting from the fear of contracting any illness, sickness, or disease.

Pandemic learning pods

Schools across the country are preparing to re-open, but many Canadians are considering alternative approaches to educating their children this fall due to COVID-19 concerns. An option that’s gaining popularity is “pandemic pods,” where small groups of children (usually from multiple families) meet at one home for schooling. If you are planning on taking part in an arrangement like this, it’s essential to understand the liability risks before doing so.

A standard Personal Homeowners policy will likely not cover you if you are faced with legal action for the transmission of COVID-19 as host of a learning pod.

Visiting other people’s homes

When attending an event or visiting the home of someone else, it’s important to follow the guidelines set out by your local provincial and municipal governments. As COVID-19 can be spread through close contact, practice physical distancing wherever you can, and wear a mask or face covering in situations where distancing isn’t possible. Do not attend any events if you are feeling ill. Self-isolate until you feel well again and get tested if you think you may have contracted the virus or are exhibiting symptoms.

We’re in this together

Whether you are attending an event, participating in a homeschooling arrangement, or hosting guests in your home, everyone has a responsibility to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. By taking the proper precautions and understanding your risks, everyone can socialize safely.

If you have questions about your home insurance coverage or would like to know more, contact your Cowan consultant today.