It wouldn’t be in the spirit of Christmas to sue anyone would it? The silly season hopefully refers to our hangovers and bad karaoke rather than the potential of a liability claim with household Christmas displays.
You know the ones, the houses that are lit up like a Christmas tree, and the rest of the Christmas village complete with sleds and reindeers with Santa waving to the passing cars. These have become attractions with literally competitions to be the most electrified household that pulses with a hum. Crowds gather and cars look for somewhere to park and hopefully the household has liability insurance to host this sudden stampede onto their lawn.
So from the insurance perspective, what is your position as the homeowner? This may be further examined by the occupancy if owner occupied, rental property, or even tested these days if occupied as an AIR B’N’B property which is likely over the holiday period, but that’s another article.
The scenario is if someone gets injured or at worst electrocuted. Essentially the property owner or renter should have Public Liability cover and in Christmas lights competitions we have seen this introduction in the terms and conditions of entry. If it’s a commercial venture than this should be rated accordingly but most home policies may allow for a charity donation or a total income under a few hundred dollars without defining it as a business, often it’s a gold coin admission.
Once a member of the public is onsite, the duty of care aspect comes into play and the person must not be put into any unforeseen risk. If the gutter gives way because electric Santa was too heavy on the roof and hits someone on the head, then that was unintentional, however negligence would be allocated and a liability claim possible.
If you do hold a display, then perhaps lock the dog up that may get protective of its yard, and be clear if no-one allowed inside which unfortunately may attract theft. Be specific no touching of the displays and to take care whilst onsite.
Hopefully the worst news is the electricity bill rather than an injury.