Frighteningly true: Liability for child’s actions falls with the parent — even when they’re not around.
Real-World Case Study: Don’t Let this Nightmare Happen
Zack couldn’t believe his luck: Discovering leftover Fourth of July fireworks in the garage just in time for Halloween. He couldn’t wait to tell his best friend, Fletcher.
While their parents were soundly asleep on Halloween night, the inseparable pair snuck out to give the neighborhood a midnight treat.
Suppressing giggles, Zack lit the inaugural bottle rocket — it zoomed off-course and landed underneath their neighbor’s car.
The friends rushed over to try to kick it out, but they were too slow — the car caught on fire in moments and as they looked on in disbelief, the tree in the yard and the home followed.
By the time firefighters were at the scene, extensive damage was already done.
Because of “vicarious parental liability,” Zack’s parents were on the hook for his actions, even though they weren’t present and didn’t know what he was up to.
After their homeowners liability limit was exhausted, their standalone personal umbrella policy covered the rest of the damage.