With winter quickly approaching, the temperatures are dropping, snow is falling and sidewalks are getting icy, which means potential slip and fall injuries to your clients or people visiting showings. In these cold months it’s important to be cognizant of risks and know how to better protect yourself against potential claims.

Imagine this, it’s a beautiful morning before an open house, but it dumped with snow last night and the walkways are completely blocked. You quickly grab the snow shovel to clear a path for your guests but when they start to arrive a woman slips on some ice and ends up breaking her arm. What happens now?

As a real estate agent you probably do a lot of things that aren’t really in the job description. As a professional you need to ensure you’ve done your best to mitigate the chance of an injury at an open house or showing. Sometimes this might include shoveling snow for a client before an open house. In the above situation, if the woman decided to seek damages, as the real estate agent, you’ll most likely be named in the suit along with the homeowner.

We recommend that if a client is away for the winter, a separate third party contractor be hired for any necessary snow removal. It’s also important to make sure that they have proper liability insurance in place and are hired by the homeowner directly and the agent. You don’t want to be held liable for their actions or inactions. If they don’t have an insurance policy in place, their liability could fall back onto you.

For more information on winter exposures, contact Lindsay Wills at lwills@toolepeet.com or 403-209-5461.