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Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

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ARCHIVE ARTICLE

Play Area Liability: It’s No Game

Your building has a playroom. You think it’s a nice amenity that will increase your curb appeal. Then little Jackie Larson trips up Georgie Bessolo, and he hits his head on that decorative green rock you have sitting on a table in the room.

Don’t worry. You’re covered. Or are you? Whose idea was the rock? “When setting up a playroom,” advises Barbara Strauss, executive vice president at York International, “your insurance carrier will require maximumsafety features, without any exceptions.”

How much coverage should you get? “For a typical 100-unit building with a playroom, I recommend you carry a minimum of a $100 million umbrella,” Strauss says. That coverage may be folded into your overall insurance for the building, “but if you do that, be sure you alert the insurer that you have exposures,” says Eric McPhee, executive vice president/director of risk management at Orsid Realty. “We have $100 million liability on the co-op itself and that covers everything,” notes Pamela Delorme, president of Delkap, a management firm.

As to what kind of games, toys, or specialty equipment you put in the room, Strauss suggests you talk to your insurance broker or managing agent for specifics: “Since every situation is different, it is of utmost importance to follow your insurance carrier guidelines. Safety is key!”

“You want it to be a safe, clean environment,” says Paul Brensilber, president of Jordan Cooper, a management firm. “This is a congregation point for nannies and kids. Cleanliness is No. 1. Try to limit the eating and drinking.” And don’t leave any pointy rocks lying about.

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