Playgroup Suspended for Lack of Insurance

Hi Readers — All I can say about this is that I can’t stand the way insurance issues insinuate themselves into the way we act and plan as parents, neighbors, humans. It’s fear-based, it’s trust-killing and it makes us think of everyday life as one giant lawsuit about to crush us to smithereens. – L

Dear Free-Range Kids: Have you heard of something like this?  I belong to a mom’s group, which I love.  I don’t think I would have been able to be a stay-at-home-mom without all the amazing friends I’ve made from this group.  We’ve gone on camping trips together, vacations, plus just the day-to-day stuff like meeting up at playgrounds and to play at people’s homes.

Well, apparently when you organize playdates (for lack of a better word), you’re supposed to be covered under some kind of insurance the group has that covers you in case a mom decides to sue you while you are hosting something inside your house.  I guess it’s like an umbrella insurance policy people buy through their home insurance.  For some reason, that insurance is not currently valid and they are working to correct the problem.  However the executive board (we are entirely a volunteer organization, so the executive board is made up of other moms who wanted to step up and help) has recommended that we STOP having home playdates altogether until the insurance has been reinstated.  So all these people have emailed to cancel any home-based event they were going to have, regardless of whether it involves children or not (for example a planning meeting or a mom’s night in).

Because, you know, we are CONSTANTLY suing each other right and left. Just kidding!  I’ve been with the group since 2008 and there has been exactly ZERO times anyone has sued, for anything.  But I digress.

So I signed up to have moms and their kids (well, kids and mom, dad, nanny, grandma, etc., but it’s mostly moms) over to play next week.  And it never even occurred to me to cancel my playdate until I was reading other emails from other moms how they are cancelling their home playdates, moms’ nights, etc.  And what am I to do?  The pressure is to cancel, because you know, now I am totally exposed!

But exposed to what, may I ask?  Without this umbrella insurance, there will  be anarchy?  I just wanted to invite people over who also didn’t have anything to do next Friday morning and we could hang out, drink coffee, let the kids play, it’s a lovely time.  And I wanted to do it at my house.  Basically, I’m lazy.  I want to stay at home.  But I don’t want to be by myself.  :)  So I am hoping that no one says anything to me and I’m just going to have my playdate.  And drink coffee. – An American Mom

Dear American Mom: Wishing you lots of fun and very little litigation. – L


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