You’re a university student, walking down a sidewalk in your neighborhood, your eyes fixed intently on your smartphone screen. You move your phone slowly from side to side, surveying the landscape. “If there’s anything here, I’ll find it,” you think to yourself.
Suddenly, you see something, just ahead and to the left, on the periphery of your screen sensor. You instinctively shift your direction slightly, and slowly close in on the object. You switch to virtual camera mode — and there it is, standing over six-feet tall: a bi-pedal feline. Right in front of the window of a well-landscaped brick ranch home, just standing there like he owns the place. Not believing your luck, you blink and then refocus. Your eyes were not deceiving you. It is indeed one of the rarest (and strongest) of the Pokémon: Mewtwo. You simply must have it! But before you attempt the capture, you’d like to get much closer…
There are, however, some potential problems. The home’s yard is fenced in. On the fence gate is a large sign: “No Trespassing. Beware of Dangerous Dog.” And the Mewtwo appears to be standing in a nicely-manicured flower bed.
Yeah, like any of that is going to keep you from your quarry!
You throw open the unlocked gate and step into the yard, breaking your ankle on a loose cobblestone. Undaunted, you limp purposefully toward the Mewtwo, trampling several expensive flowers and small ornamental shrubs. You fling your Pokéball, and score a direct hit – the Mewtwo is yours! In your ecstasy, you raise your arms in triumph, accidentally letting go of your phone, which flies into and shatters a window on the home.
This awakens the “Dangerous Dog,” a pit bull named Stormy, who jumps out the window at you, trying to defend her turf. You stagger through the open fence gate and escape out into the street, causing the driver of a passing car to swerve and hit a tree, damaging his car and breaking his wrist. The dog has followed you out the gate and, distracted by all the commotion, locates an easier target, and bites a nearby pedestrian on the sidewalk.
Embedded in this hypothetical scenario are lots of risk and insurance issues. Let’s start a Student Central dialogue – please respond by commenting and sharing your thoughts on what kinds of insurance policies might cover which damages and injuries.
In a week or two, I’ll come back with a second post, summarizing my own view of some of the scenario’s risk and insurance implications – and perhaps highlighting some of your more perceptive comments!