Vacation Property Trashed by Your Teen? What to Do Next

by Deborah.Nguyen on August 20, 2013

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In 2012, teenagers flocked to see the movie “Project X,” which tells the story about a teenager who reluctantly throws a party at his house while his parents are away for the weekend. The teen and his two friends throw the party, hoping to become more popular among the other high school students. The party gets out of control. The police are called and let’s just say the party ends up being every parent’s worse nightmare.

Since the movie was released, teenagers across the country have copied the antics of the characters in the movie. These parties spiral out of control primarily because drug and alcohol use was involved. Teenagers in a substance-induced state might destroy furniture, trash rooms, and even cause fires at their parents’ home or vacation homes.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Vacation homes seem to be the home of choice for teenagers to host their parties. Recourse is available for parents whose vacation home is damaged after an out-of-control party hosted by their teens.

The first call for parents to make is to their homeowners insurance company. In most cases, a policy for a primary residence extends to a secondary residence, such as a vacation home.

The most important part of the policy to check is the liability coverage, which usually extends from the primary residence to the vacation home. If not, it’s advisable to purchase additional liability insurance for the vacation home. Liability insurance will cover you in the event that a teenager was injured during the party and that teen’s parents hold you responsible. Those parents can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against you.

For the most part, your homeowner’s insurance policy should cover your damages should you file a claim. However, if it’s discovered after an investigation that your teenager helped to cause the damage or in any way contributed to someone’s injury, your insurance company may have reservations about compensating you. The situation gets stickier if police were called and teenagers were arrested, including your teenager, for minors being in possession of alcohol or drugs. Your insurance company will also take this into consideration.

So, whether an insurance company will pay you will depend on the circumstances surrounding the party. In the meantime, you will have to deal with the actions of your teenager.

Get Help For Your Teen

If your teenager was arrested and charged with a juvenile criminal offense of drug or alcohol possession by a minor, immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorney will talk with you and your teen about the legal options that your teen has under the law. You can find out more about juvenile law at http://www.devorelawoffice.com.

It’s also possible that you were not aware of your teen’s drug or alcohol use and the friends with whom your teen associated. To prevent any bad behavior in the future or substance abuse, you may want to enroll your child in a substance abuse rehabilitation program or consider going to family counseling. You should also strongly express your utter disappointment in your teen’s behavior and he or she will have to face serious consequences because of the damages done by the party-goers to the vacation home.

Taking swift action to get help for your troubled teenager and setting up consequences for what happened, may prevent another “Project X”-style situation from occurring at your home.

Debbie Nguyen is a blogger with two teen boys. She considers herself lucky that she has not had to retain legal services to get either of them out of trouble.

Deborah.Nguyen

Deborah.Nguyen

Debbie is a blogger, graphic and product designer, compulsive reader, writer, knitter, and chef.

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