What is legal responsibility?
January 26, 2009 2:33 PM   Subscribe

What is covered by 'legal responsibility' in relation to a home insurance policy (in the UK)?

When we went away on holiday, my wife left her engagement ring with her parents (for safe keeping). Unfortunately, they were burgled while we were away and the ring was stolen. The insurance policy only covers the ring if her parents were 'legally responsible' for the ring when it was left in their safe keeping. Does anyone know if this is the case?
posted by daveg to Law & Government (2 answers total)
I think the legal term you are looking for is "bailment"; it might help with the Googling. Anyway, I am pretty sure the answer is "yes, they were legally responsible," based on my weak non-lawyer's understanding of the situation, but you could try calling the insurance company anonymously and asking.
posted by phoenixy at 2:59 PM on January 26, 2009

Best answer: OK, since nobody else posted who knows better I'll follow up...basically the idea behind bailment is that you're giving something to somebody temporarily, in this case for them to take care of it. It's their responsibility. It's the same legal principle that lets you sue the dry cleaner when they ruin your pants. The case where this wouldn't be covered by insurance would be if your wife dropped the ring on her parents' lawn, and then somebody stole it, the parents would have no legal responsibility because they didn't know they were supposed to take care of the ring and did not accept responsibility for it. In this case, they clearly did, so they are legally responsible.
posted by phoenixy at 8:30 AM on January 27, 2009

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