Ever wondered what would happen if someone got hurt at your house? It’s a question we get asked a lot, so I wanted to take a moment and share what we share with our clients when we’re reviewing coverage limits at the time we put a new policy in place, or when we discuss their existing policy when they call in.
Injury on Your Property
If someone is injured on your property, your homeowner’s personal liability insurance helps pay for medical bills and other potential costs. First, let’s talk about the Medical Payment limits available on your home policy.
Coverage typically ranges from $1,000 to $5,000 (you pick that amount up front), and it covers injuries even if it’s not your fault. You can look at this as good-neighbor coverage, an example being a kid who comes running through your yard uninvited, trips over his own two feet, and breaks his leg.
However, if the injury resulted from your neglect – meaning you left something out in the yard, and you were proven to be legally liable – this is where the liability portion of your home policy would kick in to protect you and your family.
While costs can vary depending on the amount of coverage you’re looking for, remember it costs very little to get a lot more coverage. That’s why it’s best to connect with us and discuss policy amounts and limits — ensuring you have the proper limits for your unique needs.
Your Children and Others
Let’s say your children are playing backyard baseball, and they accidentally hit a ball through your neighbor’s window. When accidental damage occurs to someone else’s property by a member of your household, the liability portion of your homeowner’s insurance helps protect you against costs from the accident.
Whether you’re out walking your dog or playing in your yard, the liability portion of your homeowner’s insurance policy will typically help protect you if your dog bites a person or another animal. Remember, not all dogs meet the criteria to be included under this coverage with some companies, so double-check with us to ensure your dog is included in your coverage. While some companies have a dog exclusions list, others will cover any dog regardless of breed, just as long as there is no prior bite history.
Liability coverage may help pay for medical bills that result from a visitor’s accidental injury in your home — and help prevent you from paying those costs out of pocket. Even if a person has health benefits, you could be held responsible for the expenses if it’s determined the injury happened due to your negligence — like if you failed to fix a broken porch step or accidentally knocked someone down the stairs at a Colts game, on a cruise, or while exploring the ruins of Greece.
If someone is injured while on your property, and that injury results in their inability to return to work, you may be legally liable for their lost wages. Liability coverage may help prevent you from paying out of pocket in a situation like this.
You may need a lawyer if you’re sued following an accident in your home or away from home. Liability coverage may help cover your legal expenses, regardless of whether you’re found responsible for damages. For instance, if you accidentally cause damage to someone’s building, this coverage may help protect you if the person or business seeks reimbursement.
Items Liability Doesn’t Cover
Even if you have excellent insurance, there are still a few exclusions to home liability coverage.
Purposefully inflicted injury typically isn’t covered. For example, you may be covered if someone accidentally trips and falls down your stairs — but if you or a family member intentionally push someone down the stairs, insurance probably wouldn’t cover you.
Liability insurance isn’t the same as health insurance for your family. If you or a family member are injured in your home, your liability coverage won’t cover the resulting medical bills — that’s what your health insurance is for.
Choose Your Coverage Limits Wisely
When choosing your homeowner’s insurance policy, remember that if a liability judgment exceeds your coverage limit, you might be financially responsible through wage garnishment or the sale of personal property. An optional coverage we regularly recommend [an umbrella policy] may help provide you with greater liability protection beyond the typical limits of a homeowners policy.
Call us @ 317-867-5433 for more information!