Homeowners Liability Insurance

What is Personal Liability Insurance?

Personal liability insurance is a component of a homeowners or renters insurance policy. Liability will cover the cost of damages that you or other people covered by your insurance policy are responsible for causing.

The personal liability portion of your policy will also cover the cost of defending a lawsuit if you are sued as well as any resulting judgments coming out of the lawsuit, up to your policy limits. Its main purpose is to protect your assets in the event of an unexpected event for which you are considered liable.

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Personal liability insurance comes in a couple of different types:

* Bodily injury: This type of liability insurance covers your legal responsibility when someone that is injured in or around your home. An example would be someone falling down the stairs in your home or slipping on an icy sidewalk. Bodily injury liability works in conjunction with medical payments (sometimes called guest medical) portion of your homeowners policy. Medical payments helps pay for reasonable and necessary medical expenses of non-residents who are accidentally injured on or around your property. Your personal liability covers when there are claims of negligence that caused the injury or a lawsuit filed due to the incident.

* Property damage: This liability type will cover the cost of damage you do to someone else’s property. As example, your child throws a baseball through the neighbor’s window and it damages an expensive piece of art. Property damage would pay for both the window and the art piece, up to policy limits.

What does my Personal Liability Insurance Cover?

One of the most important components of a homeowners, condo or renters insurance policy is the personal liability section. This coverage provides protection for accidents you are liable for that occur inside or outside your home and result in bodily injury or property damage. Basically, your homeowner insurance personal liability is there to protect your assets in the event someone is injured in your home or due to a mistake or accident that you cause. It can be a financial lifesaver as medical costs can quickly spiral out of control and in our litigious society there is a good chance you will end up being sued.

What is Not Covered?

Homeowners, condo and renters insurance has exclusions, namely being that household members cannot claim against the coverage. For instance, the household exclusion would keep a resident of the home from making a medical claim for slipping on their own icy front porch. Instead, the injured party would need to place a claim with their own health insurance provider for the resulting medical bills. Also, vehicles of your home are not covered by either the personal property or liability portion of a home insurance policy. So, while a neighbor can make a claim if your child throws a baseball and it breaks a window of their vehicle, if it happens to your vehicle, you cannot under your home policy. You could make a claim under your car insurance policy’s comprehensive coverage. Each home policy has its own specific list of exclusions, so read over your policy in its entirety to find what yours are.

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