Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Personal Injury Claims?
Homeowners insurance is a form of property insurance that provides coverage for damages and losses to an individual’s house and assets within the home. With homeowners insurance, you may pay to repair your property or replace belongings that are damaged by theft, fire, or other perils. What many people do not know is that homeowners insurance may also cover personal injury claims in some circumstances. Personal liability coverage is a standard component of most homeowners insurance policies and may prevent you from paying out of pocket in the event of an accident or injury. Learn more about how homeowners insurance may cover personal injury claims.
What Is Homeowners Liability Insurance?
Homeowners liability insurance is a common component of most homeowners insurance policies. This section of the policy describes the amount of coverage provided for bodily injury or property damage that occurs to others on your property. In some instances, this liability insurance will also cover negligent acts of family members in the household. In the event that someone is injured on your property, they could sue you for damages that may include lost income, hospital fees, and pain and suffering. Your homeowners insurance should cover these costs and prevent you from having to pay out of pocket.
What Does Homeowners Liability Insurance Cover?
Personal injury claims can very quickly add up when you consider the costs of legal fees, medical bills, and associated fees. If you have personal liability coverage included in your homeowners insurance policy, you may be able to avoid paying the high out-of-pocket costs of such incidents. Personal liability insurance is designed to cover the costs of any medical bills, as well as the cost of any legal defense fees up to the limit of your liability coverage. In some instances, personal liability coverage may also cover incidents that occur outside of your property.
Under a basic homeowners insurance policy, your personal liability coverage may protect you in a variety of circumstances, such as:
- Personal injuries to an individual
- Lawsuits that occur due to an accident
- Property damage caused by negligence
In some instances, homeowners liability insurance may not meet your coverage needs. If you are at a higher risk of personal injuries in or around your home, you may want to consider acquiring an additional layer of personal liability protection. Personal umbrella liability insurance is one way to cover the additional costs of a serious accident that occurs on your property if the cost exceeds the limits of your basic liability coverage.
How Much Does Homeowners Liability Insurance Cost?
The cost of liability insurance will vary depending on your carrier and the amount of homeowners insurance you want. On average, liability limits typically start at around $100,000. After talking to your insurance carrier, you may decide that you want to purchase a higher level of protection. This may be necessary if you own significant or costly assets and want a higher level of coverage than what is typically offered with your homeowners insurance.
You will also want to find out if your homeowners insurance policy includes no-fault medical coverage. This type of insurance coverage will provide you with protection in the event that a neighbor or friend is injured in your home. When this occurs, the injured party can simply submit their medical bills directly to your insurance company, where they will be promptly paid (within the limits of coverage) without having a liability claim filed against you. However, no-fault medical coverage does not protect you in all situations. If a member of your own family or a pet is injured in your home, their medical bills will not be covered.
How Much Homeowners Liability Insurance Do I Need?
The answer to this question is different for everyone. However, you will want to have sufficient liability insurance to protect your assets. While most homeowners policies provide a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability insurance, this is not enough for all homeowners. It is often recommended that homeowners purchase between $300,000 and $500,000 worth of liability insurance coverage for peace of mind. If you own properties or have extensive savings or investments, it is worth the extra cost to increase the amount of protection that your homeowners liability insurance provides.
When considering how much homeowners liability insurance you need, you should think about the possible scenarios in which you may need coverage. For example, if you are a pet owner, know that a dog is a common source of personal liability claims. If your dog happens to bite someone, you may be liable for any expenses that stem from the incident, such as medical expenses, injuries, and pain and suffering. If you regularly have neighbors or friends that visit your home, you may also want liability insurance to protect you against expensive medical bills that may occur if someone is injured.
What Happens When Injuries Are Not Covered?
There may be situations in which personal injuries are not covered under your homeowners insurance policy. For example, homeowners insurance does not cover intentional acts in which you purposely damage property or injure another person. For example, your policy will not cover vandalism, assault and battery, or sexual harassment. However, homeowners liability insurance will usually cover you or your family’s negligent behavior both at and away from home. For example, your policy may cover a situation in which your child runs into an elderly woman at a store, causing her to fall.
If you are facing a lawsuit caused by a personal injury that occurred on your property, you may be worried about the repercussions. If your homeowners insurance does not pay for the incident, you may be stuck with a hefty bill. When this happens, it is a good idea to consult an attorney as soon as possible. Remember, you only have a certain amount of time to respond to a complaint. Getting the professional advice of a lawyer can help ensure that you make the right decisions going forward. For more information, contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney at The Dixon Firm today.