No one likes to think about getting sued, but accidents happen all the time. That’s why home insurance offers liability protection. It can help pay for legal bills that would otherwise drain your bank account (and then some) when someone is hurt on or because of your property.
Let’s take a look at some common situations your personal liability insurance may cover.
1. When the Dog Bites
We know – your beloved pup wouldn’t hurt a fly! But if the day ever comes that Sparky defends your honor with his teeth, your liability coverage can typically cover the bitten person’s medical bills so long as your policy has an animal liability endorsement. If the injured person sues you over the dog bite, your liability insurance may cover the legal bills, too.
This is especially useful considering the payout for a dog bite averages about $33,230 per claim.
2. When You Have a Pool
As fun as pools are, they are also a big liability exposure. Someone could slip or drown. And when that kind of tragedy strikes, your liability coverage can help you make amends.
But check your policy. Not all insurers cover pool risks. Moreover, some insurers will only cover liability for pool injuries if your negligence was not a factor in the incident. In other words, you may be required to gate and lock the entrance to your pool and keep it well maintained in order for your coverage to protect you. Some insurers will not protect your pool liability if you have a slide or diving board.
Ask your representative about how your coverage applies to your pool to be safe.
3. When Your Kid Hits a Home Run… Through the Neighbor’s Window
This is perhaps the only time you’ll regret your kid’s cannon of an arm, but if a baseball shatters your neighbor’s window, your liability insurance can usually help pay for repairs.
In fact, liability insurance can cover many situations where you inadvertently cause damage to your neighbor’s property. For example, if a fire spreads from your house to your neighbor’s, your liability protection may pay for the damages, too.
4. When Your Guest Takes a Spill
If your guest falls down the stairs because your handrail wasn’t properly installed, your liability insurance can typically help pay for their medical expenses, shielding you from the cost. That may include:
- Surgical expenses
- Dental work
- Ambulance ride
- ER costs
- Professional nursing services
- Prosthetic devices
- Funeral services
But if you were playing around and accidentally pushed your friend down the stairs? Your coverage usually won’t help you out because the situation was avoidable.
Even Personal Liability Insurance Has Its Limitations
As awesome as liability insurance is, it has limitations. For example, your liability coverage doesn’t apply to:
- Tenants and their injuries.
- Injuries caused by your car (that’s a job for your car insurance).
- Dog bites from restricted breeds (unless your policy covers these types of dogs!).
- Injuries that could have been avoided.
- Your own injuries or injuries residents of the home experience (that’s what health insurance is for).
To learn more about your liability coverage, just ask us! We’ll be happy to explain what it can and can’t cover.