Your home insurance does a lot more than just fix your house if Mother Nature sends a disaster your way or you have a fire. It can also protect you financially with personal liability coverage – it’s a part of what your home insurance covers. We’ll explain how personal liability coverage works and how it can provide a safeguard around your bank account.
What is the personal liability insurance coverage section of my policy?
Personal liability insurance will protect you if you (or a member of your family who’s covered under the policy) are found legally responsible for causing someone bodily injury or property damage. For example, if a guest tripped while walking down your driveway, you could end up shouldering the legal blame. You could end up facing a lawsuit, and that lawsuit can become very expensive very quickly – expensive enough to threaten your assets and even your future wages.
What does personal liability insurance cover?
No-fault Medical Payments.
Medical bills aren’t cheap. If someone gets hurt on your property, they’ll need to get the care they need. There could be a medical payments coverage included in your liability insurance, which allows the injured person’s medical bills to be paid without the ado of a lawsuit.
Should the person who got hurt on your property decide they’re in a litigious mood, they might sue you. Which means you’d need a lawyer. Liability insurance could cover the legal costs – which add up very quickly. Whether or not you’re guilty of what you’re being accused of, you still need that lawyer. And you need to pay them. Jury awards or settlements from a lawsuit can also be very, very expensive, but the liability section of your home insurance would help you out.
If you’re responsible for accidentally causing property damage to another person, your home insurance can help you cover the costs of a lawsuit (if one happens) or repairing or replacing the property that was destroyed. So, if your kid accidentally smashes your neighbor’s priceless, rare vase, you could get some help from your home insurance.
How much liability insurance is included in my home insurance?
Many home insurance policies offer $100,000 of liability insurance, but you can increase those limits. ($100,000 is often the minimum amount you can get.)
It’s important to check your limits of insurance to see how much liability coverage you have. If your current limit isn’t high enough, you can talk to your agent about raising it. You can also consider getting a personal umbrella insurance policy to really boost your liability coverage. (A personal umbrella policy sits on top of your existing liability coverage to provide additional coverage.)
Can personal liability insurance cover me if my dog bites someone?
Well, it could, yes. But it’s really important that you talk to your insurance agent about your dog and check to see what your policy says about dog bites. It’s better to know exactly what’s covered than to think something’s covered…only to find out it’s not. Dogs and home insurance don’t always mix.
Some insurance companies are leery of insuring homeowners who have dogs of certain breeds (like Pitbulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, or bulldogs) because of their history of aggression. Some carriers won’t even offer coverage to those who own certain breeds.
Anyways, it’s not impossible to get insurance if you have a dog or to get home insurance that will cover dog bites, but take care to understand how your insurance would handle a dog-bite situation.
So, that’s a brief look at how personal liability insurance can protect your finances. It’s easy to get caught up with the coverage for the house and for personal belongings, but it’s important not to overlook the liability portion of your policy. Don’t underestimate how expensive lawsuits can be!
If you’re looking to get quotes for home insurance, our team can help. We’ll shop for your insurance so you can get great coverage at a great rate. To get started with your quotes, fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.