Injuries And Homeowners Insurance

Posted on: 15 March 2016

If a person is injured on your property and you hear from their team of personal injury lawyers as a result, you might be feeling a little nervous. But relax -- in most cases your homeowners insurance will cover you.

Third party claims like these, in which another person's lawyers seek compensation from your insurance company, are usually covered by your homeowners insurance. It will cover the injured person's medical bills up to the limit of your policy. As the homeowner, you're responsible for any money owed beyond the limit of your policy, but in most cases that would have to be a pretty significant -- and thankfully rare -- injury.

If the injured party's personal injury lawyers claim negligence on your part, then liability insurance kicks in. Liability insurance will cover things like lost wages or other things a personal injury lawyer claims. Sure, most injuries that happen on your property are accidents. Maybe a gust of wind blew a tile off your roof and it hit someone. Or maybe someone slipped and fell on a patch of ice on your porch steps.

In these cases, however, a judge can say that not making sure your roof tiles were secure or not de-icing your steps were negligent behaviors. And if this is found to be the case, your liability policy will cover the injuries. If a guest in your home spills a glass of water, decides not to wipe it up and then it makes him slip, he can't say your behavior was negligent. Be aware that some states have dog bite laws that say if your dog bites someone, they don't have to prove negligence on your part for your liability insurance to kick in. 

Sometimes, people can make a claim on your homeowners insurance if they aren't on your property. For example, if you serve an alcoholic drink to a minor or someone who's already had too much to drink, and that person drives drunk from your home and injures someone else, you might be liable for those injuries. If your wayward nephew sneaks a flask into your anniversary party, however, and then he injures someone with his car, you likely wouldn't be on the hook for that.

There are cases in which your policy won't cover the injured party's costs at all, and you'll be held entirely responsible. For example, if you deliberately injure someone at your home, you won't be covered. So don't punch your friends!

Bottom line? Read your policy carefully and make sure your property is maintained well so it's safe. Insurance companies never like to have claims made against them, so keep your insurance company happy by keeping your home safe and notifying guests of risks.