Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Personal Injuries?
October 2, 2018 – David Hahn
If you are a homeowner, you know that your homeowners insurance covers most things that can go wrong. However, what if someone gets injured on your property and it’s deemed your responsibility? Does homeowners insurance cover that? Or do you need to buy supplemental coverage to protect your assets?
In this article, we’ll consider what types of personal injuries homeowners insurance covers, and when you may need to get additional coverage.
Personal Injuries Covered by Homeowners Insurance
The majority of homeowners insurance policies cover other people’s personal injuries on your property, such as someone slipping on your sidewalk because it’s icy. Personal injury coverage can be purchased by itself, but most policies include it. However, to be sure, you should always check your policy details.
Personal injury coverage protects you if someone’s injury is your fault and if you damage someone’s property. It also protects you when the injury or damage does not occur inside your property lines, such as if you accidentally bump into someone while jogging on a hiking trail and injure that person.
It’s important to remember that even though these are called personal injuries, homeowners insurance will not cover your medical expenses. In addition, personal injury insurance won’t cover injuries or damages that:
- are intentional, such as keying someone’s car,
- occur inside a vehicle, or
- are caused by another vehicle.
For medical expenses or damages that occur while inside of a vehicle you’ll need different coverage. These are typically covered by your medical and car insurance policies.
When You Need Additional Coverage
Although most homeowners insurance policies cover personal injuries, they usually have a coverage limit. This limit means that if you are sued for a significant amount and your insurance will only cover part of it you may be personally liable for the rest. How can you protect yourself?
First, find out the details of your insurance policy. Homeowners insurance plans that cover personal injuries may have two types of coverage – liability coverage and medical payment coverage.
Medical payment coverage pays for the injured party’s medical bills regardless of whether the homeowner’s negligence caused the injury. Medical payment insurance often has a low limit. So, if the homeowner is found to be responsible due to negligence, the liability coverage can be used after the medical payment coverage is exhausted. Both of these types of insurance have limits for how much they will cover.
Second, fill in the gaps. If you have a lot of financial assets or your coverage limit is too low, you may need to purchase more insurance to protect your assets. You can get an umbrella policy or personal excess liability insurance that will kick in once your homeowners insurance is gone and cover the rest. This kind of extra coverage is relatively cheap compared to what you may lose in a lawsuit.
What to Do After a Personal Injury
If you have been injured by someone’s negligence, you likely have extensive medical costs or may have lost income due to missed work. How can you receive the compensation you need to make up for these unexpected costs?
At Robichaud, Schroepfer & Correia, P.A., we have personal injury lawyers with years of experience. We understand how to help you get the compensation you need. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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