What Kind Of Liability Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
When you buy home insurance, it usually includes liability coverage as well. Liability coverage is designed to keep you from losing your house to a lawsuit. Here are some of the things that home insurance does and doesn’t cover.
What Liability Home Insurance Covers
Home insurance generally covers the following types of incidents. Always check your exact policy to see which types of coverage you have.
- Slip and Falls: If you have a public sidewalk that you’re responsible for maintaining, you may be responsible if someone slips and falls on ice, sidewalk cracks, or anything else.
- Dog Bites: If your dog bites someone, your home insurance policy would usually be your first line of defense.
- Injuries to Workers: If someone was injured while working for you, such as by tripping on a rake you left in your yard, they may be able to sue you for negligence. If you were found at-fault, you may need to reimburse either the worker or their insurance company. This is similar to how a car accident claim would be settled.
- Food Poisoning: If you have a cooking mishap, your guests might be able to sue you for their medical bills and any time they were kept away from work.
- Yard and Construction Work: If debris or falling objects strike someone while you or a contractor are doing maintenance, you may be liable for not maintaining a safe environment for passersby. Even if a hired contractor is deemed responsible, the injured person could still choose to sue you — leading to you having to recover from the contractor.
What Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover
Home insurance generally doesn’t cover the following types of incidents. Again, check your specific policy for specific details.
- Business Activities: Business activities of any type, including small side gigs, are generally excluded from coverage. You’d need a business insurance policy for coverage.
- Auto Accidents: Home insurance generally doesn’t provide excess coverage on top of your car insurance liability limits. You’d typically need to either increase your auto limits or buy an umbrella policy for coverage here.
- Injuries to Members of the Same Household: Most injuries to members of your household are generally excluded. This restriction is in place to prevent insurance fraud. It’s also there because you probably already have medical insurance that applies for this situation. Your home insurance liability coverage, on the other hand, is there to protect you against lawsuits by others — not to cover all accidents.