Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Personal Injury?

Posted September 13th, 2017 by Alexa Goyette

Being a homeowner involves a substantial amount of responsibility, in both maintaining a well-run household and keeping up with the costs. Homeowners insurance is a particularly important investment many homeowners are required to purchase – and one that all homeowners should purchase. Protecting your home against unfortunate weather is just as financially crucial as being covered in the case of personal injuries and liabilities. Especially if you have high risk objects in your home, like a swimming pool, dog, or trampoline, receiving proper homeowners coverage is imperative.

Liability insurance is a portion of your homeowners insurance policy that protects you from any lawsuits resulting from injuries on your property. If someone gets injured in your home and decides to sue you, your homeowners insurance policy will step in and assist you with these costs if you have liability coverage. These costs range from hospital bills to lost income to attorneys. Without liability coverage, these losses can add up.

What It Covers

Your liability insurance will cover any “personal injuries” that happen to people on your property. The people covered by this form of insurance do not live in your home. If your spouse or child gets injured on your premises, your health insurance – not your home insurance – must cover his or her bodily damages.


When It Covers, and When It Doesn’t

Your liability insurance protection does not cover all injuries that occur among non-members of your household on your property. Your liability insurance will protect against any injuries that occur in your home as a result of negligence on your part. For instance, if your dog bites a neighbor or someone trips on a protruding floorboard you haven’t gotten fixed, you should contact your homeowners insurer as soon as possible to report the injury. The longer you wait, the less likely you will be to challenge a claim the other party may put forward.

As is the case in most homeowners insurance policies, any incident that occurs in your car will not be covered. If you back into somebody while pulling out of your driveway, this would need to be covered by your auto insurance, not your homeowners insurance. If you have bodily liability injury protection or personal injury protection as a component of your auto insurance, you should be covered.

Your homeowners insurance will also only cover injuries that occur by accident. If you get into a physical altercation with someone on your property, your homeowners insurance will not cover any injuries he or she experiences.


Why It’s Important

This component of homeowners insurance could potentially save you astronomical amounts of money. According to a report by the Court Statistics Project, the average premises liability lawsuit costs approximate $54,000. While these costs depend on the severity of the circumstances, even a lawsuit resulting from minor injuries can set you back financially.

Having liability insurance is important, but so is having enough coverage. When purchasing liability insurance, you want to match the amount to your net worth in order to protect your assets. If you only have $200,000 of coverage and you are being sued for $300,000, your assets will be at risk in order to compensate the other party for the remaining $100,000. If you have a net worth of $500,000, it’s best to get $500,000 of coverage.

Preparing yourself for unpleasant circumstances is not an enjoyable part of being a homeowner, but it’s one of the most important parts. The surefire way to keep your funds and assets safe is to protect them through an adequate homeowners insurance policy, which includes adding on liability protection.