Even the most careful, conscientious homeowners can find themselves in trouble when the unexpected happens to a visitor at their home. Think about what would happen if someone were to take an unfortunate spill down the stairs inside your home. Ultimately, you could be held responsible for their medical expenses if you are found to be liable. If a visitor has an accident in your home for which you are not liable, guest medical coverage can help reimburse your visitor for reasonable medical expenses, up to the limits.
Home liability insurance comes into play with these types of accidents and can prevent you from enduring the financial uncertainty that can arise from an unforeseen circumstance. But, there's a lot more that home liability insurance can cover than dog bites and accidental falls. Here's a breakdown of what it often covers and how you can benefit from it.
Home liability insurance often pays reasonable medical bills that are the result of an injury to a visitor that takes place within your home or on your property. With the high cost of health care these days, you can't afford to be burdened with paying the full cost of someone's recovery out of pocket. Even if that person has health benefits, you could be held responsible for the expenses if it's determined that the injury came as a result of your negligence—like if you failed to fix a broken step on your front porch, for example.
Medical bills are one thing, but beyond that lies the possibility that you could be accused of being responsible for any pain and suffering endured by a person who comes to serious injury in your home.
If someone is seriously injured while on your property and that injury results in their inability to return to work, you could be held liable for the wages they lose as a result. The answer to this predicament could be to beef up your liability coverage to help cover this possibility.
Nobody wants to think about the possibility of someone dying in his or her home, but it's something that you can't exclude. The average home liability policy also can cover death benefits to the family of someone who meets an untimely end as the result of an accident in your house or on your property.
Paying a monetary settlement isn't your only worry in the event of an accident. Also consider the financial repercussions of hiring a lawyer, which can be an incredibly costly endeavor even if you're not found liable for damages. When you buy home liability insurance, your insurance company often will cover the cost of hiring an attorney and any other associated legal fees.
Believe it or not, home liability can also cover you for damages that stem from accidents that happen when you're away from home.
Needless to say, there are some exclusions to home liability coverage. Purposefully inflicted injury isn't covered. For example, you may be covered if someone accidentally trips and falls down your stairs—but if it's intentional, it's probably not covered under your policy.
Remember, a home liability policy will only pay up to a set dollar limit. When choosing your home insurance policy, always bear in mind that if the costs exceed your limit, you'll be financially responsible for the difference. With the ever-rising cost of health care and lawyers, it makes sense not to skimp when it comes to home liability insurance.
Published: December 2012