Published: November 2014
An active social life is important for many people. We enjoy spending time with our loved ones and friends, whether it's at home or elsewhere. However, whenever you invite a guest into your home, there's always a chance that he or she might get injured. It may only take a rumpled rug or a slippery stair for somebody to fall and get hurt. And there's a chance that you, as the homeowner, could be held liable.
If you live in a condo and somebody is injured while visiting you, your condo insurance can help protect you financially. Because in addition to personal property protection (which covers your possessions against theft, fire and other damages), your condo insurance typically includes family liability protection and guest medical protection.
Guest medical protection typically provides coverage for necessary and reasonable medical expenses a guest incurs due to being injured while on your property. This can include things like emergency services, X-rays, surgery and dental work.
Family liability protection generally can help protect you in the event you are found legally responsible for your guests damages to him- or herself, or to his or her property. It also may help cover the legal expenses associated with being sued.
However, even with both these types of coverage in your condo policy, you may still incur some costs. First of all, you may have to meet your deductible. This is a predetermined dollar amount you have to pay per incident or per year before your coverage kicks in. For example, if you have a $500 deductible per incident and your guest has $3,000 in medical bills, you pay $500 and your insurance pays the remaining $2,500.
But there may be limits to your coverage depending on the details of your specific policy. And in cases of severe injury, that could mean your coverage doesn't cover the entire expense. To further protect your liability, you might want to consider purchasing a personal umbrella policy (PUP). This is a separate policy that goes into effect when the limit of your condo insurance coverage is exceeded. The benefits? A PUP helps protect your financial assets, to help reduce the chance that you could lose any of your valuable assets to pay for the expenses you owe.
If your guest is injured in a common area of your building such as a hallway, stairwell, garden or pool, you might not be entirely liable for damages. Since you and the other members of your condominium association likely own those areas collectively, the association's insurance might cover all or part of the expenses. Your insurance provider, together with that of the condominium association and your guest, will likely determine with which organization to file the claim.