Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Personal Injury?

(Get all your answers from an expert and find the coverage you need.)

Popular Questions:

Is personal injury covered under standard homeowners insurance policies?
When and how does homeowners insurance cover personal injury?
How much do I have to pay if homeowners insurance does cover personal injury?
If homeowners insurance doesn’t cover personal injury, what will?

Is personal injury covered under standard homeowners insurance policies?

As a new homeowner, I’m curious about what all is covered under my insurance. I frequently have guests over and am often concerned about their safety and the possibility of getting injured while in my home. I’m also concerned about whether I’d have to pay for their medical bills if they did get hurt, or legal fees if they sued me over an injury on my property. Is personal injury covered under standard homeowners insurance policies?

Yes, personal injury is covered under standard homeowners insurance policies in two different categories: medical payments and liability. Medical payments coverage typically comes with a $2,000-$5,000 limit, while liability coverage has a much higher limit, often $100,000-$500,000. The nature of the injury that occurs on your property and its associated fees will determine which category it falls under. We’ll take a closer look at both of these next.

When and how does homeowners insurance cover personal injury?

Homeowners insurance policies protect you from having to pay for personal injury in your home both in the event that you were responsible and are sued for it, and if it was just an accident and you weren’t at fault. Let’s break down both of the main coverage categories further for a better understanding.

Homeowners insurance provides coverage for personal injury in the following categories:

  • Medical payments: This type of coverage applies when someone accidentally injures themselves on your property, such as slipping on your steps or cutting themselves on your sprinkler. If their injury is severe enough to require a doctor’s office or hospital visit, your homeowners policy will cover the fees. Medical payments coverage applies in the event your guest’s injury is an accident and not your fault, and therefore doesn’t result in a lawsuit. Medical payments coverage is designed to handle smaller claims.
  • Liability coverage: If a guest gets injured as a result of activities in your home (or in any fashion that’s considered to be your fault) and decides to pursue a lawsuit, liability coverage will kick in. Maybe your child is playing with your guest’s child and ends up hurting them, or the child falls and injures themselves while out playing in your backyard due to your unsteady swing set. You might also injure your neighbor while you’re out mowing the lawn if your mower kicks up a rock that strikes them.

Homeowners insurance is designed to be neighborly. If your guests or neighbors get injured as a result of your daily activities, you’ll have coverage. Homeowners insurance also provides protection for injuries resulting from accidents in or even away from home. Coverage includes payments for both medical and legal fees resulting from personal injury.

How much do I have to pay if homeowners insurance does cover personal injury?

After paying your deductible, you’ll be responsible for paying any amount exceeding your homeowners policy’s limits in the medical payments or liability category, depending on whether you were legally responsible for the injury. Medical payments limits are often in the low thousands, while liability limits are typically in the hundred thousands. You may choose to purchase additional coverage to increase your limits, however.

You may also opt to purchase an umbrella policy to increase your liability coverage. Umbrella coverage allows you to purchase excess liability insurance up into the millions, and it’s not too expensive to get it. Premiums are often just a couple hundred bucks for the year. The price of coverage may be well worth saving yourself from having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket for an extremely high lawsuit settlement following an expensive injury.

It’s important to consider, though, that homeowners insurance will not cover injuries resulting from business activities. However, it will cover injuries caused by non-work-related incidents, such as if you spill hot coffee on someone during a business meeting in your home. But any injury that occurs due to normal business processes won’t be covered.

If homeowners insurance doesn’t cover personal injury, what will?

You’ll be covered for personal injury, including medical and legal fees, under your homeowners insurance up to your specific policy’s limits. You can work with your independent insurance agent to increase your coverage limits at any time, or add on umbrella coverage if you’re still not sure you have enough under your homeowners policy.

Keep your unique needs and concerns in mind when reviewing your policy with your agent. They’ll be able to help you determine whether you might want to increase your coverage.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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