As a responsible homeowner, you have to protect not only your home’s structure, but also the people inside of it, which can include guests or even hired professionals. So what happens if you’ve hired an electrician to do some rewiring around the house, but they trip on their way to the door and break an arm? Who’s responsible for this mess, anyway?
Luckily, an independent insurance agent can not only answer this question for you, but also help you get set up with the proper coverage. Independent insurance agents are experienced in handling all kinds of claims, so they know exactly what kind of protection you need, and they’ll get you covered long before you ever need to file a claim. Here’s how they’d help you get coverage against a hired electrician getting injured on your property.
Who’s Responsible if an Electrician Gets Injured in My House?
As the homeowner, you would be held responsible for any and all third-party injuries that occur within your house or on your property. As with all catastrophes of this nature, there’s always an option to handle the matter civilly, without hiring lawyers or going to court. However, if the electrician decided to sue you and stated that your floors were particularly dangerous, that’s when you’d have to rely on your homeowners coverage to protect you from an ugly legal battle.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Though certain perils like property damage might be more blatant, really home insurance provides a lot of important coverage. Homeowners insurance is designed to protect all aspects of the home and its inhabitants or guests, not just the structure itself. If your home is particularly valuable or complex you may need extra coverage. Otherwise, there are four major areas where standard homeowners insurance offers crucial protection:
- Structural damage: This covers what’s known as the “dwelling,” or structure of the home. Damage to or destruction of the dwelling by covered perils such as certain natural disasters or fire falls under this category. Coverage often extends to detached structures such as sheds as well.
- Personal property damage: This covers personal belongings like clothing, electronics, knickknacks, furniture, etc., from perils such as fire or theft. Items stored within the home as well as external storage units are covered, though property stored off-premises often has a much lower coverage limit.
- Additional living expenses: This covers extra costs in the event your home gets badly damaged or destroyed and you’re forced to live elsewhere while awaiting repairs. Reimbursement for things like hotel rooms, eating out, extra gas mileage, and more is covered. Additional living expenses makes up the difference in spending to maintain your normal lifestyle while living away from the home.
- Liability: This covers legal expenses such as attorney and court fees in the event you are sued for bodily injury or property damage to a third party. Settlements you’re ordered to pay if you lose the case are covered as well. Coverage extends to all members of the family living within the home, including pets. Many incidents that occur away from the home are also covered.
Work together with your independent insurance agent to get your home set up with all the important coverage it needs before you ever even have to think about filing a claim.
How Would Liability Coverage Protect Me from this Disaster?
Say the electrician who tripped, fell, and broke their arm in your hallway was really upset and chose to start a court case against you. Your homeowners insurance would respond to the claim and reimburse you for legal and court fees, including paying your attorney and any settlements you may be responsible for if you’re found guilty. The electrician would also rely on their own liability coverage to hire their attorney.
Even if you don’t think your floor is particularly slippery or dangerous, it’s still important to have adequate liability coverage to protect yourself against third-party injuries. You may not be found guilty in court for the electrician’s injury, but it’s still worthwhile to be covered all the same. As long as you didn’t intentionally injure the electrician or anyone else who visits your home, your homeowners policy would help protect you in case of an accident.
Is Umbrella Insurance a Good Idea?
Well, it’s really never a bad idea to have umbrella coverage, but it may not be necessary in this particular scenario. Umbrella policies basically stack on top of homeowners insurance to extend its built-in liability coverage limits. Umbrella policies often come with limits of $1 million in liability coverage, though higher amounts such as $5 or $10 million can be purchased as well. Premiums for umbrella insurance tend to be very affordable too.
Common Scenarios Worth Considering Umbrella Coverage For
Hired help injuries are among the most common risks homeowners face, but they’re also far from being their only potentially huge expense. Here are a few other of the most common pricey lawsuits against homeowners that could really benefit from umbrella coverage:
- Dog bites: Dog bites are among the most common and costly risks homeowners have to prepare for, especially since settlements for dog bite injuries average $30,000.
- Icy sidewalk injuries: Though not all homeowners are legally required to maintain their sidewalk based on local ordinances, injuries on icy sidewalks are a common case filed against homeowners.
- Fallen trees: If a tree on your property falls and damages your neighbor’s home, the resulting damages could easily reach into the ten-thousands.
- Hired help injuries: In the event a domestic worker, such as a maid, gardener, or even an electrician, is injured on your property due to your failure to maintain a safe premises, the resulting lawsuit and medical payments required could get expensive, fast.
- Intoxicated guests: When you throw a party and it gets a little out of hand, you as the homeowner are still held responsible for any property damage or bodily injuries an intoxicated guest causes to other guests.
Umbrella insurance is designed with just these kinds of crazy scenarios in mind. Make sure to talk to your independent insurance agent about getting set up with all the coverage you need to protect yourself from obscure and costly catastrophes.
What if I, or the Electrician, Don’t Have Insurance?
If both of you are lacking liability coverage, you might be forced to settle matters privately. Without adequate liability coverage, hiring a lawyer out of your own pocket can be extremely expensive. Not to mention any settlements ordered to be paid by the court ruling could get really pricey too.
Even if your electrician was really upset about getting injured in your home, they may not be able to press charges if they’re lacking liability coverage. However, if they have coverage and you don’t, you could really be in trouble. In order to avoid having to deal with the hassle of a costly lawsuit on your own dime, talk to your independent insurance agent about getting all the homeowners and liability insurance you need well in advance.
What Else Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Injured guests and property damage aren’t the only perils homeowners insurance protects against. Standard homeowners insurance covers many common threats to the home outside of the common or obvious.
Homeowners insurance typically provides coverage for the following perils:
- Fire and smoke
- Water damage
- Aircraft or vehicle damage
- Falling objects (and trees)
- Certain natural disasters (i.e., windstorms, hail, lightning, and blizzards)
If you’re concerned about any other areas where you feel you may still be lacking coverage, your independent insurance agent can help you fill in the gaps.
Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Would Help
When it comes to protecting hired help from getting injured in your home and all other strange incidents, no one’s better equipped to help than an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in homeowners, liability, and umbrella insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources, and help you walk through them all to find the best blend of coverage and cost.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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