One of the great joys of being a homeowner is being able to have friends over for celebrations, or even just to play video games. But what happens if a couple of your friends end up in a kerfuffle over a video game when one of them is a sore loser? And what if one of them gets pretty badly hurt in your home? Who’s responsible for this mess, anyway?
Luckily an independent insurance agent can help you answer these important questions, and also get you set up with the proper coverage to protect yourself. Better yet, they’ll hook you up with all the coverage you need, long before you ever need to file a claim for an incident like this one. Here’s how they’d help you get covered against a brawl between friends in your home.
Who’s Responsible If Your Friends Get into a Fight at Your House?
If the friend who got injured decided to sue you after the brawl, you could be held responsible as the homeowner. Even if you didn’t have anything to do with the video game session or the kerfuffle that started as a result of it, as the homeowner, you can still be sued if a fight breaks out on your property. While you may not ultimately be held responsible in court, it’s still imperative to have the proper protection in place beforehand.
Which Insurance Would Kick in for This Scenario?
It would be your homeowners insurance that would respond to the claim if one of your friends pressed charges against you. The liability coverage provided by your homeowners insurance would protect you from a legal standpoint. Additionally, if any property damage happened as a result of your friends’ fight, coverage included in your homeowners policy would help to pay for the repairs.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Beyond just friend brawls after a particularly upsetting video game session, homeowners insurance provides a lot of important protection for homeowners. The core coverages provided by standard homeowners policies include:
- Liability: Covers legal expenses like attorney/court fees if you’re sued for bodily injury or property damage to a third party. Settlements you’re ordered to pay if you lose the case are covered, too.
- Structural damage: Covers the “dwelling,” or structure of the home. Damage to or destruction of the dwelling by covered perils such as certain natural disasters or fire is covered. Detached structures like sheds are often covered, too.
- Personal property damage: Covers personal belongings like furniture, collectibles, clothing, and more from perils such as fire or theft. Property stored off-premises is often covered too, though with a much lower limit.
- Additional living expenses (ALE): Covers extra costs if your home gets badly damaged or destroyed, forcing you to live elsewhere while awaiting repairs. Reimbursement for things like hotel rooms, eating out, extra gas mileage, etc. is covered. ALE coverage allows you to maintain your normal lifestyle while living away from the home.
Your independent insurance agent can help you get set up with all the homeowners insurance you need to adequately protect against all kinds of disasters, including a fight between friends in your house.
How Would Liability Coverage Protect Me in This Scenario?
When someone gets injured on your property, whether you were the direct cause or not, they can still decide to sue you. If the friend who got injured in the fight over the video game pressed charges, your liability coverage through your homeowners insurance would respond to the claim by paying for all your legal fees. Liability coverage pays for attorney, court, and settlement fees if you get sued. It’s important for all homeowners to have this coverage just in case.
Do I Need Umbrella Insurance?
In this situation, it’s highly unlikely. The extent of your friend’s injuries after the fight would have to be really extreme to require additional liability protection. Umbrella policies stack on top of homeowners insurance to extend liability coverage limits. Umbrella policies usually come with limits of $1 million in liability coverage, though higher amounts such as $5 or $10 million can also be purchased. Another upside to umbrella insurance is that it tends to be very affordable.
What If I Don’t Have Insurance?
Without insurance, you’d probably have to settle the incident with your friends on your own. Hopefully, between the three of you, a peaceful resolution could be reached. But if one of them still went forward with pressing charges against you and you didn’t have liability coverage, you’d be stuck with all the legal fees on your own. Since attorneys alone can be extremely expensive, that’s all the more reason homeowners need to have the proper insurance.
What Else Does Homeowners Insurance Protect Against?
Friend kerfuffles and lawsuits aren’t the only important protections offered by homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance covers many common hazards beyond the obvious.
Standard homeowners policies provide coverage for the following perils:
- Water damage
- Aircraft or vehicle damage
- Theft and vandalism
- Riots and civil commotions
- Falling objects (and trees)
- Fire and smoke
- Most explosions
- Some natural disasters (i.e., windstorms, hail, lightning, and blizzards)
Your independent insurance agent will help you get all the coverage you need to protect your home from all angles.
What Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Cover?
While homeowners insurance protects against numerous threats, unfortunately, it can’t cover everything. Fortunately, there are additional coverages available to bridge the gaps in your coverage, but it’s important to be familiar with what’s not included in your policy first.
Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover the following:
- Other natural disasters (i.e., floods, earthquakes, and mudslides)
- Wear and tear damage
- Insect damage or infestations
- Business-related liability
- Maintenance-related losses
- Damage from war or nuclear fallout
If you have a home-based business, you’ll need to work with your independent insurance agent to purchase endorsements or special forms of coverage to protect against business losses. Additionally, if you live in an area prone to flooding or earthquakes, you’ll also want to look into flood insurance and/or earthquake insurance to help protect your home from these disasters.
Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Would Help
When it comes to protecting homeowners against friends fighting in their house and all other incidents, no one’s better equipped to help than an independent insurance agent. These agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in homeowners 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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