If you’re accident-prone, you may be relieved to find your homeowners insurance applies anywhere in the world you may unintentionally infict bodily injury upon another person or damage to their property. You are covered by liability insurance as detailed in section II of our homeowners policy.
Liability insurance works in the following way. Imagine it’s the middle of winter and the snow is piling up on your roof. You’re nervous about the extra weight so you hire someone to have the snow removed. The snow remover accidentally falls off your roof and claims against you for injuries suffered. What happens next? Your liability insurance will work to protect your interests by determining the validity of the claim. The insurer may respond to the petition in one of three ways. The insurer can deny the claim altogether, make an offer to settle, or defend you in court. If you are found liable by the court, your policy will provide coverage for any compensatory damages you are legally obligated to pay with respect to injuries sustained by the snow remover.
There are two important limitations to this coverage. Firstly, it does not apply to injuries sustained by you or members of your immediate household. Secondly, your liability insurance will not cover punitive damages assessed by a court as punishment for your actions.
Deductibles are not applicable to liability coverage. Your policy will also cover legal defence costs should the third party – in this case, the snow remover – file suit against you.
Would you know how to respond responsibly in the aftermath of an accident? If you are involved in an accident in which someone is injured o their property is damaged, offer assistance and ensure proper medical attention is arranged. Be sure to write down any information you think might be esssential to the incident and notify your insurer. Your insurer will want to know the date, time, place and circumstances surrounding the event. Furthermore, take the time to record the names and addresses of witnesses and anyone you think might make a claim against you.
Like most people, you probably won’t think much about liability insurance until you need it. Common occurences include the child who accidentally hits a foul ball – right through a neighbor’s pricey picture window or the neighbor who slips and falls on your icy front steps.
Insurance helps you meet any potential legal obligations to others in the event of an unintentional incident. If you’re unsure about your coverage, talk to your insurance representative.