Accidents happen. But sometimes, the injuries or damages incurred from those incidents can be devastating. Personal liability insurance can protect you financially when these unfortunate events occur. Learn more about personal liability insurance and find out it does and doesn’t cover.
What is Personal Liability Insurance?
Personal liability insurance — also known as personal liability coverage — is a standard part of most homeowners insurance policies, along with dwelling insurance and personal property coverage. It provides financial protection if you or someone else in your household is held legally responsible for another person’s bodily injury or damaged property. For example, suppose someone falls down your stairs, or your child accidentally breaks a neighbor’s window and destroys an expensive art piece. In that case, you may be able to avoid paying out of pocket for these types of incidents — up to your coverage limits.
What Does Personal Liability Insurance Cover?
Personal liability insurance may cover the following incidents:
- Medical bills to visitors — If you’re held legally responsible for a guest’s injury that happened on your property, personal liability coverage may help pay for the medical costs up to the limits of your policy. Common examples include slips and falls due to stairs, faulty railing, and high-risk features like swimming pools and trampolines.
- Damage to someone’s property — Personal liability coverage can provide financial protection if you or another person in your household is responsible for damaging someone else’s property. For instance, if you have an obvious dead tree in your yard that falls and destroys your neighbor’s fence, you could be liable for paying repair or replacement costs.
- Legal fees — If someone sues you over property damage or a bodily injury, personal liability insurance might help cover legal costs and lawyer fees.
- Lost wages — If someone is injured on your property and it hinders their ability to work, you may be responsible for their lost wages. Personal liability insurance may help cover these costs.
- Covered loss away from home — Personal liability insurance may help pay costs for a covered loss that happened away from your house. For example, if you accidentally caused damage to a store’s lobby, this coverage may provide financial security if the business seeks compensation.
- Dog bites (varies by insurer) — Check with your local agent to see if your homeowners insurance policy protects you or your loved ones against dog bites. Some insurers don’t cover dog bites, while others limit coverage to specific breeds.
What Isn’t Covered by Personal Liability Insurance?
While personal liability insurance may protect you from certain incidents, it doesn’t cover everything. Here are some examples:
- Deliberate injury or damage — Personal liability insurance won’t cover intentional injuries or damages you or someone in your household caused to another person.
- Your own injuries or damages — Accidental injuries or damages you cause to yourself or your household members typically aren't covered. However, your health insurance or personal property coverage might help cover the costs.
- Car accidents — Auto insurance handles car-related incidents instead of your personal liability coverage.
- Business claims — If you run a business out of your home, personal liability insurance usually won’t cover activities or claims related to your profession.
How Much Personal Liability Insurance Do I Need To Have?
Several homeowners insurance policies come with a minimum limit of $100,000, which means that your insurer could pay that amount to the injured party per claim. If you want to increase your coverage limit, consider purchasing an umbrella policy to protect your assets in case of a significant claim or lawsuit.
When accidental injuries or damages happen under your responsibility, the repercussions can be costly. Get personal liability insurance with Mercury today and stay protected.