Will My Policy Cover Me if Someone is Injured on My Property?
Personal Injury Liability—What Does Your Property Insurance Cover?
As a property or business owner, are you liable if someone gets injured on your property? Assuming a person is injured while on your premises, they can take legal action against you by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Whether you or your family members will be held liable for the mishap will depend on 1) how the subject was injured. And 2) what was the person’s status on the property at the time of the incident.
Everything considered, the law requires property owners to maintain their property in a satisfactory manner. The same way another reasonable individual would. That means if you fail to exercise your duty of care to individuals entering your business premises or property, you may be held liable for negligence.
As previously stated, personal injury liability coverage depends on the status of the injured individual while on your property. That said, the personal injury liability claims ceiling, using private property as an example, is usually higher for guests on your property vis-à-vis for uninvited individuals (trespassers).
Assuming someone files a successful personal injury liability claim, what protection does your homeowners’ insurance policy provide?
Injury Liability Coverage
In this situation, your injury liability insurance will cater to the injured individual’s losses linked to the injury. These benefits include medical bills, lost income, physical/mental distress, among other damages—within the liability limits of your coverage.
In the ideal world, an insurance claim can settle for a figure that’s close to or less than the policy limits. Now, let’s assume the injured subject suffered a severe or permanent injury.
In such a situation, the claim may settle for an amount that exceeds your coverage ceiling. So, what does this imply?
Depending on your homeowner’s policy, you may enjoy an “umbrella” provision that affords you extra protection in such instances.
That means it’s best to have extra coverage from your insurance company even when such a step somewhat raises your premiums. For many insurance policies, the greatest coverage depends on the premium amount a property owner pays. A higher premium equals a higher personal injury coverage ceiling.
Personal Injury Liability Insurance Coverage Often Includes Legal Defense
Once insurance coverage kicks in to cover personal injury claims, it usually caters to extras like your legal fees. As an added benefit to having a homeowner’s insurance policy, many insurance companies often appoint and pay for legal representation to take care of any lawsuit.
To put it another way, as a property owner, you likely won’t have to hire a lawyer—and that means you won’t incur the associated costs. That’s great news, considering usually, a personal injury lawyer comes at a considerable cost (if the injured party is filing the claim against you).
Negligence, Strict Liability & Intentional Torts
A home insurance policy will cover most injuries to guests on your premises. Many of these injury incidents will be accidental, meaning the legal view of negligence takes precedence. Best examples include slip or fall incidents. Here, the injured individual needs to prove you failed in your duty to exercise reasonable care. An excellent example is when there’s compelling evidence that you’re responsible for failing to free your property of hazards.
Even so, evidence of negligence might not be required for some injuries. Take, for example, a setting where a property is in a state where dog bites attract “strict liability” and your pet bites someone. In this scenario, the aggrieved party can thereby file a third-party claim against your homeowners’ insurance policy without having to prove you were somewhat at fault.
Generally, a homeowners’ insurance policy will not cover injuries resulting from a deliberate act on your part. Say you act against someone on your premises (an individual who’s there with your consent), and they file a bodily injury liability claim for their injuries. In this case, will your insurance policy cover you?
Property Injury Liability Issues—Reach Out to an Insurance Agency
There are many reasons you’d have people on your property. You’ve called a plumber to fix a leaky faucet, or you have asked someone to help you install a deck in your backyard?
Whatever your reasons for having other people on your property or business premises, it’s important to have an idea of the steps you can take if such individuals get hurt while on your property. Such knowledge helps you understand when you’re legally responsible for any injury.
As a property owner, you need to know what your liability insurance covers. Talk to our experienced insurance agents to help you limit future personal liability issues. Get in touch with Coleman Insurance Agency today to schedule a free consultation. We will be happy to answer your home insurance, car insurance, or auto insurance questions.
Comments are closed