Covering the Unpredictable: Liability Policies that Works for You

By: Eric Erickson Thursday November 28, 2013 comments

Most people are aware of the ways homeowner’s insurance protects you and your family, as well as your mortgage lender, against destructive events that can damage your property. Natural weather events and fires can wreak havoc on your home, leading to costly repairs and rebuilding. Your lender will require a minimal amount of property coverage to protect their investment, but there is another aspect to homeowner’s coverage that can protect your pocketbook as well.

Homeowner’s liability coverage is designed to protect you against the costs incurred by guests or other third-parties in your home, or away from your home. Also known as casualty coverage, your policy can make the difference between going broke and financial security when someone else is injured in your home or through your negligence outside of the home.

Accidents Happen

You’re not planning to cause injurious harm to a guest, but unforeseeable accidents can cost you dearly. When you are selecting your casualty coverage, be sure to take coverage limits into account. Often, coverage limits prevent policyholders from paying any more than the cost of legal defense against liability claims. You will want to make sure that your coverage matches your financial situation. Paying a little bit more in your premium can be the difference between thousands of dollars in coverage.

Whether you are entertaining friends or extended family, or simply welcoming the routine visitor, your home can often be the site of an accident. Just as your dwelling needs to be protected against risk, your actions can have unintended consequences that can lead to injury. Your requisite homeowner’s policy will include liability coverage, but you are free to select the amount of coverage on your policy. You may also wish to obtain additional coverage to ensure your financial security.

Navigating the World of Insurance Coverage

Your homeowner’s policy involves two primary types of coverage: property and personal. Your property coverage protects the value of your house in the event of fire or certain natural disasters. The limits on this coverage will be required as a portion of your home’s value. Personal casualty coverage is determined by you, and protects you in the following ways:

  • Personal Liability – When you are legally determined to be negligent in another’s injury, your personal liability coverage can help you pay for legal fees, restitution, punitive damages or other costs incurred. Personal liability lawsuits are on the rise, and damages can often approach $1 million or more. It is important for you to select coverage that you can afford, while considering the potential cost of a lawsuit.
  • Medical Payments to Others – This is considered no-fault casualty coverage, meaning that the medical costs of others can be paid whether or not you are found to be legally responsible. Depending on your coverage, your policy generally invokes a per-person limit on this type of coverage as well.

The Umbrella Policy

Life is filled with uncertainty. Suddenly, a harmless get together at your swimming pool or dining room table can turn into an injurious situation. You may also have the false sense that your automobile coverage can fully protect your liability. Traditional coverage limitations protect your insurer and help to keep rates competitive, but to really protect yourself from financial ruin, you may want to consider adding an umbrella insurance policy to your homeowner’s insurance. 

Umbrella insurance policies are also known as excess liability coverage. They not only increase the limitations on your current coverage, they can also protect you against lawsuits that aren’t covered under traditional casualty coverage. This can include character defamation, slander, libel, or false arrest accusations. Lawsuits from these events can often be even more costly than simply covering someone’s medical costs, and you may want to consider whether or not you can afford to leave yourself unprotected against these risks.

Searching and Finding the Right Coverage for You

When you are looking for affordable casualty coverage, as well as coverage for your property and your belongings, you need an agent that can wade through the complexity and find you the right policy at the right price. With one phone call, your independent agent at Insurance By Phone can research multiple insurance carriers and discuss your specific needs so that you know your policy will work for you.

Personal injury lawsuits are on the rise, and our active lifestyles often entail a certain amount of risk. Protecting your assets against unforeseen events goes beyond the requirements of home ownership. Insurance By Phone wants to make sure that you and your family are protected as well. With umbrella insurance rates that fit your lifestyle and your wallet, you can rest assured that a personal injury lawsuit doesn’t threaten your financial security.   

 

Eric Erickson

About the Author: Eric Erickson

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