Most people think of homeowner’s insurance as a policy that is there to protect their house and property. Although this is a major feature of a homeowner’s policy, there is another main coverage that comes with all homeowner’s insurance, and which can really save you in case of a lawsuit directed at you for a negligent act. Your liability insurance will give you coverage for a wide variety of situations you might otherwise find yourself paying for out of pocket.
What Is Liability Coverage?
The liability coverage on your policy is there for any situation in which you are held responsible for damage or injury to someone else’s property or person. In order for liability coverage to kick in, you have to be found negligent in the incident. For example, if you left your dog off the leash and he ran out to the street and bit someone you are negligent, because your dog should legally remain contained in your home or yard. You have broken a leash law and thus the person who was injured can sue you.
How Much Liability Coverage Do I Need?
Some homeowner’s policies start with a low-end limit of $100,000 for liability and go up to $1 million. The average coverage is somewhere in between. How much coverage you need depends on what assets you have to protect. What could you lose in a lawsuit? The more you have, the more likely people are to sue, sad but true. So if you are fairly affluent, more coverage is always better. Liability coverage is usually a very affordable option, so going up by several hundred thousand dollars isn’t going to cost a whole lot more.
What Else Am I Protected From?
Liability coverage protects you from a wide variety of potential lawsuits. If a tree in your yard is not healthy and falls on your neighbor’s house, your liability coverage will protect you. If your child breaks a neighbor’s window playing baseball, you are covered. There are many cases in which liability coverage will kick in for you.
Your insurance policy also ensures you won’t ever face a lawsuit alone. If it is agreed that you are negligent, a claim can be made against your policy without going to court. But if you disagree that you are responsible, and your homeowner’s insurance company agrees, they will pay to represent you in court to fight the charges.
Liability is an invaluable coverage to have on your homeowner’s policy, and the more you have the better off you will be. In a society well known for suing at the drop of a hat, protecting yourself is just the smart thing to do.