Top Homeowners Insurance Liability Claims

Top Homeowners Insurance Liability Claims
Anyone who doesn’t own their home free and clear will have no choice but to buy homeowners insurance because the mortgage company will require it. And even when you do pay off the mortgage, you still want this type of protection so you won’t needlessly risk a total or partial loss of life’s biggest financial investment.
Aside from protecting your property itself, however, homeowners policies will include a degree of liability coverage in case a guest is accidentally injured on your property.

Here are the top 5 types of liability claims filed under homeowners policies nationwide:

1. Dog Bite Claims
The most common of all homeowners insurance liability claims are dog bite claims. Most policies will include coverage for injuries caused by your pets to people who don’t actually live on your property.

However, keep in mind that certain “dangerous breeds” of dogs are often excluded. These include pit bulls and Rottweilers, for example. You may need a special rider to get such breeds covered by your home insurance.

2. At-home Accidents
The next most common type of homeowners liability claim is filed because of an accidental injury to a guest on your premises. It may be a slip and fall accident, stepping on a board with a nail in it, or tripping over a loose carpet.

Or it could be an accident caused by you or a resident family member due to a misunderstanding. Whatever the cause, if negligence is attributed to a household member, you need liability coverage to avoid potentially paying tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

3. Falling Tree Limbs
Not all home accidents occur indoors. Many happen out on the lot – maybe due to tripping over a rock, slipping on wet pavement, or sliding across loose gravel.

Falling tree limbs are a particularly big risk. It’s not very likely a person will be standing right there when a limb cracks and falls, but more often, a neighbor’s car, house, or other expensive property will be damaged.

If it is determined you should have known about a hazardous tree and had it trimmed or removed, then you could be liable. So this is another important coverage point for home insurance liability.

4. Liquor-related Accidental Injuries
Many insurers allow you to add a “host liquor liability” rider to your home insurance policy. This covers injuries caused by an intoxicated person that occur at your home when the injured party was a guest.

Of course, you want to exercise restraint if/when you serve alcoholic beverages at your home, but if it is even claimed that you served one too many to a guest, and injuries resulted to him/her or someone else, a real risk of liability exists.

5. Domestic Worker Injuries
A final common type of incident that often results in a liability at home is when you hire a gardener, landscaper, babysitter, or other domestic worker and he/she is injured while on your premises.

There may be some exclusions as to the type of worker covered depending on your policy. And it can depend on how the accident occurred too. But suffice it to say, most homeowners insurance plans include some level of coverage for injured domestic workers.

Don’t leave yourself wide open to a lawsuit when your homeowners insurance could cover it. And be aware of what it does cover so you don’t fail to use it when appropriate.

To learn more on how homeowners liability issues work, contact Flagler County (FL) Insurance Agency today!