Home Liability Insurance Coverage
We never expect to be held legally responsible for an accident that occurs at our own home. But if someone is accidentally injured on your property—whether a guest suffers a fall down the stairs or a neighborhood child wanders into your yard and gets bit by your dog—you could be held found to be legally liable, and therefore financially responsible.
Thankfully, personal liability insurance can help mitigate these risks and cover the associated costs if you are sued. Here’s what you need to know about how these policies work, what they cost, and when you might need one.
Do I Need Personal Liability Insurance?
Simply put, personal liability insurance is financial protection for you and your family. If you’re responsible for damages or injuries sustained by another in your home or on your property, liability insurance will pay for the associated expenses so that you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
Personal liability claims can include medical bills, legal defense fees, and more, up to the limit of your liability coverage. It may also offer coverage for accidental damage you are legally responsible for on someone else’s property.
How Much Does Home Liability Insurance Cost?
Personal liability coverage is typically the least expensive part of a home policy, costing about $100 a year, on average, for every $100,000 in coverage. However, it’s relatively inexpensive to purchase a higher limit for personal liability coverage. For example, you can expect to pay merely $150 per year for coverage at $500,000, and $300 per year for $1 million of coverage from a personal umbrella liability policy. Keep in mind that the exact amount will vary depending on where you live, as metro areas may see slightly higher rates.
What Does Home Liability Insurance Cover?
Home liability also known as personal liability insurance coverage comes standard with most property insurance policies, including homeowners, condo, and renters insurance. Here’s a full rundown of what is typically covered under home liability insurance:
- Injuries on your property: If you’re responsible for the injury of someone on your property, your personal liability insurance can help pay for the resulting medical bills, as well as pain and suffering. Even if the injured person has medical benefits, you could be held responsible for the expenses if it’s determined that the injury happened as a result of your negligence—for example, if you failed to repair a broken stair step.
- Damage to others’ property: Let’s say your child throws a baseball through your neighbor’s window. This is an example of property damage—and liability insurance would pay for both the window, as well as anything else that was affected.
- Legal costs: If someone brings a lawsuit against you after an accident in your home, your personal liability coverage will help pay for a lawyer and legal expenses, as well as any settlements against you.
- Dog bites (varies by insurer): Depending on your insurance company, your liability coverage may or may not cover dog bites. Some providers may require the purchase of animal liability coverage, while others may limit coverage to certain breeds or exclude coverage entirely.
- Lost wages: If someone is injured while on your property and that injury results in their inability to return to work, you may be found legally responsible for the wages they lose as a result. In such a situation, liability coverage may help prevent you from paying out of pocket.
- Death benefits: No one wants to consider the possibility of a fatal accident occuring at home, but it’s an important part of personal liability insurance. Depending on your policy, your coverage may provide death benefits to the family of someone who passed away due to an accident in your home or on your property, including funeral costs and related expenses.
If the liability limits of your policy don’t meet your needs, you may want to consider additional coverage such as personal umbrella liability insurance, which provides an extra layer of personal liability protection. This will help to cover costs if there’s a serious accident on your property that exceeds the limits of your liability coverage.
What Is Not Covered By Personal Liability Insurance?
Of course, there are some exclusions to home liability insurance. Here are some other circumstances that liability coverage does not cover:
- Car accidents: In this event, your auto liability insurance, rather than your personal liability insurance, will cover the damages or injuries you cause while driving.
- Intentional harm or damage: You may be covered if someone is injured after slipping on your icy driveway— but if the injury is intentionally inflicted, it won’t be covered.
- Your own injuries or damages: Personal liability coverage does not apply to injuries or damages sustained by you or a family member. Instead, your health or property insurance would step in to foot the bill.
- Business claims: If you run a business out of your home, your personal liability insurance probably won’t cover a claim for an injury or property damage that is related to or results from your work. For business activities, review your policy so that you understand what coverage may be included.
How Much Home Liability Insurance Do I Need?
Homeowners and renters policies commonly offer three limits of personal liability insurance coverage: $100,000, $300,000, and $500,000. The amount of personal liability insurance coverage that you’ll needs really depends on two things:
- How much liability-related risk is associated with your property? Do you have a pool, a trampoline, or a treehouse on your property? Each of these is considered an “attractive nuisance” because they pose a liability risk for guests (especially children) on your property, whether they were invited or uninvited. If you have any of these features on your property, you may want to consider raising your personal liability coverage limit to offset the increased risk.
- What your total assets amount to? Here’s something many homeowners don’t realize. If you’re legally responsible for an injury and sued, the injured party can go after all of your assets in a lawsuit, not simply assets related to the insured property. That’s why choosing a coverage limit that matches or exceeds your net worth is key for financial protection.
For instance, if you own two homes with a combined value of $400,000, that’s $400,000 in property assets alone that you should protect with liability coverage. If your total net worth is $150,000, you should opt for at least $300,000 in coverage to fully protect your assets.
Considering the low cost of liability coverage, you should always consider taking the maximum amount available to you. If you need more than $500,000 in coverage, an umbrella insurance policy may help provide greater protection beyond the limits of a standard homeowners policy.
Home Liability Insurance Rates to Make You Smile
Home liability insurance is so much more than a monthly premium—it’s peace of mind for the future. And we’re here to make it easier than ever to get home liability insurance that’s comprehensive and affordable. Thanks to our fast and low-cost home insurance quotes, you can choose a plan and get your coverage—all in a matter of minutes. Get yours today and say hello to a lifetime of coverage for your home.