Legal Matters with Chris Richard – Personal Liability Coverage in Your Home Insurance Policy

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Most of us are unaware of the protection that our home insurance policy offers us in terms of personal liability coverage.

Chris Richard, the managing partner of Lancaster Chown & Welch LLP, the premier firm of personal injury lawyers in St. Catharines, discussed with Lee Sterry on Legal Matters just what you get when you see the term “liability limits” in your home insurance policy.

Chris explained that when you have home insurance, even under a tenant’s home insurance policy, personal liability coverage is usually included. This is blanket coverage for any legal liability arising against you for claims for personal injuries occurring on or off your property.

Most people have $500,000 or $1 million in liability limits under their home insurance policy, and the coverage extends to any person living in the house.

Three Ways Personal Liability Protects You

Personal liability protection available through your home insurance provides coverage for your defence in the event an action is brought against you, and so helps you avoid paying legal defence fees out of your pocket. It also provides coverage for lawsuits you may face as a result of an accident happening that involves personal injury to another on your property. It may also provide coverage for you and the members of your family or household for their actions causing injury off your property.

Situations In Which Liability Insurance Applies

This can be incredibly valuable coverage for a variety of unexpected situations that may arise in which personal injury occurs.

For example, if you haven’t shoveled snow on your property following a snowfall, and if someone visiting your home slips and falls on your snow-covered front porch, any damages sought against you by the visitor will be covered under your home insurance. Similarly, if someone trips and falls on some sort of trip hazard, your home insurance policy would provide liability coverage for you.

Another common situation out of which personal liability follows is that involving dog bites, or pets causing injury to someone else. Your home insurance policy will provide liability coverage for damages arising from injuries caused by your pet whether the injury was sustained on your property or not. So, if you took your dog for a walk, and your dog unexpectedly bit someone in your neighbourhood, your personal liability coverage would apply.

Other common off-property accidents attracting liability coverage under your home insurance policy are children causing damage or injury to others in the community, and bicycle accidents. If you are riding your bicycle and run into a pedestrian causing them personal injury, your home insurance policy would provide compensation to the injured person.

Compensation for loss arising from food poisoning accidentally caused may also be available under your home insurance policy. If, for example, a guest at your dinner party comes down with food poisoning from something you have served, your home insurance policy would provide coverage. It is also possible that coverage would be available in the situation where you ran a barbeque in the community that resulted in some participants coming down with food poisoning. Even though you are outside your home, your home insurance policy may provide coverage.

So, rest assured that you have personal liability coverage available to you under your home policy of insurance, providing blanket coverage for any legal liability arising against you for claims for personal injury occurring on or off your property. If you’d like to speak with a personal injury lawyer in St. Catharines, contact Lancaster Chown & Welch LLP for a consultation.