There are three areas or categories home insurance options tend to fall into. Last week I opened this series with a look at property-oriented options. These options provide additional coverage that either extends the base limits of coverage contained within a home, renters, or condo insurance policy, or they provide additional coverage that isn’t a part of the base policy. In this week’s post, we’ll examine options that provide coverage for personal liability.
There are three common personal liability options which may be added to or their limits adjusted to protect the homeowner including medical coverage, personal liability, and personal injury.
Medical Coverage: This coverage is designed to provide medical care for a person who’s injured on the property for any reason. It does not provide coverage for anyone living in the home, rather, it’s to provide medical care for a visitor, invited or not.
Many home insurance policies include a base level of medical coverage usually starting at $1,000, however, I recommend increasing this to the usual maximum amount of $5,000. The cost to increase it is usually less than $25 per year and it just makes good sense to do so.
Personal Liability: This coverage also applies to “guests,” invited or not, who are injured on the property and file a claim for negligence or decide to sue you. Examples of such a claim include a person who’s injured in a car wreck after attending a party at your home and were overserved, a dog bite, a person who falls and is hurt, or more.
Like medical coverage, many home insurance companies will include a minimal limit with the policy such as $25,000, $50,000, or $100,000. Based on one claim I’m aware of, I usually suggest increasing this coverage to $300,000 or $500,000 depending on factors such as professional vocation, household income levels, the presence of a pool or dogs, etc. The cost to increase coverage to these higher limits ranges from $20 to $50 a year and is worth it.
Personal Injury: Personal liability coverage provides protection in the event a guest is injured while on the property, but it won’t cover you if your teen son or daughter disparages a classmate on social media. This is where personal injury protection steps in.
Personal injury protection provides coverage for false arrest, wrongful entry or eviction, invasion or violation of privacy, slander and defamation. Some high-end home policies may include coverage for personal injury, however, this is usually an option on most standard home policies. A few home insurance companies may require this option as an underlying coverage before adding an umbrella policy.
What do you think? Share your questions, comments, and experiences with me on my Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!