family liability protection and homeowners insurance

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It's a simple fact — accidents happen. And it's usually not a matter of if they do, but when they do — which is why it's important to make sure you and your family are financially protected if life takes a turn for the worse. Learn more about how family liability coverage could help.

what is liability insurance?

Family liability insurance is part of a standard homeowners policy and may help protect you in the event that you or a family member is held legally responsible for a guest's injury on your property or for damaging someone else's property. And, usually, your liability coverage kicks in whether you're at or away from home.

Even though you're undoubtedly a diligent homeowner, mishaps do occur — and often when you least expect them to. Whether your kid's stray ball breaks a window or there is a rumpled area of your carpet that trips a guest on, you may end up incurring the costs unless you carry sufficient family liability protection on your policy.

what does liability insurance cover?

Legal fees

Should a lawsuit be brought against you, your homeowners insurance may help pay for your legal defense, whether it's for you or a family member named in your policy. Additionally, liability protection could cover your legal expenses (up to your policy limits) whether or not you're found guilty of the damages.

Medical fees

Medical payments coverage found in your liability protection may help pay for the necessary medical fees that result from a visitor's injury on your premises (usually for up to 3 years). But even if the injured visitor has health insurance, you could still be held liable for the costs if it's determined that the injury stemmed from your negligence (for instance, if you hadn't fixed the broken plank on your porch, causing the mailman to have a nasty spill.

Your homeowners insurance will likely pay for reasonable medical procedures, including surgical, X-ray, and dental services, as well as ambulance rides, hospital services, eye glasses, hearing aids, prosthetic devices, and pharmaceuticals.

Mishaps away from home

Family liability coverage could help protect you against accidents or damages that happen away from your property. For instance, maybe you're an avid golfer and your impressive drive accidentally hits someone out on the fairway. If that person decides to sue, your insurance company may step in to work out a settlement on your behalf.

Likewise, if your kids get a little rambunctious in the gift shop of the modern art museum, liability coverage may help protect you if the museum seeks reimbursement for the damages (unless you somehow convince the museum to commission the damage as performance art?).

Lost wages

If someone's injured on your property, they'll probably be out of work for a little while — and you may have to pay for the wages they lose as a result. Luckily, your family liability coverage could step in to help cover their lost income so that you don't have to pay for it all out of pocket.

Fatal accidents

As if thinking about common mishaps weren't enough, no one wants to imagine the possibility of someone having a fatal accident at home (or anywhere for that matter). But like all of the other unfortunate events that can occur, this is another one you shouldn't ignore. Luckily, most standard home liability policies can cover funeral expenses for the family of someone who passes away due to an accident on your property.

what liability insurance doesn’t cover

Like most coverages, there are exclusions. For instance, your homeowners insurance probably doesn't cover car accidents in which you're found at fault, since they are likely protected by your auto policy. It also doesn't cover intentional injury or damage caused by you or a family member, nor does it pay for injuries or damages sustained by you or a family member on your property.

Furthermore, if you run an in-home business, your personal liability probably isn't protected by your home insurance policy at all. For this reason, you may want to check with your insurer to see if your home business ventures are covered.

make sure you have the right amount of coverage

While you don't know what kind of injury a guest might sustain in your home, or what kind of damage your well-to-do child might accidentally inflict upon your neighbor's windows, it's important to remember that your family liability protection only covers the set dollar amount you choose for your homeowners insurance policy. In other words, if a liability settlement surpasses your homeowners coverage limits, you'll likely have to pay the rest out of pocket.

A judgment can easily exceed your assets and severely impact future earnings, which is why it's also wise to look into personal umbrella coverage — generally an optional coverage on most homeowners policies. Having umbrella liability coverage can significantly increase your home coverage limits so that you're adequately financially protected on all fronts.

get a homeowners insurance quote with esurance

Your family's wellbeing is, without a doubt, a top priority — and you want the kind of coverage that can give you the peace of mind you deserve. Get a fast, free homeowners quote today to protect you, your family, and your most prized investments with reliable coverage from Esurance.

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