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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Personal Injury?

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Does homeowners insurance cover personal injury?

In many cases, yes, home insurance policies cover personal injury. The standard homeowners policy includes liability coverage and medical payments coverage, though there are some exclusions to what is covered.

An invited guest is injured, will I be covered?

Yes, guests you invite are covered under your liability coverage under the homeowners policy. This coverage will pay for their medical bills, lost time, pain and suffering, and any other damages up to the policy limit.

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The homeowners policy also covers defense costs if your friend or their insurance company sues you. Your homeowners insurance will pay for an attorney to defend you and the insurance company. The costs of defense are included in the liability limit.

Medical payments coverage will pay for medical bills incurred by guests on your property, whether you are legally liable or not. It has a much lower limit than your liability and is considered a goodwill coverage.

If you have a $100,000 limit and your friend’s claim is $80,000, that leaves you $20,000 for defense costs before you have to pay. Make sure your liability limit is enough to pay for any claims and defense costs that arise. 

In some claims, like a friend slips and falls on your kitchen floor you just mopped, they must prove negligence on your part. If your friend falls and you are not negligent your medical payments coverage may pay for their injuries. 

For other claims, like your dog bites a friend, they do not have to prove you were negligent. It depends on your state law if your state is governed by a strict liability for attractive nuisances like dog bites, swimming pools, and trampolines.

Intentional acts of the insured are always excluded. If you cause intentional harm to your guest your insurance will not cover any injuries or defense costs.

Your guests are not covered if they are doing something reckless, whether you had time to tell them to stop or not. Your medical payments coverage may pay their medical bills, but your liability will not.

What if a family member that lives with me gets hurt?

Your liability does not cover an immediate family member who lives with you. This can include adult children who are away at school.

While the homeowners policy covers you and your family, the liability portion protects you from third party claims – or claims filed by someone else. The immediate family that lives with you is also excluded and anyone in your care under the age of 21 is excluded.

A family member living with you who is not an immediate family member may or may not be covered, it depends on the situation, how they are related, and if you have a lease. Talk to your agent and attorney for details on your situation.

What if a friend who lives with me gets hurt?

When a long-term roommate is injured on your property, your homeowners insurance may or may not cover them. Most companies exclude coverage for residents of your home situations.

For a long-term roommate, they should have their own renters insurance including liability. Your policy will not cover their injuries, nor does it cover any damages or injuries your roommate causes.

What if I rent a room on Airbnb?

Anytime someone pays to stay in your home they are excluded from your homeowners policy. Home sharing platforms offer liability coverage when you sign up to be a host. 

What if my Nanny or lawn care person is hurt on my property?

If you have a live-in care provider like a nanny, their injuries on your property are covered when they are not on duty. When they are on duty, in most states, any injuries they sustain at your home would not be covered by your homeowners policy. Talk to your agent about worker’s compensation to cover their injuries while they are on duty.

Service providers who do not live with you are covered under your liability coverage, just like guests. Your negligence would have to cause their injury. For example, if your lawn maintenance person falls in a hole you dug that was hidden by grass, you would be negligent, and your home insurance would cover his injuries. If your lawn maintenance person hits the neighbor with a rock from their mower and injures them, your homeowners policy does not cover that.

Homeowners insurance policies provide coverage when you or your immediate family that lives with you are negligent. It does not cover friends, extended family, or service providers negligence, even if they are on your property.

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