The liability piece of your home insurance policy can be the most important piece of protecting your assets in the event of an accident or injury that occurs on your property. You might not think it could happen to you but it can turn your world upside down in an instant. While all home policies come with Liability coverage it is important to understand what is covered and how much coverage you will need.
What does Liability Insurance Cover?
Liability insurance protects you if you are held liable for bodily insurance or property damage caused unintentionally to others.
An example of this is if a visitor slips on your icy driveway because you neglected to put salt and sand down.
Who Does Liability Insurance Cover?
The Liability portion of a home policy protects the assets of anyone considered family members. This includes a spouse, and dependent children. It also includes people who work in the home such as homecare workers, nurses and housekeepers. This means that if a guest in the home was to have an accident or injury these people would be protected. Tenants are not included in this coverage and must have their own tenant policy with their own liability coverage.
How much Liability Coverage do I need?
The amount of liability coverage you need depends on the risks associated with your property. Most insurance brokers will advise you to select $1 Million or $2 Million in liability coverage. The investment to have the most coverage is nominal and will save you money if something ever happens. If you have things on your property that make it more likely that someone would be injured, for example, a pool, trampoline, children or a dog you should consider purchasing excess liability. Other reasons to purchase additional coverage would be renting your property, high personal net worth or traveling a lot. A broker can help you figure out what type of coverage is best for you. Canadians are becoming more litigious and it is better to be safe than sorry, so settling for the bare minimum could leave you exposed.
What do I do if someone sues me?
If you are being sued for injury or damages you should contact your broker right away. Your insurance provider will usually cover the cost of your defense (up to your policy limits). You may also be compensated for lost wages due to appearing in court. The sooner you take action the better the chances you’ll see a favourable outcome. Keep copies of all documentation and evidence throughout the process. Liability insurance can’t prevent these unpleasant scenarios but it can mitigate the damage if it does occur.
Being held liable for an injury or damage is never pleasant but your home liability insurance helps protect your assets if you are. At Navigators Insurance we have qualified advisors on hand who can help you find the best insurance for your needs. With access to over 15 insurance companies we are confident we will find the right coverage for you.