Most homeowners are familiar with Part I of their homeowners insurance policy, which covers damage to their property. However, many policyholders may be surprised to discover the extent to which Part II protects them. Part II of their homeowners policy covers against liability incurred by injuring or damaging the property of another person.
Part II protects you up to a stated limit for comprehensive personal liability, and the coverage may be broader than you think. Take the following quick quiz. True or false—would your homeowners policy protect you against liability in the following situations?
1. Your son leaves some of his belongings on the floor of his college dorm room. A roommate trips over them and breaks his arm. The roommate sues you for injuries.
2. Your daughter gives a friend permission to walk her dog while she attends soccer practice. During the walk, the dog gets excited and bites a child playing on the sidewalk. The child’s parents initiate legal action against you to recover the cost of medical bills.
3. You send your babysitter to the grocery store. In the parking lot, she loses control of the shopping cart. The runaway cart strikes an elderly man, causing him to fall and break his hip. The man sues you for medical expenses.
4. While cutting down a tree on your property, the tree falls in the wrong direction and lands on your neighbor’s roof. Your neighbor moves to a motel while the roof is being repaired. He sues you for property damage and the cost of his motel expenses.
The good news is that in all of these situations, the answer is “true.” Your comprehensive personal liability coverage will most likely protect you. Furthermore, Part II may also cover your legal defense costs if an injured party decides to sue. Though Part II may contain some exclusions and limitations, such as for intentional injury to others and for business or professional activities, you may be pleased to learn that, for no additional cost, the same policy that covers your home protects you in more ways than one.