Free Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

Full Bio →

Written by

Joshua is a copywriter at Obrella who for more than 10 years has been creating content about insurance, health care, and more. He helps companies explain complex insurance subjects in simple ways so that customers can make smart buying decisions. He spends way too much time binge-watching Netflix, loves the outdoors and has a cat who tolerates him.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Joshua Adamson

UPDATED: Jul 22, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

h4>It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

I’ve Been Sued. Will my Insurance Cover it?

Justice paper letters multiple people placing

A lawsuit is filed every two seconds in the United States. If you think big businesses or wealthy individuals are the only ones targeted, think again. All homeowners can be found liable for damages if a person is injured on their property. With the average settlement around $90,000, losing a lawsuit can quickly result in financial ruin if you don’t have the right insurance.

Liability Coverage Basics

Most homeowners insurance policies contain several different types of coverage, including damage to your house, personal property, and personal liability. The standard policy limit for personal liability coverage is $100,000. This covers your legal expenses as well as damages and medical expenses to the affected party if you’re ever sued and found responsible for damages.

If the damages or judgment against you exceed the limits of your policy, you will be responsible for the remaining amount. Some lawsuits, especially those involving serious injuries, can be extremely expensive. For additional protection, you could increase your policy limits or purchase umbrella policies, which is optional coverage that kicks in if insurance claims extend beyond your policy limits.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

All insurance policies are different, so read the fine print or contact your insurance agent to find out exactly what your policy covers. As a general rule, however, most policies cover lawsuits and expenses resulting from a number of situations, including:

• Dog Bites — Over one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims were the result of dog bites, with a $27,862 average settlement. If your dog bites a guest on your property or breaks loose and bites another person or pet, most policies will cover damages. Keep in mind many insurance companies ask about certain dog breeds or history of dog bites before they issue a policy. If you’re not honest about this up front, it could cost you later on.
• Injuries on Your Property — You could be found liable for injuries on your property if they result from negligence. This could include tripping on a large crack in your walkway or falling down broken stairs. Of course, many other things that could cause bodily injury are included in this type of liability.
• Accidents Away From Home — One of the nice things about homeowners liability coverage is that it follows you away from home. For example, if you’re on a sightseeing tour on vacation and accidentally ride your bike into another person, your insurance will cover their medical expenses.
• Damage to Other People’s Property — Let’s say you’re visiting a friend, and your toddler spills grape juice all over your friend’s $50,000 Persian rug, ruining it. Your homeowners policy could cover the replacement cost.

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What Will Homeowners Insurance Not Cover?

In certain situations, your liability coverage won’t cover the costs if you’re sued. This is part of why it’s essential to answer questions honestly when you’re applying for insurance coverage in the first place. Some of the most common liability exclusions include:

• Certain Dog Breeds — In nearly every state, insurance companies are allowed to exclude certain breeds they consider the highest risks from coverage. Some companies may refuse to insure you altogether, while others will simply exclude all claims related to the dog. Check your provider for more specific information.
• Damages Caused by a Vehicle — Your auto insurance policy will cover damages caused be vehicles, even if it occurs on your property. For example, if you’re backing out of your driveway and run over your neighbor, your homeowners insurance policy will not cover medical expenses or damages.
• Accidents Occurring While Conducting Business — If you have a home business, you will need separate business insurance to cover liability. As an example, if you have a home-based salon and a client slips in a puddle of shampoo, breaks her ankle, and sues you, your homeowners policy will not cover the costs.
• Intentional Acts — Insurance will not cover damages or injuries from acts that are considered intentional, willful, or malicious. For example, if your teenager spray paints graffiti on someone’s garage, you’ll have to pay for damages out of your own pocket.

When Should You Hire A Lawyer?

Dealing with insurance companies, especially when litigation is involved, can be confusing at best. In some cases, you’ll want to rely on the expertise of an attorney as you battle your lawsuit. Consider hiring a lawyer when your claim was denied, if you’ve been sued for an amount that exceeds your policy limits, or you don’t think you’re responsible for damages.

Of course, keep in mind, you may end up paying any legal fees on top of your current liabilities if you lose. So make sure you consult with an experienced attorney who can give you an accurate idea of what you should expect.

The liability coverage on your homeowners insurance policy could save you from serious financial trouble if you’re ever sued. If you’re worried about the limits of your policy, or you’d like to find excellent homeowners insurance, contact us today. Our agents can help you find the perfect policy and the peace of mind it brings.


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Free Insurance Comparison

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption