Am I covered if someone gets hurt in my home?

Yes or no?

The insurance answer is that you can have coverage in your property policy under the liability section. This is different then the property section. For this coverage to "trigger" you must have shown negligence in some way. This coverage can be found under a homeowner, tenant, condominium unit owner, rented dwelling or other property-type form.

What is negligence?

  • Example: Poorly maintained carpeting on stairs that caused somebody to trip or if you spilled a hot cup of coffee on their lap, etc.

This coverage applies whether you are at home or away from home.

  • Example: At a golf course, you drive the ball into a group of golfers that are too close.

Remember, to determine negligence there must be a duty of care owed (you must keep people safe). Secondly, there must have been an injury of some sort. Lastly, a person has to complain that they were injured - now your "Homeowner" policy is likely to be triggered, and the start of defense and possibly a claim payout.

What happens next?

The claims adjuster will review your policy to see if there is a limitation or exclusion preventing the insurer from acting on your behalf. For example, if your action has been deliberate or criminal in nature, then your policy will not respond to a claim.

There is a section under the "Voluntary Liability", that will respond to a small claim where the requirements of proof are not as strong. An example, would be your guest trips over a cord resulting in an injury - the cord is not truly a hazard such as poorly maintained carpeting or a loose railing.

The insurance answer

It is best to talk to your broker or agent if you think that you may be involved in a claim. Often the best defense, hinges on prompt investigation of the circumstances. Get some free advice from your insurance professional as to what financial protection you have purchased.