Homeowners’ insurance policies often provide insurance coverage for homeowners and their family members/members of the household for acts of negligence. This often includes criminally negligent conduct, and in some instances, intentional conduct.
For example, in a bar fight situation, the drunk aggressor may be civilly liable for causing the fight and injuries. That individual’s homeowners’ insurance policy may provide coverage for the incident.
Homeowners’ insurance operates much like car insurance. A homeowner pays an insurance premium in exchange for protection from liability. In the event the homeowner is negligent and causes injury to another individual, the insurance company promises to pay up to the limits purchased. Even though it is called “homeowners’ insurance,” it actually operates like general liability coverage. Most policies do not require that the negligence occur in connection with the home (i.e., fall down accident at the home or property).
Accident & Injury Claims – Who is the Defendant?
When a claim or lawsuit is filed, the defendant is the person who committed the wrong – the homeowner. However, the homeowners’ insurance company, via its policy, has agreed to indemnify the insured. This means that the insurance company steps in to provide coverage.
Many homeowners carry insurance coverage with liability limits of $100,000/$300,000 or more. This usually means that the insurance company will pay the limits to someone who is injured due to the negligent conduct of its insured. On a $100,000/$300,000 policy, the insurance company could pay up to $100,000 per person, to a maximum of $300,000 per incident.
Therefore, in the bar fight example, the drunk aggressor’s insurance company may be forced to pay up to $100,000 to the injured victim. If multiple people were injured in the fight, they may also be able to obtain financial recovery from the insurance company, again, $100,000 per person to a maximum of $300,000 for the entire incident.
Homeowners’ insurance may provide coverage in all types of accident and injury cases. Other examples include:
- negligence in failing to prevent sexual assaults,
- fall down accidents,
- workplace assaults (assault by co-worker), and
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