Liability is the “casualty” aspect of Property and Casualty Insurance coverage. Liability insurance helps to protect you financially if you are found liable for someone else’s injuries or property damage. Liability coverage is often a part of most policies; however, the coverage limit and application may vary from policy to policy, so it is important for you to thoroughly understand your coverage and know when you are covered against injury or property damage liability.
Here are several insurance types and how liability coverage is applied in each. It is important to remember that the coverage limit for liability is often set by the policyholder and can be changed at anytime to meet your current needs.
Homeowners, Trailer, Condo, and Renters Insurance
Liability coverage under these policies are quite similar. If someone is injured while inside your home (whether it is a house, condo, trailer, apartment, or other rental), then the medical expenses related to that injury and any subsequent liability (i.e. through a lawsuit) is covered under this policy—up to the coverage limit you have set. If your liability coverage is only up to $50,000 but your liability totals to $75,000, then you will still be financially responsible for the remaining $25k (unless you have umbrella insurance, but we will get to that later in this blog article).
Liability isn’t limited to injuries within your home; if you also own property, then liability insurance also extends to injuries sustained on your property. An example would be tripping over a raised tree root or being bit by a dog loose in the yard.
Liability coverage under these policies also include instances where you (or someone living in your household) cause damage to another person’s property. For example, your child is in the backyard playing baseball and knocks the ball through a neighbor’s window or you are at a neighbor’s house and accidently bump into a priceless vase, knocking it off of the stand. Up to your coverage limit, the liability policy of your homeowners/renters insurance will help cover the cost of repair or replacement.
In Florida, drivers are required to have $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Bodily Injury Coverage ($10,000 per person/$20,000 per accident). In addition, at a minimum, drivers must also obtain $10,000 Property Damage Liability.
Florida is a “no-fault” state which means regardless of who is at fault, each person’s private insurance will cover personal injury liability (PIP Insurance). However, this may not be enough coverage for some injuries. If the other party is injured and you were deemed liable for causing the accident, then the other party may seek additional coverage under your insurance (Bodily Injury Insurance). However, in more severe accidents, the minimum coverage levels may not be enough to cover your liability for the injuries sustained during the accident, so additional coverage options are available for liability relating to bodily injury.
As for property damage, your liability coverage for crashing into someone’s property (i.e. the other vehicle) is $10,000. Auto insurance carriers also offer additional coverage levels to protect against any liability above that amount. Auto insurance carriers also offer liability policies to cover against instances where no one else is liable—like a tree limb falling on your car, hitting a deer, or a rock hitting your windshield.
Other Motorized Vehicle Insurance
RV, Motorcycle, Power/Water Sport—these coverages are very similar to each other and to auto insurance, although issued separately based on the type of motorized vehicle you need insured.
The liability coverage under these insurance policies extend to bodily injuries and property damage caused during an accident—either with another motorized vehicle, other property, or a single-vehicle accident (i.e. losing control and rolling). What is covered and to what extent will vary on the type of coverages you elect, so be sure to consider all possibilities to ensure you opt for the best coverages.
Landlord Liability Insurance
Renting out your property may be a great way to make additional income, but it also comes with an extensive amount of responsibility. Even if your renters have a rental insurance policy, you are still responsible for the maintenance of the property itself and can be liable for injuries that occur on the premises.
Business Liability Insurance
Businesses are held to a higher degree of responsibility than individuals. There are several types of policies to address the many instances where a business is held responsible for damage or injury.
• Premises or Property Insurance
• Product Liability
• Professional Liability
• Errors & Omissions
• Employment Practices Liability
• Workers Compensation
Personal Umbrella Insurance
We mentioned this type of insurance above. Umbrella insurance helps to cover the gap in your traditional liability coverage and minimizes your out-of-pocket liability costs. Should an incident occur that results in an injury or property damage that is above your current coverage level or is outside of the limits of your policy, you may be able to use your umbrella policy for additional protection.
Contact Magruder Insurance
In this day and age, liability insurance is necessary—and mandatory in some cases. It is better to have liability coverage and not need it, than to not have it and need it. Liability insurance coverage is very affordable, more so than if you were to be found financially liable for someone’s injury or property damage. Speak with an independent insurance agent from Magruder today to discuss your current liability coverage or your need for liability protection.