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Specialized Personal Liability Coverage: When Homeowners Liability Falls Short

Specialized Personal Liability Coverage: When Homeowners Liability Falls Short

Loosely defined, negligence is the failure to use reasonable care that results in the injury of another. The slippery phrase in this definition is “reasonable care.” What seems reasonable to you may not agree with the assessment of the lawyer prosecuting a lawsuit against you.

Suppose you lived in a household with no toddlers or small children. Placing something like a decorative vase on top of a drawer seems harmless enough. While such a choice is perfectly reasonable in a household of adults and older teens, it could cause a tragic injury should a neighbor’s child climb the drawer and pull the vase down on himself.

A lawyer could argue that you should have remembered to remove the hazard or kept the room locked. Perhaps you should have, but what about the many other “hazards” that could potentially cause harm? Even the decision to walk with wet bare feet in the bathroom for example, leaves wet areas on the floor that may cause a slip and fall injury to a guest.

The above may seem a bit far-fetched, but we live in a litigious society, where too many people are prone to use the law to settle disputes or to get compensation for pain and loss of income while recovering from an accident on another’s property. While your homeowners liability insurance may cover these kinds of accidents, the coverage may be insufficient if the person’s injury has long-term consequences that affect his ability to make a living.

An injured back can end the career of a construction worker for example. Disfigurement can affect one’s personal life, career, quality of life, and can cause psychological scarring in some people. The damages awarded in court for these kinds of injuries could easily exceed your homeowners liability limits.

If social events do bring the children of neighbors and friends into your home, some childproofing work is certainly the prudent thing to do. However, adults aren’t accident-free either. Ultimately, accidents will happen and you should have sufficient insurance to cover them.

Specialized personal liability coverage can provide the additional protection you need on top of your homeowners policy without sapping your budget. Take the time to carefully review the limits of your homeowners policy, and contact us to learn more about how specialized personal liability can act as a supplement.