What is Homeowners’ Liability Insurance?
If you have homeowners’ insurance, part of your coverage is to protect and insure you from losses that occur from damage to your home. This is damage that is caused by wind, floods, hail, sinkholes, falling branches, and many other things that can damage the structures and interior of your home.
But your policy will also include liability insurance, which is the kind of insurance that protects you from being sued by someone who may be injured on your property.
You may not give much thought to someone being injured on your property, and may think of yourself as being safe, diligent and responsible. But inherent in negligence is the concept of an accident—a negligent act is not a purposeful or intentional one. Even the best of us can overlook something or do something that ends up causing injury to someone else.
Just think of these common causes of injury that can happen in your home:
-Do you have children? Have you considered whether a guest in your home could fall on a toy left out by your children?
-Many driveways and walkways are slick, and can become slippery in Florida rains. What happens if someone were to slip and fall on your property?
-Do you or your kids have friends over? Anytime children run and play in your home, you are potentially responsible for their safety—even if they are injured by the foolish things that younger children often do.
-Do you have a pool? Whether someone slips on a wet surface near the pool, or has an injury while in the pool, you can be responsible
These are just some examples. People get sued for negligence in personal injury cases all the time, and the insurance that protects them from potentially having to pay a damage award personally, is homeowners’ liability insurance.
Your Insurance Company’s Duties
When someone is injured on your property, they (individually or through their lawyer) will notify you that a potential claim is being made against you. Once you forward that information to your homeowners’ insurance company, your insurance company has two responsibilities.
The first is the duty to defend you. Your insurance company must hire and pay an attorney to litigate and defend the lawsuit, and to appear on your behalf. The attorney represents both you and your insurance company, and works to minimize any settlement or verdict that could be entered against you. If the insurance company does not defend you, you have a right to sue your insurance company to compel them to do so.
The second duty is the duty to pay any settlement or jury verdict entered against you, up to the limits of the policy.
Get help if your insurance company isn’t fulfilling its obligations to you. Contact the Miami property damage insurance attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help.