Don’t let the name fool you:
What does personal liability mean on my home insurance?
Liability – it’s a term you hear all over the place in the insurance world. But what does it actually mean? Well, if you’re liable for something, it means you’re legally responsible for it. And under your home insurance, liability coverage could protect you financially if you’re found liable for certain unintentional actions or events. Harmful acts that are done on purpose, like violence, libel or slander, aren’t covered.
So, when would you actually use liability coverage? Don’t worry, we’ll go over all that next.
What does the personal liability on my home insurance cover?
Personal liability can protect you if you unintentionally cause bodily injury to someone, or if you accidentally damage someone’s property. It could also protect anyone else named on your policy (like your spouse), and any dependents living with you. And, because accidents happen at home and abroad, you’re covered wherever they might occur.
Another big plus? It provides coverage if someone is injured on your property due to your negligence (this is sometimes called premises liability). Things that could be covered include legal bills if you’re sued, payouts for damages you’ve caused, or if you have to pay someone else’s medical bills.
Let’s take a look at some real-life situations where your liability could come into play:
- You didn’t shovel your walkway and a courier slips and breaks their arm
- You break a bystander’s nose with a ball while you’re golfing in Florida, and you’re sued for medical costs
- A tree branch from your property cracks during a windstorm and damages your neighbour’s roof
- Your feisty new pup bites the mailperson and they need to get stitches
In all these scenarios, without liability, you could end up paying out of pocket to cover legal and/or medical costs, or to repair or replace damage you’ve caused to someone else’s property. That’s why this coverage is so important – you never know when you’re going to need it! Think of it as a buffer that covers these unexpected costs.
Does liability cover medical expenses for me and my household, too?
Like we said above, medical expenses for others could be covered by the “bodily injury” part of your liability coverage. But, it doesn’t cover your own medical payments if you get hurt. And, it doesn’t pay for anyone else who lives with you. It only applies if you cause injury to someone else.
How much liability insurance do I need for my home?
With liability, more is always better. Now, we Canadians aren’t as lawsuit-happy as our neighbours to the south, so getting sued isn’t quite as common here. But, you still want to make sure your bank account doesn’t get drained if something happens and you’re on the hook to pay for damage or medical costs. And more often than not, these bills are pricey.
As a rule of thumb, a $1 million limit is recommended – but $2 million or more is ideal. And don’t worry – usually, raising your limit won’t make your payments go up by too much. So, it’s well worth the few extra dollars a month.
If you want to know how much it would cost, do a quick quote online if your insurer offers online services. (At Sonnet, you can quote and adjust your coverage directly through
How much does personal liability cost?
Because liability comes with your home insurance, it can be hard to break down exactly how much it costs separately. Not only that, but every individual’s home insurance premium will be different. This is because premiums are based on personal factors like your age and your credit score, not to mention important details about your home like where it’s located, the building materials that were used, and how old it is. So, liability coverage will be priced differently for every homeowner.
But if you’re trying to cut your insurance bill, you might want to think twice before selecting the minimum limit for liability. Since it really doesn’t make a huge difference in premium, your safest bet is to select a higher limit – and add that extra protection.
Does my personal liability cover me for my home business or home daycare?
No. Most insurers don’t include coverage for
If you’re unsure, it’s best to give your insurance provider a call to chat about your options so nothing falls through the cracks.