This is part two of our post answering the question, “How much home insurance is enough?”
Both HO-3 and HO-5 provide coverage for personal liability, which includes third-party injuries and property damages you or the members of your household are responsible for. Having the right personal liability limits could shield you against judgments and legal fees totaling tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars during a lawsuit. Without it, you could be personally responsible for damages, forcing you to liquidate your savings and assets, or perhaps even make payment from future income to satisfy your debt.
Here at Integrity Insurance Agency, we know that bad things happen to good people. It may not even be your own negligence that results in a loss – just a series of unfortunate events. Often, it is a family dog that injures a guest or another pet that leads to litigation. In fact, dog-related injuries represented more than one-third of home insurance liability claims in 2015, with an average cost-per-claim of more than $37,000.
The most important step you can take to protect yourself and your family against a lawsuit is to choose adequate personal liability coverage limits. Even if you do not have a significant accumulation of assets, a lawsuit could still affect you if you can earn future income. We typically recommend high-limit coverage of at least $100,000 to $300,000. Once insured, this coverage will generally cover you for incidents occurring both in your home and away from it, except certain events like car and boat accidents.
You do your best to keep your home as safe as possible, but hazards can still lurk for unsuspecting guests. Perhaps your banister breaks, causing a guest to fall down the stairs. Maybe a child pulls a vase off a table and onto her head, requiring that she visit an emergency room for stitches. Whatever the cause, medical payments coverage helps pay for medical bills when a third-party is injured on your property – even if you are not at-fault.
This coverage comes with low limits, usually between $1,000 and $5,000. Usually enough to cover a doctor’s visit or a health insurance deductible. For help determining how much medical payments coverage is right for you, contact our office today.
Endorsements provide enhancements to your policy that seal gaps in your coverage and help protect against specific risk exposures. These optional policy additions can increase the benefit you receive from a claim and also make you eligible to receive compensation for certain events not covered by standard home insurance coverage. We recommend talking with an agent here at Integrity Insurance Agency to determine which endorsements are right for you.
Examples of common home insurance endorsements include:
- Scheduled coverage for high-value personal belongings, such as fine jewelry
- Inflation guard to support the cost of rebuilding your home in the future
- Replacement cost coverage for personal belongings
- Home business protection
- Water backup and sewer coverage
- And more
Beyond Home Insurance
Even if you are confident in your home insurance policy, we recommend talking with an agent at our office about your additional liability exposure. Even with a high coverage limit of $300,000, you could still be left with a massive bill if you face a million-dollar lawsuit. An umbrella policy can supplement your primary liability protection once you reach the limits of your coverage, typically providing an additional $1 million or more in liability protection. At an average of just $200 per year or less, this is an affordable way to reinforce your home insurance policy and protect your family against financial ruin. For more information or to request your umbrella insurance quote, contact our office today.