Personal Liability Insurance is becoming more important than ever. At one time or another we’ve all done something a little reckless. It could have been on the playground where we threw a snowball and it hit someone. It could have been while riding our bike and we ran into someone. These types of accidents can result in injury. Most of these injuries are very minor and an apology clears up any hurt feelings.
Accountable for Our Actions
Sometimes reckless acts are more than just reckless, they’re negligent and result in a serious injury. When a court rules that someone is liable for the injuries to another person there are usually monetary awards to the injured party. A case in Ottawa highlights this clearly. A man in a hockey league checked another man from behind causing head injuries.
In her ruling Justice Sally Gomery wrote that:
“Courts have moved from requiring evidence of intent to harm to applying the general rules of negligence, adapting them to the context of a sport where some risk of injury is inevitable.”
In other words if your actions result in a serious injury you will be deemed responsible.
Examples of incidents that can be deemed negligent are:
- slips and falls due to icy sidewalks or pathways on your property
- falling trees causing damage to third party property
- dog bites which result in injury
- accidents involving a pool or hot-tub
- accidents that come as a result of serving guests alcohol
- actions of minors in your care.
Intentionally injuring someone or purposefully causing property damage is a criminal act. Criminal acts are therefore not covered under the personal liability section of your home, tenant’s or condo insurance policy.
How Can You Protect Your Family From Charges of Negligence?
Being proactive about your actions and maintaining your property are the best and first steps to minimizing your risk of being sued for negligence.
However, accidents happen, and this is where having a personal property policy, such as a homeowner’s, condominium, or tenant’s insurance policy is so important. These policies provide personal liability coverage to protect you and your family from unintentional injuries to other people.
Personal Liability Insurance covers two main areas: Bodily Injury and Property Damage.
What Coverages Are There in A Personal Liability Insurance Policy?
For a covered claim your legal fees and defence costs are covered under the personal liability portion of your personal property insurance policy. Any lawsuit brought against you as a result of your negligence means the insurance company will often pay for a lawyer to defend you in court. Your insurance policy will also cover any court fines awarded against you.
We all know there are more lawsuits now than ever before which means you should ensure that you have enough coverage for your personal liability. You can increase your liability coverage on your home, tenants or condo policy. You can also purchase an umbrella insurance policy which would offer another layer of protection for both you home and auto insurance policies. Umbrella policies can provide an additional $1 million to $10 million of liability coverage, depending on your needs.
Get an Umbrella Insurance Quote today.
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Thank you for reading.
Lackner McLennan and Erb and Erb provide these informational articles to educate the public about insurance and investment related matters. This article does not substitute for broker advice regarding your specific insurance or investment needs. For a comprehensive strategy to tackle what you, your family, or your business, may need we invite you to speak directly to a broker who can guide you through all the options available to you.