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Home Insurance and Personal Liability Coverage

Your guide to understanding personal liability coverage under home insurance

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Written by Joel Kranc

What is personal liability insurance in home insurance?

By most accounts, your home is the biggest investment you will ever make. Protecting it from damage, loss of possessions or other unforeseen problems is priority-one.

However, beyond the physical structure, you’ll want to protect yourself in case someone is injured on your property. That’s personal liability insurance. Most basic home insurance plans offer personal liability insurance, but the amount and coverage will depend on your needs.

There are two types of liability insurance to consider:

  • Bodily Injury
  • Property Damage

Bodily injury coverage can help you cover costs for medical expenses for injuries that occurred on or within your property. For example, if someone slips and falls on your property, your personal liability coverage would cover medical expenses up to the coverage limits.

Property damage coverage is used if you or a family member causes damage to someone else’s property, say a neighbour’s window is broken by your kids, for example.

Personal liability insurance covers claims of bodily injury and property damage, such as: medical bills, legal expenses resulting from lawsuits, damages that result from negligent acts and injury or property damage caused by your pets.

Personal liability coverage amounts

What are the minimum coverage amounts?

Most personal liability insurance policies provide $100,000 of coverage, by default.

Why do most insurance providers recommend higher coverage amounts?

While $100,000 may not seem like a lot of money, it may be the limit your budget can handle for now. It’s best to think about future assets and how you might be affected financially should a personal liability injury or damage claim be made against you. Claims might be higher than anticipated and taking out more coverage today could save you money down the road.

What’s not covered by personal liability insurance?

Personal liability insurance will not cover everything. For example:

  • Liability resulting from an auto accident (typically covered by your auto insurance).
  • Bodily injury or property damage caused intentionally by you or a family member.
  • Business activities or claims related to your job or profession.

Frequently asked questions about personal liability coverage

What are common examples of personal liability claims?

Personal liability claims most often have to do with the following types of incidents:

  • Slips and falls
  • Falling trees
  • Dog bites
  • Tripping on loose carpet or items on the floor
  • Accidents involving swimming pools

What does personal liability insurance cover?

There are three main components of liability protection, they include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Legal fees
  • Property damage

Do I need personal liability insurance if I have it on my auto insurance?

Yes. Auto insurance is specific to auto accidents and only protects you in those circumstances. Home personal liability insurance relates to home injuries and/or damages.

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