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Attorney Van O'Steen

Homeowner's and Renter's Policies Provide Broad Protection

Van O'Steen

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I recently spoke with a man who told me about a recurring nightmare, his mailman is badly injured when he slips on a toy left lying in the driveway.

The injured mailman hires a lawyer who files suit and eventually wins a large judgment, financially wiping out the man.

Because of the wide use of homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies, the financial disaster in the man’s nightmare is not likely to occur.  These policies provide protection against a great many claims, up to the limits of coverage which the homeowner buys.  For example, a liability limit of $100,000 covers you completely for claims of $100,000 and less.

Many people may not realize how broad their homeowner’s insurance policy is in terms of the type of protection it provides.  Although the policies may vary somewhat, most provide coverage for virtually everything you can be sued for, with the following exceptions:

  • Occurrences arising from the operation of an automobile, plane or boat.
  • Business-related activities.
  • An intentional act which injures someone else.
  • Libel and slander.

Injuries or damage caused by your children and pets are covered by nearly every homeowner’s liability policy. This is true even when the injury or damage occurs away from your home.

Falling trees and irrigation accidents that damage your neighbor’s property also generally are covered.

Another important feature of homeowner’s coverage is that your insurance company will handle all administrative chores associated with resolving the claim against you.  This includes investigation, evaluation and negotiations.  In addition, the company will pay your legal expenses in connection with covered claims made against you.

Of course, coverage varies.  If you have any questions about what your policy does and does not do for you, consult your insurance agent or your lawyer.