The Law Center

What most People Don’t know about homeowner’s Insurance

Lawyers don’t like to sue individuals.  They prefer to sue insurance companies because an insurance company has something called, “a deep pocket.”   After you win a settlement or judgement, the insurance company immediately writes a check.  Without insurance, most judgements would be uncollectible because individuals usually can’t pay.   Part of  the homeowner’s insurance policy is called, “the liability provision” that follows owners away from the home.  It covers not just the owner, but resident relatives.   This policy provision covers claims for accidents away from just streets and sidewalks.

For instance:  playgrounds, schoolyards, parks, lakes, swimming pools, college campuses, and dormitories.   Activities which commonly cause injury and can be insurable by liability policies:  wrestling, horseplay, intoxicated behavior, off-road dirt-bikes or other vehicles not meant for highway use, and the use of weapons such as guns or bow and arrows.  Injuries from any of these activities can lead to a lawsuit provided that the responsible person lives in a home covered by insurance.  Other practical real-life examples of insurable conduct:  dog bites, hazing or team sport initiation rituals, neglect of a minor (any type of child supervisor), online cyberbullying, and all the different types of public shaming which can occur online.  

An insurance policy covers negligence (carelessness) from an “accident or occurrence,” but it excludes intentional criminal conduct.  Therefore, an injury from a crime is not insurable.  Commercial activity is also excluded.   A homeowner who starts a business and engages in business activity is NOT covered by homeowner’s insurance, so a homeowner who goes into business should be sure to obtain commercial insurance so personal assets aren’t jeopardized.

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