Here is a great article written by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley of Homeinsurance.com regarding the critical importance of buying the right homeowners insuance policy for adequate liability protection.
Your Best Line of Defense when Paying for Your Legal Defense
You never thought it could happen to you. In fact, it seemed to come out of nowhere. Who would have guessed that you’d ever get sued? Regardless of whether the reality of the situation has sunk in, you’re now facing a lawsuit. You’ve started looking into legal defense, and you’re scared that you’re not going to be able to afford attorney fees and court costs. But before you give up hope of ever paying off your bills, take a look at your home insurance policy.
Personal liability coverage, which typically is included in a standard home insurance policy, protects you when there’s a physical injury on your property – maybe your dog bit the mailman or a neighbor slipped on your front porch – and the injured person decides to sue. However, personal injury liability coverage offers more protection. If you’re sued for libel, slander, invasion of privacy, defamation of character, false arrest, wrongful eviction, imprisonment, detention, malicious prosecution or wrongful entry, your homeowners insurance might qualify you for financial assistance to help pay for legaldefense.
A standard home insurance policy generally includes at least $100,000 in personal liability coverage. However, you can extend coverage to $300,000 or more. If you feel you are at particular risk for a lawsuit, you have the option of taking out an umbrella liability policy. For the amount specified in your umbrella policy, you’ll get higher limits for protection from a variety of lawsuits, including the kind covered by the personal injury portion of your regular home insurance policy.
Consider the two examples above. The cost of an average dog bite claim is nearly $25,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Slip and fall accidents can be even costlier, and the Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 1 million Americans suffer an injury from such an incident each year. The average medical cost of slip-and-fall accidents is $22,800 per incident. Keep in mind that if someone sues, you could also be on the hook for lost wages and possibly even pain and suffering.
That's why having a reliable home insurance policy ranks so highly, along with having top-level legal representation, if you're sued because of an accident in your home. Remember, your personal finances are on the line in such cases, so you need a multi-level strategy to keep yourself protected.
How to find a reliable home insurance policy
Naturally, you need to prepare for this kind of worst-case scenario before it happens. If you’re a homeowner, you might already have a home insurance policy. Even so, you might want to think about finding a different policy or provider. Shopping for better insurance protection is easy these days. Thanks to the Internet, you can compare prices to determine which policy and provider are best. Take the following steps to make sure you’re getting a good value:
The process for securing an excellent policy isn’t difficult. Get in touch with a licensed insurance agent today to learn more about personal liability coverage. While you might not be worried about getting sued, lawsuits tend to blindside the unsuspecting. Protect yourself now so you don’t have to worryabout your finances later.
This article was contributed by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley, Editor of the HomeInsurance.com blog. Carrie has been writing insurance news and consumer information for HomeInsurance.com since 2008. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington in 2005 with a B.A. in Professional Writing and Journalism