What Is Personal Liability Insurance?

Personal liability coverage financially protects you against accidental bodily injury or property damage to other people.

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personal liability

Personal liability coverage—or personal liability insurance, as it is sometimes called—is a crucial component of your homeowners insurance policy. It protects you against bodily injury or property damage that you cause to other people (or their stuff), either at home or away from home.

If the other person should file a claim or take legal action against you for these damages, your personal liability insurance could take care of the costs up to your coverage limit.

Let’s take a look at the finer points of personal liability insurance for homeowners.

What does personal liability insurance cover?

Personal liability insurance covers the following: 

  • Bodily injury to others at your home: Suppose you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, and a guest trips over a loose paving stone, breaking their ankle. In this scenario, your personal liability coverage could kick in to cover the ensuing medical bills. 
  • Accidental damage to someone else’s property: Let’s say you and your daughter are playing catch, and one of you accidentally sends a baseball flying through the neighbor’s window. Your personal liability coverage could reimburse you for the window repairs, whether the damage was caused by you or by another member of your household.
  • Damage or injury caused by your pet to another person or their property: Imagine that your dog chews through your neighbor’s patio sofa at the annual block party, causing some considerable damage. In this case, your homeowners policy could cover the costs of replacing the damaged furniture. Same goes for any other injuries or property damages that your pet causes, at home or away from home.
  • Legal expenses: No one likes to think about being sued, especially not by a neighbor or friend. However, if you find yourself facing a lawsuit due to a covered incident, your personal liability coverage could help with the legal costs.

What isn’t covered by personal liability insurance?

Here are some things liability insurance doesn’t cover:

  • Intentional property damage or bodily injury: If you intentionally punch your friend Jim in the face or purposefully key his car, your liability coverage (shockingly) wouldn’t be able to help you out here. To be covered, the injury or damage needs to be unintentional.
  • Car damage: If you accidentally hit someone’s locked bike while trying to parallel park, it wouldn’t be covered by homeowners insurance. (That’s why you need car insurance.)
  • Business-related damage: Let’s say you run a pottery studio out of your garage, and one of your students burns their hand on a hot kiln and sues. In this case, your personal liability protection wouldn’t apply, since this incident is a business activity.
  • Injury to you or someone you live with: Your DIY roof repair goes a bit awry, and you fall off a ladder and break your arm. Here, your home insurance wouldn’t come into play. And same goes for injuries sustained by anyone else named on your policy—that would fall under your medical insurance.

How much does personal liability insurance for homeowners cost?

Personal liability insurance is a subcategory of your total homeowners insurance coverage. And the average cost of homeowners insurance across the US is $126/month, according to ValuePenguin.

FYI: At Lemonade, homeowners insurance prices start as low as $25/month.

Keep in mind, though, that the price of your individual policy will depend on a number of factors, such as where you live and how much coverage you opt for.

How much personal liability coverage do I need?

Coverage typically starts at $100,000, which means your home insurance company will pay up to $100,000 in legal fees, medical expenses, or damages per personal liability claim. However, it’s typically recommended that you opt for a personal liability coverage limit that would protect their assets in the event of an injury or lawsuit.

If you’d like to increase your liability policy limit, you can go right ahead! Increasing your coverage amount will probably cause your premium to go up a bit, but no worries – it shouldn’t be too drastic.

FAQs

Is it worth it to get personal liability insurance?

Yes, personal liability insurance provides valuable protection against potential lawsuits and claims for bodily injury or property damage that you or your family members may inadvertently cause to others.

Does personal liability insurance cover incidents involving borrowed or rented items?

Yes, personal liability insurance typically does cover damage to borrowed or rented items, but this can vary by liability policy, so it’s important to review your specific coverage details or consult with your insurance provider.

Do personal liability insurance claims require a deductible?

Nope, personal liability insurance claims usually don’t require a deductible. This means you don’t have to pay any out-of-pocket costs before your coverage kicks in when you file a claim.

What’s the difference between personal liability coverage and personal injury coverage?

Personal liability coverage protects against claims for physical damage to others or their property, while personal injury coverage protects against claims of non-physical injuries like slander, libel, false arrest, or invasion of privacy. While a standard homeowners policy includes personal liability coverage, personal injury coverage is a type of additional coverage that you may be able to purchase through certain homeowners insurance providers (but not Lemonade).

A few quick words, because we <3 our lawyers: This post is general in nature, and any statement in it doesn’t alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of the policies issued, which differ according to your state of residence. You’re encouraged to discuss your specific circumstances with your own professional advisors. The purpose of this post is merely to provide you with info and insights you can use to make such discussions more productive! Naturally, all comments by, or references to, third parties represent their own views, and Lemonade assumes no responsibility for them. Coverage may not be available in all states. Please note that statements about coverages, policy management, claims processes, Giveback, and customer support apply to policies underwritten by Lemonade Insurance Company or Metromile Insurance Company, a Lemonade company, sold by Lemonade Insurance Agency, LLC.  The statements do not apply to policies underwritten by other carriers.

Please note: Lemonade articles and other editorial content are meant for educational purposes only, and should not be relied upon instead of professional legal, insurance or financial advice. The content of these educational articles does not alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. While we regularly review previously published content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, there may be instances in which legal conditions or policy details have changed since publication. Any hypothetical examples used in Lemonade editorial content are purely expositional. Hypothetical examples do not alter or bind Lemonade to any application of your insurance policy to the particular facts and circumstances of any actual claim.