Bodily injury (liability) is a term describing physical harm to others caused by you, or anyone else covered on your insurance policy including your pets!
What is bodily injury in renters and home insurance?
Mentioned nearly 40 times in your standard insurance policy, bodily injury is a term you should be familiar with.
It’s one of two broad areas of coverage, along with property damage, that fall under something called personal liability, aka coverage for stuff you do that affects other people.
If you accidentally injure someone else, check your policy for the specifics of what’s covered. Your insurer might be required to help you legally and financially.
Both homeowners and renters policies typically offer personal liability coverage between $100,000 and $500,000.
What bodily injury covers... and what it doesn’t
There are a bunch of different sections in your policy explaining, excluding, or trying to define what bodily injury is and how it’s applied under personal liability.
Here’s the TL;DR of which types of bodily injury claims are covered, and which are not.
- Physical harm you (or anyone on your policy) are responsible for
- Bodily injury to you, your family members, and people listed on your policy
- Communicable viruses, infections, diseases, etc. that you, or others on your policy, give to others
So, let’s assume you’re living in the city, renting an apartment (and have renters insurance, of course!). If you’re sued after your friend cut their hand while making dinner at your place, your policy may just help you cover the costs to get out of this jam.
Exclusions to bodily injury coverage
There are a few exceptions when it comes to bodily injury that are worth noting.
You won’t be covered if:
- You knowingly put yourself in a dangerous situation (or did something to someone else)
- Your home happens to also be your place of work
For example: Say you run a dog-walking business from your home, and your dog bites one of the new boarders (canine boarders, that is). In this case, your home insurance won’t have your back vis-a-vis number two above.
If you have any questions about specifics, we suggest cracking open your policy or contacting your insurer to get a more in-depth explanation.
How is bodily injury coverage different from 'medical payments to others' coverage?
If you read over your policy, you may note that ‘medical payments to others’ is another area in the coverages section (and also included on your declarations page, just for future reference).
However, medical payments are a quick way to settle small injuries to other people.
They’re there to cover injuries sustained by guests who may have gotten injured at your place, or people you may have accidentally hurt outside of your home, for up to $5,000.
Anything bigger, involving large sums of money and/or lawyers, would fall under bodily injury.