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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Does Homeowners' Insurance Cover Off-Property Injuries? | An Overview

These days, it seems as if people can get insurance coverage for almost anything. In a world where sports and movie stars can get body part insurance policies, it is only right that homeowners’ have some protection for their most prized assets.

In Houston, homeowners' insurance coverage is one of the top three types of insurance policies that most people have, along with life insurance and auto insurance. It is so common that most Texas residents will buy a homeowners' policy without even giving it a second thought.

However, while the name suggests that homeowner's insurance covers the policyholder's property in case of an unforeseen disaster, many people do not realize that it is a lot more than that. With the right type of homeowners' insurance cover, injury or other losses to the policyholder may also be covered.

In fact, when property owners purchase homeowners' insurance cover, accidents that happen away from their home may also be covered. This means policyholders can rest assured that they are covered in case anything happens while they are on someone else's property.

This article will look at some of the typical situations that homeowners’ insurance covers. Texas residents looking for more insight or assistance after suffering bodily injury away from their property need to contact a good lawyer.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is ready to assist victims in filing their homeowner's insurance claim and recover damages to cover medical bills, legal fees, and other losses. Victims can schedule a free consultation by calling +1 713-999-4150 right now. They can also help answer questions such as Is personal injury protection required in Texas?

What Is Homeowners’ Insurance Policy Cover? Who Needs It?

What Is Homeowners’ Insurance Policy Cover? Who Needs It?

Homeowners' insurance coverage is a type of property insurance policy provided by the insurance company to cover damages or losses to an individual's home and their household assets. It covers a wide range of situations, such as:

  • Exterior and interior damage to the house

  • Damage or loss of personal assets

  • Injuries that arise both on and off the property

Homeowners' insurance coverage should not be confused with mortgage insurance or a home warranty, even though some similarities may exist. The homeowners' insurance company and the policyholder will agree on a liability coverage limit that will determine how much the holder can receive if an unfortunate incident occurs.

While the law in Texas does not require everyone who owns a property to have homeowners’ insurance coverage, it is the shrewd thing to do. In case of an accident or natural disaster, a homeowners’ policy can be a lifeline for property owners.

Also, if some money is still owed on the house, the lender will most likely require the property owner to have a homeowners' insurance policy. As such, homeowners need to take the time to find the right insurance company that provides favorable homeowners' insurance policies suitable for their needs.

What Is Covered by Homeowners’ Insurance Policy?

Will a typical homeowners' insurance policy cover medical expenses for the policyholder? Does homeowners' insurance cover off-property injuries? These are some of the questions many Texas property owners are asking.

When a person is being sued in a personal injury claim for causing accidental injuries to someone else, personal injury attorneys in Houston TX will look for any way they can get money for the victim. The defendant's house is usually an attractive option. To help protect against this, homeowner's insurance covers a wide range of accidental injuries that occur in the defendant's home or on someone else's property.

The following are some of the personal injury claims covered by a homeowners’ insurance policy:

  • Fire

  • Electrical accidents

  • Slip, trip, and fall accidents

  • Parking lot accidents

  • Exposure to toxic chemicals

  • Dog bites and other animal attacks

  • Injuries that occur because of negligent security

However, before purchasing homeowners' insurance policies from an insurance company, there are some important things that potential policyholders need to know, such as:

Not All Cases Are Covered

While the insurance company will agree to provide coverage for certain situations, there are some types of accidents that homeowners’ insurance policies will not cover, such as car accidents. Drivers will need auto insurance liability coverage for such situations.

Other types of accidents that occur away from the policyholder's car or the roadway may be covered. Each insurance company will have a wide range of typical everyday scenarios that it will cover. As such, it is important for homeowners to discuss the type of liability insurance they are entitled to from the insurance company.

Negligence Is Covered

Texas law expects everyone to act in a way that does not put others in danger of being injured or suffering financial losses. This means homeowners have a duty of care to others while at home or on someone else's property. If this duty of care is breached, this may be seen as negligence, and the at-fault party may be found liable for damages.

A typical example is when someone is injured because the at-fault party was focused on their phone rather than paying attention to what they were doing. The injured person can file a personal injury claim against the party who is liable.

Luckily, with good homeowners' insurance coverage, accidents such as these will be covered for the policyholder and their family members.

Intentional Bad Acts Are Not Covered

Homeowners' insurance does not provide coverage for intentional bad acts committed by the policyholder or a family member. This means if the insurance company investigates and finds out that the policyholder tried to intentionally hurt someone else, they will not receive any payment to aid in their lawsuit.

Typical examples of actions that are not covered by a standard homeowners’ policy include:

  • Assault and battery

  • Sexual harassment

  • Vandalism

  • Harassment at the workplace

Three Types of Injury Coverage Included in Homeowners’ Insurance Policies

With the right homeowners’ insurance policy, holders can be covered for three common types of injury coverage, and these are:

Personal Liability Coverage

When a defendant is being sued for causing injury to another person, homeowners’ insurance can provide the personal liability coverage that they need to cover the lawsuit.

This means that regardless of the outcome of personal injury claims, homeowners can pay for their negligence without putting their most valuable assets on the line. The amount that the insurance company will be willing to pay toward the personal injury lawsuit depends policy limits of the personal liability coverage.

Medical Payments Coverage

Most homeowners' insurance policies come with additional coverage for medical bills and other hospital-related expenses. This insurance is reserved to cover medical bills after an injury occurs at the homeowner's residence or on someone else's property.

Insurance coverage for medical bills will is often between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on the insurance company. The injured person will be paid up to that amount whether or not the homeowner was at fault or negligent in causing the accident to occur.

Umbrella Liability Coverage

To further protect the homeowner's personal wealth, they can purchase an additional layer of insurance coverage known as umbrella liability coverage. If the damages that the homeowner has to pay to injured victims far exceeds the personal liability coverage on their homeowners’ insurance policy, they can access further funds using their umbrella liability coverage.

This will protect them from having to sell off their valuables to cover damages in big lawsuits, such as when dealing with accidental death claims.

A Closer Look at Personal Liability Insurance Coverage

One of the biggest advantages of having a good homeowner's insurance policy is that it gives the holder access to personal liability coverage. This insurance coverage allows them to protect themselves when being sued for causing injuries to another person on their premises or someone else's property.

Such lawsuits can easily cost millions of dollars depending on the nature of the injuries, property damage, and whether or not the homeowner is found negligent. Without personal liability insurance, paying such huge amounts on top of the legal fees that come with the lawsuit would be a huge blow for the policyholder.

Having additional personal liability coverage on top of the regular homeowners’ insurance policy is always a good idea because no property owner can be sure when an accident will happen on their premises and how much they will be liable for.

With the right type of personal liability insurance, the homeowner can be covered for many different things, such as:

  • Legal expenses

  • Death benefits

  • Property damage

  • Lost wages

  • Medical bills

Depending on the type of personal liability insurance that they have, homeowners may also be covered for off-property incidents.

Setting Coverage Limits

Having homeowner's insurance will not help the holder if they are unable to negotiate the right coverage limits of their policy. This is because when they need their policy to cover them, they will end up having to pay out-of-pocket if their policy is not good enough.

As such, it is very important for property owners to negotiate the best coverage limits for both their homeowners' insurance policy and personal liability coverage.

A good starting point would be to consider the net worth of their assets. This includes the value of their properties, cars, investments, jewelry, and other valuables. A good homeowners’ insurance coverage limit should be enough to cover the value of these essential assets.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the majority of homeowner's insurance coverage limits are worth around $100,000 (excluding additional personal liability insurance). If the value of the assets exceeds this amount, homeowners may want to increase this coverage limit to between $300,000 and $500,000, or even more.

In cases where the liability judgment exceeds the homeowner's insurance policy limits, having personal liability insurance and a personal umbrella policy will protect the property owner from having to liquidate any of their assets.

Benefits of a Homeowner's Insurance Policy

When facing a lawsuit for causing injury or property damage on their premises or someone else's property, homeowner's insurance policy holders have some advantages compared to uninsured defendants.

The most important advantage is that the homeowner's insurance company will pay the settlement and litigation costs associated with the lawsuit.

Depending on the nature of the lawsuit, the insurance company will handle all the medical bills, property damage, and compensation for pain and suffering as long as the total costs are within the policy limits.

Some personal injury claims require the use of expert witnesses. The homeowner's insurance covers this along with any accompanying litigation costs, such as jury and attorney fees.

Another important benefit of having homeowners’ liability coverage is that the insurance company will also provide an experienced attorney to handle the case. This is because it is in the interest of the insurance company to get the best possible outcome from the litigation.

The result of this is that most personal injury claims that are covered by a homeowners' insurance policy will reach a settlement with very little participation from the policyholder.

When To Contact the Insurance Company

As soon as the defendant receives a summons from the victims, they must contact their insurance company. It is important to know early on whether the insurance company will be able to cover the lawsuit according to the terms of the homeowners' insurance policy.

In cases where the insurance company refuses to provide coverage for the lawsuit, the defendant can contact a good personal injury attorney to explore their options before responding to the summons.

Steps to Take After Off-property Injuries or Property Damage

When someone is injured and they decide to sue the at-fault party, it is important for the defendant to take all the right steps to ensure the litigation goes in the best possible way. As mentioned above, the first and most important step is to report the lawsuit to the homeowners’ insurance company and find out if their policy covers the claim.

The next step is to avoid admitting fault or providing any written or recorded statements to the opposing counsel. Even talking to insurance adjusters without a lawyer present is not advisable. This is because there are many legal issues that the insurance adjusters or opposing counsel may try to exploit.

While waiting for the insurance company to evaluate the lawsuit, the defendant can try to gather as much evidence as possible that can help their case. This includes pictures of the accident scene and the contact information of potential witnesses.

If the insurance company is unable or unwilling to cover injuries and other damages caused by the policyholder, the next step is to contact a good lawyer. An experienced legal professional will be able to guide them and explore other ways to respond to the lawsuit.

How Long Does a Homeowner's Insurance Claim Take to Settle?

The length of time it takes for a homeowners’ insurance claim to be settled depends on a wide range of factors, including how long it takes for the victim to recover from the injuries they suffered. In Texas, victims have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit against the property owner, so such claims can last a long time.

Most victims may be advised by their attorneys to wait until they have completely recovered and the full extent of their injuries is known, as well as the total cost of their medical bills. This is what may delay homeowners’ insurance claims the most.

In other words, how long a homeowners' insurance claim will take varies from one case to another, so both victims and defendants need to consult with their lawyers to find out what they can do to expedite the process.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

Dealing with homeowner's insurance policies, personal liability coverage, and umbrella liability insurance can be confusing for the average Texas property owner. Also, insurance companies are not always willing to pay for lawsuits for incidents that occur off-property.

As such, when faced with a homeowner's insurance claim, it is always best to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to make sure the rights of the defendant are not abused. The right attorney will be able to:

  • Determine the amount of liability insurance coverage available

  • Investigate the incident

  • File the required paperwork

  • Fight for the rights of the victim

The great thing about approaching a reputable personal injury attorney is that it will not cost anything at all. The initial consultation is free, and it will clear up any legal issues that may be important to the case. They can also help with questions like What are special damages in personal injury?

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Is Ready for War

The right type of homeowners’ insurance and personal liability insurance coverage may be able to cover a wide range of damages, including off-property injuries. However, such cases can be very complicated, especially when dealing with an insurance company that is reluctant to pay.

This is where Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys comes in. With many years of experience handling cases that deal with homeowners’ insurance policies in Houston, TX, this top-rated law firm is ready to go to war for the rights of its clients.

A panel of expert lawyers is standing by ready to offer free consultations to all those struggling to deal with homeowners’ insurance companies in Texas.


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