- September 7, 2016
- Posted by: Liam Dai
- Category: Uncategorized
What Is Personal Injury Coverage and Why Does It Matter to Me?
If you have renters or homeowners insurance you may feel covered against catastrophes, whether it’s a fire, theft, or someone tripping down your concrete stoop—heck, your possessions are covered even when traveling abroad. That’s all well and good, but have you considered the financial trouble that you and your family’s opinions may get you into?
In this blog, we’ll take a quick look at what it means to be covered for something known as personal injury coverage.
What is Personal Injury Coverage?
If you’ve chosen basic homeowners, mobile home, renters or condominium insurance policy, be aware that you’re typically NOT covered for a myriad of seemingly innocuous damage. That’s right, expressing your viewpoint can be construed as libel and slander, and can thus be considered grounds for lawsuits. With today’s technology, the amount in which we leave ourselves vulnerable to lawsuit-happy individuals has never been easier. Even leaving a derogatory review is grounds for legal action, especially since the Internet makes it easier to document and PROVE that you slandered them (or their business) online.
The fact of the matter is that for a few dollars more per year, you can protect you and your family from lawsuits arising from:
- false arrest,
- false imprisonment,
- wrongful eviction,
- wrongful detention,
- malicious prosecution,
- defamation of character, or
- invasion of rights of privacy
Pretty exhaustive list, right? Much like other forms of insurance, personal injury coverage usually costs a minimal amount ($50 – $100/year additional) to ensure that you’re REALLY covered. If you’re insurer doesn’t offer this as part of additional coverage, you can purchase liability umbrella coverage to cover the slack.
Other Reasons for Personal Liability Coverage
- If you’re a landlord, personal liability coverage is essential–some insurance companies will not define the renting of residential units as a business pursuit (covered by business owners insurance.This protects your against wrongful eviction and invasion of privacy claims from tenants.
- Those of your household who are active in your community (ex. politics, volunteers, or board members of any organization) you should get this coverage, as dealing with the public opens up yourself to a wider away of lawsuit “opportunities.”
- Website owners that have advertising are typically NOT be covered by personal injury coverage option for lawsuits arising from the content of your blog or website.
Example: The Yelp Contractor Case
The website Yelp.com is based off of customer reviews of businesses and contractors, which makes those who use it (clients and businesses) prime targets for lawsuits. In one such example in 2011, a Virginia woman placed a 1/5 star Yelp review for a contractor, claiming a contractor botched a job, stole personal property, and caused damage to the clients’ home. Subsequently, the contractor placed a counter-review that was equally inflammatory, and sued for $750,000 in damages.
A lengthy trial ensued, where the final verdict was ruled in favor of neither party. However, the lawyer fees for both parties were substantial—and it was all over words on a website!
The takeaway from this was that neither the homeowner was NOT insured for this part of homeowners insurance, so her legal bills could’ve been substantial (she had a pro-bono lawyer). However, the length of the trial is enough to dissuade most parties from spreading negative opinions, factual or not.
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Now that you have a basic understanding of personal liability coverage, do you believe you’re still covered from all the instances that basic liability insurance policies cover? If you’re still unsure—there is a lot to consider—then we recommend that you speak to a qualified advisor at RiskBlock to make sure that your family is protected.