What Does that Homeowners Insurance Policy Actually Cover?

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

When a person buys a house and takes out a mortgage loan, it is required that he obtain a homeowner’s insurance policy, but how many people actually think about what that means until the coverage is needed.  Many times, a person reviews the coverage when someone has been injured or killed on the property or there is extensive property loss, but it is important to know what a homeowner can expect before the worst case scenario occurs.

If you have had to make a claim against your homeowner’s insurance policy and have been denied or given the runaround, please discuss your claim immediately with an insurance claims attorney.

A homeowner’s policy is intended to cover the legal liability for an injury that occurred on the property or damage to the property caused by a covered peril, up to the limits of the policy.  It is a form of indemnification that provides both first party coverage and third party coverage for the homeowner.  The differences in these two types of coverage are as follows:

  • First party coverage – this is protection for the homeowner against personal loss, such as coverage for fire, storm, or accident damage, as well as the theft of property from the home; and
  • Third party coverage – this insurance is intended to pay for someone else’s damages if there is property damage or an injury caused by the actions of the insured, such as an accident where a guest trips and falls on a loose tile or gets bitten by the family poodle.  This sometimes is referred to as premises liability coverage.

It is important to understand the types of coverage that a policy provides in order to know how much insurance an average homeowner should have above the minimum required under the terms of a mortgage or other obligation.  The types of third party coverage include:

  • Medical – the homeowner’s insurance policy will pay a third-party’s medical expenses if he is injured on the premises, regardless of who was responsible for the harm that the victim suffered;
  • Personal liability – this coverage extends to the homeowner and his family living in the home.  It pays another party for personal injury as well as property damage, which might result when the daughter of the homeowner decides to launch a rocket, but hits the neighbor’s house rather than outer space;
  • Residential employee – if there is an employee working in the home, such as a maid or nanny, there may be coverage for any harm suffered while working.  This would only apply to actual employees and not independent contractors such as plumbers or the bug-control guy;
  • Umbrella – in many cases, a homeowner will have additional coverage in the form of an umbrella policy, which covers liability above the limits of the underlying policy or outside the scope of the primary policy.   It comes into play in two ways.  In the first scenario, there is an injury or other loss and the underlying policy is exhausted, so the umbrella coverage comes into effect.  The other time where an umbrella policy may cover the damage is where the coverage is different from the primary policy.  When it is unique coverage, the primary policy does not have to be exhausted before the umbrella policy becomes active.

The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. Resolves Coverage Issues

The principle behind homeowner’s insurance coverage is to protect someone’s assets in the event of property loss or personal injury.  However, when an insurance company tries to improve its bottom line by denying a valid claim, a homeowner may need the experience and commitment of an experineced insurance claims lawyer.  If you have questions about your policy claim, I can analyze your situation and advise you of your options.  My law firm handles insurance claims in Miami and throughout Florida.  The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations.  No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees.  Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.

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