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What Is Personal Liability Insurance and Do You Need It?

Christy Bieber
By: Christy Bieber

Our Insurance Expert

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Homeowners insurance protects a property owner's finances. Personal liability home insurance is an important part of this protection. This guide explains how personal liability insurance works. It also explains why getting this protection is so essential.

What is personal liability insurance on a homeowners policy?

What does personal liability mean in home insurance? Let's take a look so homeowners know if this is the right coverage for them.

Personal liability insurance protects a homeowner's assets. It does this by paying for losses a property owner is responsible for. A property owner is generally responsible for losses if someone is injured on their property. Personal liability home insurance also covers losses caused by a property owner's pets.

For example, injuries would be covered by personal liability insurance if someone slips and falls on a broken tile. The insurance pays out in this case if the victim makes a claim against the homeowner. Or, if a homeowner's dog bit someone, personal liability insurance provides coverage for the injuries. And it pays for the homeowner's legal bills if someone makes a damage claim.

What is covered by personal liability insurance on a home policy?

Personal liability home insurance provides coverage for losses caused to others. It pays for these losses if a homeowner is legally responsible for them. This could occur because someone was injured on the homeowner's property, or if a property owner's pet injured someone.

To help explain the home insurance personal liability meaning and understand what it covers, let's look at some of the different kinds of losses it pays for.

Medical bills resulting from injury

A homeowner could be liable for injuries caused by their negligence. Personal liability home insurance covers medical bills for accident victims. If a homeowner is liable when a person suffers injury on their property, this insurance pays for medical care and other damages.

Homeowners should know the difference between home insurance personal liability vs. medical payments. Medical payments coverage pays for some medical bills for more minor injuries. It covers these costs regardless of who is at fault for an accident. If injuries are more severe and damages are greater, the claim would typically escalate to a personal liability claim.

Bodily injury

Bodily injury coverage is a crucial part of personal liability home insurance. It covers all financial loss resulting from an injury that a homeowner is responsible for. This can include not only medical bills, but lost wages and pain and suffering the victim experiences.

Property damage

Property damage personal liability insurance covers damage to other people's property. It covers this if the homeowner is legally liable for losses. For example, if a tree falls on a neighbor's house, property damage coverage could pay for the damage.

If a homeowner is sued as a result of an injury or property damage, personal liability home insurance pays for any resulting legal fees.

What is not covered by personal liability insurance?

Although personal liability insurance provides comprehensive protection, some things are not covered. They include the following.

Intentional damage

If a property owner intentionally hurts someone or damages their property, personal liability home insurance generally would not provide coverage.

Injuries to residents

Residents of the home typically cannot make a personal liability home insurance claim. One example is if a property owner slipped on their steps. They can't make a claim against their own home insurance for resulting losses.

Damage to the homeowner's vehicles

A homeowner's own vehicles are not covered under personal liability insurance. But the vehicles of neighbors or visitors would be covered. These losses would be paid for by personal liability insurance property damage coverage.

How much does homeowners insurance personal liability coverage cost?

The average cost of homeowners insurance varies based on many factors. They include home size, location, coverage amounts, and perceived risks. The more personal liability home insurance a property owner buys, the higher their premiums.

When buying homeowners insurance, homeowners can determine the cost of personal liability coverage by getting quotes from several insurance companies. This will ensure they receive the most affordable protection.

Is personal liability insurance worth it?

Personal liability insurance is worth paying for. That's because accidents can happen, and pets can cause injury.

If something goes wrong and a homeowner is responsible, it could be devastating financially. Without personal liability home insurance, a homeowner could be liable for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if someone is injured or dies on their property.

How much personal liability insurance do you need?

How much personal liability home insurance do I need? The amount depends on a homeowner's personal situation.

If the risk of injury is high, a homeowner will need more coverage. For example, a home pool is an attractive nuisance. Drowning or other accidents are more likely.

Also, a homeowner who has more assets will need to buy more coverage. That's because they could be held financially responsible for losses exceeding their insurance coverage. If a homeowner has a lot of assets they could lose if they're personally liable for damages, they must make sure they have sufficient protection.


  • A property needs personal liability home insurance even for a second home. Someone could be injured at that property. Without personal liability insurance, the homeowner would be forced to pay for all resulting losses out of pocket.

  • Mobile home liability insurance provides important financial protection. It covers losses if someone is injured at the mobile home. The mobile home park's insurance would not cover injuries that occurred inside of an individual mobile home.

  • Homeowners insurance policies provide personal liability as a standard coverage option. Homeowners must decide how much personal liability home insurance they wish to buy. Many homeowners should purchase more than the standard liability coverage amount.

  • Personal property protection is different from personal liability home insurance. Personal property protection covers a property owner's possessions. If property is destroyed, personal property protection covers replacement. This could include things like furniture or electronics.

    Personal liability home insurance, on the other hand, protects a homeowner from damages resulting from injury or property damage others experience.

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