Guest Post by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley, Editor of the HomeInsurance.com Blog

Here is a great article written by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley of Homeinsurance.com regarding the critical importance of buying the right homeowners insuance policy for adequate liability protection. 

Your Best Line of Defense when Paying for Your Legal Defense

 

You never thought it could happen to you. In fact, it seemed to come out of nowhere. Who would have guessed that you’d ever get sued? Regardless
of whether the reality of the situation has sunk in, you’re now facing a
lawsuit. You’ve started looking into legal defense, and you’re scared that you’re not going to be able to afford attorney fees and court costs. But before you give up hope of ever paying off your bills, take a look at your home insurance policy.

 

Personal liability coverage, which typically is included in a standard home insurance policy, protects you when there’s a physical injury on your property – maybe your dog bit the mailman or a neighbor slipped on your front porch – and the injured person decides to sue. However, personal injury liability coverage offers more protection.
If you’re sued for libel, slander, invasion of privacy, defamation of
character, false arrest, wrongful eviction, imprisonment, detention,
malicious prosecution or wrongful entry, your homeowners insurance
might qualify you for financial assistance to help pay for legaldefense.

 

A standard home insurance policy generally includes at least $100,000 in personal liability coverage. However, you can extend coverage to $300,000 or more.
If you feel you are at particular risk for a lawsuit, you have the
option of taking out an umbrella liability policy. For the amount
specified in your umbrella policy, you’ll get higher limits for protection from a variety of lawsuits, including the kind covered by the personal injury portion of your regular home insurance policy.

 

Consider
the two examples above. The cost of an average dog bite claim is nearly
$25,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Slip and
fall accidents can be even costlier, and the Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 1 million Americans suffer an injury from such an incident each year. The
average medical cost of slip-and-fall accidents is $22,800 per
incident. Keep in mind that if someone sues, you could also be on the
hook for lost wages and possibly even pain and suffering.

 

That's
why having a reliable home insurance policy ranks so highly, along with
having top-level legal representation, if you're sued because of an
accident in your home. Remember, your personal finances are on the line
in such cases, so you need a multi-level strategy to keep yourself
protected.

How to find a reliable home insurance policy

Naturally,
you need to prepare for this kind of worst-case scenario before it
happens. If you’re a homeowner, you might already have a home insurance
policy. Even so, you might want to think about finding a different
policy or provider. Shopping for better insurance protection is easy these days. Thanks to the Internet, you can compare prices to determine which policy and provider are best. Take the following steps to make sure you’re getting a good value:

1. Pinpoint
your needs. Do you need a basic policy with minimal customer support,
or a thorough policy with extended coverage and convenient claims
service?Determine your desired deductible and coverage limits.
2. Obtain quotes from several providers. You can either accomplish this task by visiting or calling each
carrier separately or using one site to do all the work for you. Make
sure all the quotes you receive reflect comparable policies.
3. When you feel like you’ve collected a sizable number of quotes, compare the figures side by side. Don’t necessarily opt for the least expensive option. For example, determine which provider has the best reputation and whether they are all financially sound?

 

The process for securing an excellent policy isn’t difficult. Get
in touch with a licensed insurance agent today to learn more about
personal liability coverage. While you might not be worried about
getting sued, lawsuits tend to blindside the unsuspecting. Protect yourself now so you don’t have to worryabout your finances later.

 

This article was contributed by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley, Editor of the HomeInsurance.com blog. Carrie has been writing insurance news and consumer information for HomeInsurance.com
since 2008. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in
Wilmington in 2005 with a B.A. in Professional Writing and Journalism