Will My Home Insurance Cover Visitors Injuring Themselves in My House?
Caeva O'Callaghan | July 16th, 2020
It’s everyone’s worst fear – being sued when a guest injures themselves on your property. But will your insurance cover it?
Yes, if a visitor injures themselves in your home this will be covered by your home insurance. You don’t need to worry about being out of pocket if someone makes a claim, as your home insurance will cover most or all of the costs.
In this article, we’ll cover such questions as:
- A visitor hurt themselves in my home – am I liable?
- Does my home insurance cover visitor injuries?
- What happens if a guest claims for an injury?
There are different factors which need to be considered in this scenario, so let’s dive in.
Liability and personal injury
The word “liability” means being legally responsible for something. When it comes to insurable risks, many claims are won or lost on a basis of personal responsibility.
For example, an electrical fire in your home probably isn’t your fault, so you would not be liable. However, if that wiring was faulty for a few years, and you never did anything about it, you would be liable. This is because maintaining your property is your responsibility.
Similarly, you have a duty of care to your visitors and guests. When you invite them into your home, everybody involved should be reasonably assured the property is safe enough to do so. If not, and you intentionally omit or lie about the risks associated with entering your property, you will be liable. Any injuries your visitors sustain on your property are your fault, and if they make a claim it’s likely to be successful.
Buildings and contents liability cover
Buildings and contents are covered by different sections of your policy, but you may find liability cover within both sections. Which will apply in your case will depend if your visitor injured themselves within your house, or on your outside property.
Buildings cover will apply if a tile falls off a roof and hurts somebody, or damages to someone else’s property, such as a car or pet. Contents cover, meanwhile, generally covers accidents and incidents that happen in the home or surrounding garden area.
When you’re shopping around for insurance, buildings and contents cover may get lumped in together when it comes to liability. A standard home insurance policy should cover you for two kinds of liability:
- Owner’s Liability – provides cover if a visitor injures themselves, or if their belongings are damaged, and you are found liable. e.g. this would cover you if a tile were to fall off your roof.
- Third-Party Liability – provides personal cover should you cause injury to another person through your negligence outside the home. e.g. if you hit someone with a golf ball.
Luckily, relatively few cases of suing are successful. This is because the claimant has to prove negligence, not just the fact that an accident has happened. This is the case no matter how serious the injury. It’s difficult to prove that if the other party had done their job, the accident would never have happened.
Negligence means doing something, or failing to do something, that any prudent and reasonable person would. To make things more complicated, negligence itself does not automatically mean liability. The third party must also prove the insured owed the injured person a duty of care.
Duty of care means that you have an obligation to consider the consequences of your acts and omissions to the other party. It means you were in a position of responsibility to prevent a foreseeable risk of injury to any other person.
So if you hold a barbecue, you have an obligation to ensure the food is cooked properly. If you invite visitors into your home during building work, you must warn them of any hazards.
Negligence and liability
If you do not do so – or if you serve them up chicken that’s bright pink on the inside, regardless of how perfectly you grilled the accompanying halloumi – it’s more than likely any claim they make will be successful.
Have you any questions regarding your home insurance? If so, call us today.
If you are unsure of what level of cover you have for accidents and injuries that happen on your property for guests, pick up the phone and talk to our insurance experts. We can explain to you exactly what is covered and under what circumstances and situations your insurance policy covers you for. All our agents are fully trained and have been dealing with home insurance queries, policies and claims for many years. We have come across all scenarios. You can talk to us between8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.
If your house insurance policy is up for renewal you require an instant home insurance quote , you can use our quote engine on QuoteMe.ie. We compare insurance from 12 of Ireland’s leading providers to help find you the right cover for your specific needs. We look forward to hearing from you.