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Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Non-Auto Accidents Away from Home?
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When injuries or other accidents happen inside your home, you feel pretty calm and confident that you’ll be covered under your homeowners insurance.
But it’s those accidents that occur away from the home that blur this understanding for many people. Getting clear about what’s covered and where is in the golden rule book for homeowners—or at least it should be.
Fortunately homeowners insurance still provides coverage for a long list of potential non-auto accidents, even if they happen somewhere outside your oasis.
What Is Off-Premises Non-Auto Accident Coverage?
Off-premises non-auto accident coverage is the aspect of homeowners insurance that takes care of accidents not involving vehicles that occur away from the home.
Honest mishaps that result in injury to you or others, as well as property damage, are covered—within reason. That being said, there’s no coverage for accidents that occur because you were deliberately being reckless or a jerk.
What Is Included under Off-Premises Non-Auto Accident Coverage?
All kinds of things can go wrong in the home, but you’re not immune to making harmful mistakes when you’re out and about, either. The trick is learning what kinds of non-auto mishaps homeowners insurance provides coverage for away from the home.
The main non-auto accident categories covered off-premises include:
- Injuries: If you’re involved in a non-auto accident that results in injury to you or others, even away from the home, your homeowners insurance will cover medical expenses and legal fees, should you get sued.
- Property damage: If you accidentally cause damage to someone else’s property in a way that doesn’t involve a vehicle, your homeowners insurance will cover expenses required to repair the damage, as well as potential legal fees if they file a lawsuit against you.
- Negligent acts: The only accidents homeowners insurance will cover must be caused by your negligence—that is, your unintentional mess-up. If you cause injury or property damage while you’re spacing out or are otherwise distracted, the incident will most likely be covered. Basically, as long as you don’t intend harm, you should be covered.
Homeowners insurance does not provide coverage for:
- Intentional harm: If someone upsets you and you lash out in a way that causes injury or property damage, homeowners insurance will not cover the incident in any way. Acts of deliberate vandalism and Halloween pranks gone awry are also not covered. Intended harm or destruction does not qualify as an accident—not to mention, it’s just not cool.
Knowing that your homeowners policy provides coverage for medical fees, legal fees, and property damage repair for honest non-auto accidents, even off-premises, can provide some peace of mind when you’re away from home.
Why Would I Need Off-Premises Non-Auto Accident Coverage?
Basically, because you’re human, and accidents can happen anywhere. Causing injury or damage to someone else or their property can be guilt-inducing enough in the first place, but at least there’s some comfort in knowing that homeowners insurance is there to help cover the costs. We’ll explore just a handful of covered scenarios.
The following situations would be included under off-premises non-auto accident coverage:
- Sports-related injuries: If you throw a foul ball or accidentally toss your golf club during a game and end up whacking someone, homeowners insurance will cover you.
- Cooking-related illnesses: If you bring a dish to a potluck that ends up making everyone sick due to spoiled ingredients, you’ll be covered.
- Child bullying: If your child bullies another child and ends up causing bodily injury, homeowners insurance will provide coverage even though their actions may have been deliberate.
- Slander-related injuries: If you cause harm to another person through your false words, potential legal fees will be covered.
- Non-bodily injury upsets: If you cause upset or harm other than bodily injury to someone, such as getting them lost for several days during a hiking trip you’re leading, homeowners insurance will cover legal fees if they sue you. Basically, any non-business related upset caused by your negligence could be covered.
- Dog and other pet bites: If your pet dog, horse, snake, bird or ocelot gets over-rambunctious and bites or otherwise injures someone, you’ll be covered. Your insurance company may exclude coverage for specific dog breeds, however.
The fact is, there are tons of ways we can accidentally cause injury or damage to others or their property, even without vehicles. Luckily, homeowners insurance provides coverage for a big old stack of potential mishaps and their resulting costs.
Does My Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover Off-Premises Non-Auto Accident Coverage?
Yes. Homeowners coverage extends to non-auto accidents that occur even away from the home. However, there are certain exclusions that vary depending on your state. You’ll need to double-check your policy—with the help of your insurance agent—to find out exactly what’s covered and what’s not in your specific location.
How To Find the Best Homeowners Insurance
In order to get the protection you need (and deserve), you’ll want to work with a trusted expert.
Consider your unique needs, then connect with an agent to help you take it from there. Have a list of your specific concerns and desires handy before you reach out, to help the make process even smoother.