Does the amount of damage that is covered under the liability portion of a homeowner’s policy depend on negligence of the homeowner?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 30, 2013

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Insurance Question from Boston, MA

Asked on 07/30/2013

Does the amount of damage that is covered under the liability portion of a homeowner’s policy depend on negligence of the homeowner? Will there be less coverage if the homeowner is found negligent? Does liability cover the affected homeowner's tenant's hotel stay should the place become inhabitable for a period of time?

Answer given on July 30, 2013

Under the homeowner insurance policy your liability limit is chosen by you as protection for negligent acts. If someone is injured, or their property damaged and you, the homeowner, was not negligent, then your insurance company will not pay for the injuries or damages. If you are sued by the other party your insurance company will defend you. If you are found negligent in a court of law, your insurance company will pay the damages, up to the policy limits. This does not reduce your liability coverage. It is a per incident limit, although there may be some insurance companies that have an “aggregate” limit per policy term.Liability coverage is worldwide. If you cause injury or damage anywhere in the world, you are protected, as long as the injury or damage is not intentional. You could be walking in London and poke someone in the eye with your umbrella, by accident, and you would be protected.If you are living somewhere temporarily, such as in a hotel while your home is uninhabitable, your liability protection will follow you and cover you. This applies whether or not the damage to your home was covered by insurance or not.

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