Liability insurance… is coverage limited to negligence?

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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: May 13, 2013

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Insurance Question from Merritt Island, FL

Asked on 05/13/2013

Liability insurance… is coverage limited to negligence? Freak storm hits Central FL causing roof shingles from my house to fly into neighbors yard, causing damage to their home and car. Insurance company denies claim, stating it was not caused by negligence on my part. I was unaware that liability coverage related only to negligent acts. Is this true? Should I request they revisit this finding?

Answer given on June 19, 2013

Liability insurance under a homeowner policy is intended to protect the property owner in the event they are held liable for damages or injury to another party’s property or person. The storm that struck your area was something that you had no control over, and would not be considered legally liable for the damages to your neighbor’s property. Their homeowner insurance should pay for their damages, less their deductible.Your homeowner policy also includes property damage to others. This coverage can be between $500 and $10,000 depending upon the insurance company. You can ask your insurance company to pay for the damages, up to your policy limit, to your neighbor. Liability is not required for this coverage to apply. However, due to the issue of the storm, you should not feel responsible for the damages to your neighbor. If you still feel responsible talk to your agent or company.

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