By: John E. Dowd, Jr.

With families preparing to host barbecues this summer or gearing up to take a weekend trip, it is important to understand that many insurance policies provide for liability coverage, even for certain accidents outside the home.

Liability coverage is a typical component of a homeowner’s insurance policy. While no one expects to be held liable after a friend falls down their stairs, this coverage may help prevent paying out-of-pocket if you are found legally liable.

Here are a few ways that most homeowner’s insurance policies provide protection.

• Medical Bills. While visitors to your home may have their own medical coverage, if they are injured as a result of your negligence while visiting – you could be held liable. The good news is that many home insurance policies have a portion of liability coverage. This insurance may help pay for medical bills that result from a visitor’s injury at your home.

• Wages. Similar to medical bills, if a visitor is hurt while on your property and this injury impairs their ability to work – you could be held responsible for their lost wages. Liability coverage may help prevent you from paying out of your pocket.

• Away from Home. Homeowner’s insurance often covers you both at home and away. It also protects family members who live with you. This liability coverage can protect against accidents, for instance if you damage a hotel’s lobby or if your son sends a baseball through a neighbor’s window.

While comprehensive personal liability insurance covers many accidents and occurrences, there are many situations and objects that are not covered. Here are some examples:

• Cars, it is important to secure a separate auto insurance policy.

• Motorized recreational vehicles, especially if they are off the premise.

• Most homeowner’s policies exclude business incidents. Business owners should be sure to have separate coverage for workplace incidences.

• Intentional acts, almost all insurance policies have language that prohibit coverage for intentional acts.

Many policies vary and it is important to set your limits wisely. Remember, liability coverage will only pay up to a certain dollar limit and if this is exceeded you may be financially responsible. The professionals at The Dowd Insurance Agencies can help you review your policy to see what is covered and what is not.