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  • Writer's pictureMichael Chambers Heer

Personal Liability vs Personal Injury: What's the Difference?

What’s the difference between personal injury and personal liability? They might sound the same, but they aren’t. We often see commercials for lawyers representing personal injury claims, but what they really mean is personal liability claims. Are you confused?

Personal Liability

In your Homeowners or Renters policy, personal liability coverage provides for bodily injury and/or property damage caused to others which you or a household family member may be legally responsible.

Examples: 1) A guest or contractor is injured in your home. 2) You cause damage to someone else’s home or place of business. 3) Your child injures the neighbor’s child, and they sue you for bodily injury. 4) Your house catches on fire and damages the homes on either side. 5) You accidentally catch your apartment on fire and the landlord sues you for negligence.

Personal Injury

Personal injuries (as a legal term) include libel; slander; defamation, false arrest, detention, or imprisonment; malicious prosecution; wrongful eviction and invasion of privacy. These items are usually NOT included with your Homeowners or Renters policy. Personal injury coverage is an optional coverage that can be added to your policy to protect you from liabilities OTHER THAN bodily injury or property damage.

Examples: 1) You leave a negative review for a business online and they sue you for libel. 2) Your child starts a rumor about another student and the parent sues you and your child for defamation. 3) You list a property for rent and someone sues you for housing discrimination.

Personal Injury Coverage is very affordable, usually between $15-25 / year. With today’s social media and websites, it is easier than ever to wind up with a lawsuit from something you or a family member says online. Remember that you are also responsible for your children’s acts as well. If you own rental properties or have children, it is imperative to have personal injury coverage. Your insurance company will pay to defend you and pay out any claims on your behalf.

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