SL & Associates

​Private Client Insurance Advisory Firm

What Does Personal Liability Mean as it pertains to Your Insurance Policy?

The insurance industry has two very different branches. The first and the most important is called the “Life & Health” branch. The second one is called the “Property & Casualty” branch. The reason we as an industry refer to the Life & Health as being the most important is because we recognize everyone’s life and health takes precedence over property and the things that can occur as a result of owning such property. This is an important concept to understand because it directly refers to the question above. So lets dive in.


Almost without exception a personal insurance policy has two sides. Part-I addresses all the coverages that directly impact you and the replacement of your stuff. The intent is to make you whole in the event of a loss. Part-II addresses all the coverages that also impact you but pertaining to the Bodily Injury or Property Damage caused to others as a result of them either being in your space (like your home) or being in your presences (like at a restaurant or picnic). Part-II can be most costly and have lasting long term effects on your financial health. Each policy has a different way to protect you. 


You may be asking yourself, where can I find these on my policy? Homeowners insurance policy, look at the Liability Section or Coverage E, depending on how it is listed on your declaration page. Typically most insurance companies will have at least $100,000 in coverage on your policy. Auto Insurance Policy, there are two spots to check. The first is the Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability. As of the post of this blog, In Ohio the state minimum for Bodily Injury is $25,000/$50,000. Which means a max payout of $25,000 per person and a maximum payout of $50,000 per accident. The second and probably most important is the Underinsured/Uninsured Bodily Injury Liability. You may be asking yourself why is this the most important coverage on your Auto Insurance policy? Well in States where fault is decided, such as Ohio or Indiana, Underinsured/Uninsured Bodily Injury coverage helps protect the loss that you, yourself may suffer from being hit by a driver who may be Uninsured or Underinsured. For example, you are hit by a driver who was responsible for your bodily injury. However this driver, not wanting to take responsibility, flees the scene of the accident before police arrive and unfortunately you were unable to get a plate number. Once the EMTs arrive, you are transported to the hospital and the X-rays show a fractured leg. You are in the hospital a few days as the leg fracture requires immediate surgery, and medical bills quickly begin to rack up. Eventually these bills end up in the amount of $100,000. Who is going to pay for your medical bills? Your auto insurance company should so long as your underinsured/uninsured bodily injury limits are set high enough. If you do not know, call us our firm and speak with any of our advisors. SL & Associates will provide you with the insurance quotes to ensure that you have the coverage that you need and can afford. Business insurance policy, the coverage is listed as Bodily Injury and Property Damage and usually comes with a General Aggregate. For example a business insurance policy with limits of $1,000,000/$2,000,000. Means the most the insurance company will pay out for one accident is $1,000,000. The $2,000,000 is the most that an insurance company will pay out in one year no matter how many accidents/claims are filed.  Commercial Auto Insurance policy, is the exact same as your Personal Auto Insurance policy. The coverage is broken-down as Bodily Injury, Property Damage, and Uninsured/Underinsured Bodily Injury. For example, in Ohio the state minimum currently as of this post, $25,000/$50,000 is the state minimums for Bodily Injury. Which would be $25,000 per person and $50,000 maximum per accident. 


If you have concerns about the level of your coverage call our advisors. We will work with you to help find the coverage you need to best protect you. Below we have listed the top five liability claims that you may experience. 


THE TOP FIVE LIABILITY CLAIMS


1) Household Dog Bites - The average dog bite claim in 2015 was over $37,214 compared to $32,072 in 2014.


2) Home Accidents - Injury to individuals, regardless of invitation or not (such as door to door salesman) can place both homeowners and renters in liability. Just one slip or fall that results in injury can your fault.


3) Falling Trees - More common during snow and ice storms, when mature trees fall they tend to do major structural damage usually in the tens of thousands of dollars. If the tree is on your property, you may be held responsible if it falls onto your neighbors home. 


4)  Intoxicated Guests - If you host a party and one of your guests becomes intoxicated, you could be held responsible for any harm he or she causes to other people or property regardless if the damage occurs on of off your property. This is a very scary scenario considering how many folks allow their guest to leave the party tipsy. 


5) Injured Domestic Workers - If you hire workers to maintain your grounds, clean your home, care for your children or elderly parents, you may be held liable for any harm that comes to them


Call our offices today. We can create an insurance policy for you in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. SL & Associates can also advise you on the coverage you need in most other states. 


Dayton - 937-260-4567

Toledo - 419-205-9046


- Steve Lopez

Principal Partner, Client Advisor