What is Third-Party Liability Insurance?

By: Stephanie Ferreiro | Economical Insurance
November 11, 2019

Third-party liability coverage is the portion of an insurance policy that protects you if you’re sued (or threatened to be sued) for a physical injury or damage to someone else’s property. Also referred to as “legal liability coverage,” this section of your home or car insurance policy is set up to cover things like legal fees, the amount of money you have to pay to settle a lawsuit, and other related expenses.

So, how does liability coverage work in real life? And why is it so important? We’ve got the answers to these questions and more.

How does third-party liability coverage work?

Here are a few examples of real-world scenarios that could be covered by the third-party liability section of your home or car insurance policy:

Home insurance liability coverage

  • You’re cutting down a tree in your yard and it accidentally falls on your neighbor or their car.
  • You’re golfing in Florida and drive your rental golf cart into another golfer or their expensive clubs.
  • On a family fishing trip, your son steers your boat into someone who is waterskiing nearby, injuring the person and damaging their boat, too.

Auto insurance liability coverage

  • You hit a patch of black ice while pulling into your driveway and hit a pedestrian or knock over your neighbor’s fence with your car.
  • You’re backing out of your friend’s driveway and accidentally back over their kid’s expensive bike.
  • You run a red light and hit another vehicle, injuring the other driver and their passengers.

Why is third-party liability coverage so important?

Accidents happen, even when you take all the right steps to prevent them — and accidents often result in lawsuits that can have serious financial consequences. All of the scenarios we’ve listed in this post are examples of times when you could be held legally responsible for injuries or damage to other peoples’ property. Lawsuits can be expensive, but liability coverage ensures you won’t get stuck paying out of your own pocket when the unexpected happens.

If I have liability coverage in my home or tenant insurance policy, does it cover me when I’m driving, too?

No. When you’re operating a vehicle, liability for injuries or damage to other peoples’ property is not covered by your home or tenant insurance policy — so you’ll need to carry enough liability coverage on your car insurance policy to protect you in case of a driving-related mishap.

How much liability coverage should I have?

You should buy enough liability coverage to protect your financial security. Once a claim has exceeded the limit in your policy, you’ll be responsible for paying the remaining balance — which, depending on the severity of the situation, could lead to financial trouble or even bankruptcy. The more liability coverage you have, the less you’ll have to pay out of pocket if you’re involved in a lawsuit.

Increasing the liability limit on your car or home insurance policy may cost less than you think, so it’s worth contacting us to find out how much it would cost to take your coverage to the next level.

What if I need extra liability coverage?

If you have a lot of assets to protect, you might need more liability coverage than what’s included in your home and car insurance policies. An umbrella insurance policy allows you to extend your third-party liability coverage beyond your current limits.

The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice.

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This article was originally posted on economical.com