How much personal liability insurance per occurrence do I need to carry?


The minimum personal liability insurance that you can purchase with every homeowners policy is $100,000 per occurrence for both bodily injury and property damage caused to a third party.

However, this is usually far from adequate to cover the damages that you might have to pay other people who have suffered as a result of a negligent act for which you are responsible. If you wish to raise your liability caps, you can top your home insurance up with an umbrella policy.

Occurrences Covered by Personal Liability Insurance Coverage

In the insurance terminology "occurrence" is almost synonymous with "accident", being either a sudden act, or a repeated succession of incidents of the same nature resulting in the injury of another person.

For the personal liability coverage of a home insurance policy to take effect, the liability of the insured home owner has to be determined, i.e. the insurance provider will not pay damages the injured party on behalf of the insured if the claim turns out to be fraudulent or groundless.

Personal liability insurance provides broad coverage for occurrences such as the following:

  • If you own a dog and it bites another person;
  • If a guest of yours gets injured on your premises because you have failed to warn them of any existent dangerous conditions in the house;
  • If you accidentally cause property damage to your next-door neighbor.
  • If you cause any kind of damage or injury due to carelessness and negligence.

Despite the broad personal liability coverage, some occurrences are specifically excluded and you need to purchase separate insurance for them. Personal liability insurance provided by Section II of a homeowners policy does not cover the following causes-of-loss:

  • Intentional wrongdoing;
  • Aircraft liability;
  • Watercraft liability;
  • Liability caused by automobile or another vehicle;
  • Hovercraft liability;
  • Business liability;
  • Narcotic drugs liability;
  • Transmission of a communicable disease liability;
  • Sexual, physical or mental abuse liability;
  • War.
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