PHOTO: Julia Meehan/InStyle
Some idiot hit you on the slopes, and now he is suing!? Call your home insurance! Last week was a big week in news. Trump got indicted, the US got a visit from the President of Taiwan, and Gwyneth Paltrow won her ski crash lawsuit! I know what you are thinking, is that last item relevant as a world event? Definitely not, but I bet you knew about it.
You are probably familiar with at least some of the details from the Gwyneth Paltrow ski incident I am referring to. The actress collided with a doctor named Terry Sanderson on the slopes in Deer Valley, UT back in early 2016. The accident was quick and not significant enough to require an ambulance or make any kind of news at the time. Fast forward to January 2019 when the doctor filed a lawsuit against the actress for what originally over $3,000,000!
If you were in the shoes of Mrs. Paltrow imagine what would go through your head? One could imagine feeling angry, this accident wasn’t even your fault, this guy ran into you (I’m assuming here based on how the jury decided eventually). Second, $3,000,000? Really? You would know the other party was lying, but what if, just what if, they win? Perhaps if you were a major Hollywood actress, it presumably would not bankrupt you, but what if you were just a regular person? Would your life be ruined because of a chance encounter? The truth is this type of situation happens all the time, and you certainly don’t need to be famous for someone to see you as a target.
The good news is, if you have a homeowners insurance policy that includes liability insurance, you are probably covered. The personal liability on your home insurance protects you from personal lawsuits even if they don’t happen at your home. And as you know, potential lawsuits are not limited to the ski slopes of Deer Valley. Perhaps you are walking your dog and it attacks another dog or person, perhaps you bump a display case at a fancy crystal store and break valuable items, or perhaps one of your children makes unfortunate remarks about someone on social media. These are all events that could result in a lawsuit against you or your family, and in those cases it’s your home insurance policy that will step up.
As with any insurance policy there are exclusions to be aware of. For example, your liability coverage won’t cover intentional acts and suits related to a business venture gone bad to name a couple examples. A good home insurance policy is a major financial tool in keeping your assets protected from more than just a fire. Make sure you understand your policy, what it covers, and feel confident the next time you hit the slopes. If you have any questions, please reach out to us.