What is Covered Under Premises Liability in Homeowners Insurance?


Some people are uncomfortable about seeking compensation if they get hurt at the home of a friend or in a favorite restaurant. To recover damages, most people assume that they will have to sue the owner of the property, which could be a friend, family member or small business owner. Many premises liability claims can be covered by a liability insurance policy. This means that you won’t have to file a lawsuit but an insurance claim.

California Insurance Policies for Properties

California insurance laws are complicated. Every driver must have a general policy to protect their vehicle. However, property owners are different. Property owners do not need to have a general liability policy. However, most property owners should have some type of insurance to protect their home, business, and personal assets. A business owner who has insurance to cover fires and earthquakes or theft will be eligible for liability insurance.

Business owners find liability insurance extremely useful because they don’t have to pay out of their own pockets if a tenant or customer is hurt. These policies are often included in the business owner’s policy. It is common for businesses to have this type of policy.

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What about homeowners? California law requires that homeowners who are mortgaged a property have homeowner’s insurance. The policies can be divided into two types: personal liability and property. Mortgage companies usually require the first to cover damages to the house. Personal liability, on the other hand, covers injuries suffered by guests. You are most likely covered by a homeowner’s policy if you are hurt at the home of a friend or family member.

Renters, however, are not required by law to have renter’s insurance. However, many California apartment owners will require tenants to obtain insurance prior to signing a lease, or to include it in their property fees. These policies usually cover property damage but can also include liability insurance to protect against accidents in apartments or condos.

What does liability insurance cover?

Most liability insurance policies that property owners have provide coverage for injuries to tenants or guests. If you fall on an uneven floor of an office building, you can file a claim against the owner’s liability policy. There are exceptions to liability policies, such as when a property owner deliberately injures tenants or guests. However, most accidents and injuries are covered by the policy if the property owner was negligent.

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Negligence can come in many forms, but the most common are:

  • Parking lots and stairwells with poor lighting are a problem
  • A lack of security
  • Cracks in flooring or tiles
  • Unkept carpets that create tripping hazards
  • Spills and wet surfaces
  • Exposed wires
  • Stray animals allowed on a property
  • Unsafe pools that have damaged railings or lack depth signage
  • Unsafe parking lots

If you were hurt by one of these conditions, and the property owner knew about it or should have known, you might be able file a premises liability case against their insurance policy. These conditions most often affect businesses but homeowners and renters also can be negligent. You could file a claim against the homeowner’s insurance policy if you fall on your cousin’s property due to an unmaintained staircase. In addition, if your friend’s dog bit you, then your injuries can also be covered under their renter’s insurance policy.

There are exceptions to the rule, but you might have multiple options if someone injures you on their property. Even if they are a family member or friend. Some injuries do not require a lawsuit. You may be able pursue a premises liability case against the insurance policy.

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But the best way you can better understand a premises liability case and recover damages is to contact a Glendale premises liability attorney. Aghabegian and Associates, PC can help you get compensation if you or someone you love was hurt by negligent property owners. Our firm has over 40 years combined experience and can fully explain your rights following an injury.