When you rent a home or apartment, your landlord might require you to buy renters insurance, namely liability coverage. By asking you to do so, the landlord ensures that you can take responsibility for accidents in your home and reduce their own liability for renting you the space. Liability coverage provides essential protection if you ever cause harm to someone else.
However, just because someone gets hurt on your property doesn’t mean their injury was your fault. They still might need assistance for their medical bills, nonetheless. Your renters insurance might be able to help you and the injured party in these cases through a benefit called medical payments coverage.
Bodily injury liability claims and medical payments claims on renters insurance are two different things. Liability claims apply when fault is involved while medical payments claims apply no matter who is (or isn’t) at fault. Therefore, by having both types of coverage on your policy, you achieve a higher level of security than you would with only one option. Still, each will apply in different circumstances.
Let’s take a closer look at how your liability and medical payments coverage work separately.
Renters Liability Coverage
Liability refers to your responsibility within your rental home. These include risk factors that you should be aware of and try to prevent. A failure to do so could cause a lot of harm not only to you but to others.
When your negligence harms others, you might have a legal responsibility, to repay them. Renters liability insurance exists because of this responsibility. Most policies contain bodily injury liability coverage. This coverage pays when your mistakes or negligence cause someone else an injury and you have a legal requirement to repay them. Bodily injury liability claims often arise following an injury lawsuit levied against you buy a third party.
So, suppose that a neighbor visits your home, and while doing so they trip on a broken step. They fall, sustain a head injury, and have to spend some time in the hospital and take time off work to recover. Unfortunately, because the injury happened in your rental home and was the result of a broken step, this neighbor might blame you. They could even sue you for their losses.
Your renters liability insurance can step in to help you in these situations. Your policy might pay the costs of the injured party’s medical bills and related losses. Additionally, the coverage can pay both the legal expenses of the insured renter and the person who brings the lawsuit.
Accidental Medical Payments Coverage
Like a liability insurance claim, a medical payments claim also pays for third-party injuries that occur in a rental home. However, they pay for injuries regardless of who was at-fault for the injury.
Suppose, for example, that a friend slips on a rug in your kitchen and sustains a similar head injury. All else being equal, there was no way that you might have been able to prevent this injury. Therefore, it wasn’t your fault for the simple reason that accidents sometimes happen. Still, the involved party might need help covering their medical bills or other unforeseen costs.
Medical payments coverage insurance can prove a great benefit to the injured party in these cases. Not only that, but the coverage can also relieve the renter from having to pay for these injury costs themselves. It might even help you prevent someone from filing a lawsuit later. Therefore, you won’t suffer a substantial financial loss just because an injury occurs in your home.
The Differences in These Policies
There are many differences between bodily injury liability coverage and medical payments insurance on a renters policy.
The biggest divider is that a liability claim must involve the fault of the policyholder, while a medical payments claim does not necessarily have to do so. Fault is someone’s responsibility for something else. Therefore, when you cause a problem, you will likely have to pay for it.
Translated into insurance terms, fault equals a liability. So, when a hazard in your rental home is your fault, you will have to either pay for the loss out of your pocket or use your insurance policy to do so.
If someone else’s injuries are your fault, then it is your liability insurance that will help you pay for the losses. Once the insurer determines that you were at fault for a third party’s losses, you can file a claim against your liability policy to assist you in meeting this obligation.
Still, even when someone gets hurt in your home, that doesn’t mean it was your fault. Friend might get burned while cooking on your stove or fall off a ladder when helping you paint your living room. Therefore, the accident wasn’t your fault because you probably could not have prevented this accident.
Accidental medical payments coverage applies so that you can still help the injured person cover their medical bills even if you have no legal obligation to do so.
You have substantial ability to increase your liability and accidental medical payments coverage to provide a high level of assistance against your losses. That way, you’ll always feel secure knowing that you can protect yourself and others when accidents occur on your property.