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Ask the Home Insurance Expert

Q

My husband fell in our home and broke his ankle. Will our homeowners insurance cover this since the accident happened in our home?

A

Man on crutchesNo.  A standard home insurance policy offers medical coverage, but only for those outside your household who have been injured at your home.

Liability coverage on a homeowners insurance policy typically includes medical payments to others and personal liability coverage.

As the name indicates, medical coverage to others only pays the medical bills (up to your limits) for those from outside your household that are accidentally injured on your property. A standard policy also includes coverage for certain situations in which a member of your household is liable for an injury that is sustained off of your property, such as your dog biting someone at the park.

Your home insurance medical coverage would cover a visiting friend who falls down the stairs and sprains his ankle, but does not afford coverage if it’s you, or any other member of your household, who falls down the stairs or is otherwise harmed in your home.

Personal liability covers injuries or property damage you or your family members cause others.  Under this coverage, your home insurance company will pay damages to the injured party up to the limit or defend you if you are sued.  You can’t make a claim for your own injuries under your liability coverage.

Medical coverage to others pays regardless of fault, whereas your home insurance liability coverage, which has higher limits, normally pays only if you’re found legally responsible for the loss.

For your husband’s injuries, he would need to look to his health insurance coverage to make a claim and help pay for any medical expenses he incurred for his injured ankle.

Learn about home insurance exclusions.

Last updated: May. 7, 2015