Will Homeowners Insurance Pay the Medical Bills if You Have an Accident on Your Own Property?

Homeowners insurance protects you from a lot, but won't cover personal medical expenses.

Homeowners insurance protects you from a lot, but won't cover personal medical expenses.

Homeowners insurance is designed to protect you against damage, theft and personal liability -- including covering medical costs if someone is injured on your property. Many homeowners mistakenly assume that if they fall off their own roof, the homeowners insurance will foot the bill. That's not the case.

Liability and Risk

When your homeowners insurance company insures your home, it's taking on a calculated risk. Insurance companies only take gambles that they anticipate they'll usually win. The chances of another person being injured on your property is far less than the chance of you injuring yourself at home. According to the most recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics, about half of medically treated injuries occur at, or around, the home. Since insurance companies are looking to mitigate their risk exposure, it's a standard in the industry to not cover a homeowner's own injury.

Defining Liability

In insurance terms, liability is defined as what an insured party is responsible for. In the case of your own injury, you are not deemed "liable" for yourself as the owner of the policy. If someone were to slip on your wet pool deck and break their ankle, your homeowners insurance would list you as the liable party and pay a portion of medical expenses not covered by medical insurance. If you slip and fall on your own pool deck, you aren't able to be "liable" for yourself and homeowners insurance is not on the hook for paying back your own medical expenses.

Who Can Be Covered

Typically, homeowners insurance will not pay medical expenses for the insured, their immediate family, and people who reside full-time in the home that's insured. The only exception to this rule is rental properties. If you are a landlord that insures your rental property and a tenant is injured, homeowners will pay medical expenses and cover your liability.

Additional Protection

If you're looking for additional protection against injury, accident insurance may be a good option to consider. Accident policies pay a specific amount to you and your immediate family to cover costs associated with accidental injury, whether in or out of your home. Accident insurance can be purchased as a standalone policy separate from your homeowners policy and medical insurance.


About the Author

Stephanie Rutherford-Scott has more than 10 years of experience in print and multimedia journalism for Booth and Gannett Corp. Her work has been published by the Associated Press and Gannett News Service in news publications throughout Michigan and the United States. She received her Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and journalism from Western Michigan University.

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