Expectations and Reality

Who Should Pay for Property Damage?

Framing the Situation

Part of the benefit of being a homeowner is being able to entertain friends, family and other guests. But what happens when something goes wrong and a guest causes damage? While in a perfect world the guest would apologize and offer to cover the damage, the reality of the situation can be much more complicated.

When a guest causes damage.

When damage to your property occurs, you may wonder, “Does my homeowners policy cover damage caused by my guests?” In general, the answer is yes. However, the real question you should be asking yourself is “Do I want to use my homeowners policy to cover damage caused by my guests?” The answer to this question can be much more complicated. Your guests are responsible for the costs involved with fixing any damage they cause. By instead using your homeowners policy to cover the damage, you may end up costing yourself in the long run in the form of increased rates and premiums.

What is covered under homeowners insurance can vary from policy to policy. You should review your policy for any situations excluded from coverage. Things to watch out for:

Your policy may only cover the house or structure, meaning things like walls and floors.

The coverage in your policy may only apply to damage caused by an accident.

If you have to “wonder” whether you have the appropriate coverage for a certain situation— seek confirmation proactively. Always consult your policy to make sure you and your family have the protection you need. By knowing the situations where you would have to pay for property damage caused by a guest, you can avoid or prepare for those situations appropriately. When in doubt, contact Davis & Towle Insurance Group for answers.

Guest Liability

When a guest gets hurt on your property as a result of a danger they were not warned about, you are liable for their injuries. However, if a guest damages your property they, not you, are liable for the cost to fix it. Dealing with friends or family who are reluctant to pay for damages can be a sticky situation, but they do have a legal responsibility to reimburse you for the costs you incur. If they refuse to pay, you may have grounds for legal action.

Pay for Property Damage

Get answers about damage caused by guests, and competitive coverage for whatever comes next.

Davis and Towle will help you find the policy that provides the most valuable combination of tailored coverage, quality service and fair pricing.

This flyer is for informational purposes only and is not intended as professional advice.
© 2010, 2013, 2016 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.