Homeowners Liability Insurance

Homeowners in Cedar Hill, Grand Prairie, Dallas, Fort Worth, Saginaw, Arlington, Burleson, Crowley, Weatherford, Azle, Aledo, Lake Worth, and all over the state usually know very little about their homeowners insurance except that if their house burns down the insurance is suppose to pay for it. Something else most homeowners insurance does is protect the homeowner when they are sued for certain reasons.
Most insurance carriers such as State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Progressive, and many others provide this coverage. Although there are many different types of insurance policies that can insure a home, condominium, apartment, or other dwelling, the Homeowners Policy–Form B (HOB) is the homeowners policy sold to the largest number of homeowners in Texas. As such, the liability provisions of the HOB are most relevant to most homeowners.
An insurance agent is a source for learning about these policies, as is the Texas Department of Insurance. If ever, you believe there is a problem, you should seek the advice of an experienced Insurance Law Attorney.
The liability coverage provision of the HOB provides:
If a claim is made or a suit is brought against an insured for damages because of bodily injury or property damage caused by an occurence to which this coverage applies, we will:
(1) pay up to our limit of liability for the damages for which the insured is legally liable, and (2) provide a defense at our expense by counsel of our choice even if the suit is groundless, false or fraudulent. We may investigate and settle any claim or suit that we decide is appropriate.
This is generally discussed in, S.S. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, a 1933, Austin Court of Appeals case.
It is notable that like most liability policies, the HOB policy provides both defense benefits and indemnity benefits if a claim is made by a third-party against an insured for bodily injury or property damage allegedly caused by the insured. The HOB does not contain a limitation on the amount of defense benefits an insurer must pay under the policy. Indemnity limits, in contrast, are subject to the “Coverage C” (Personal Liability) Limit of Liability for each occurrence. The HOB policy does not contain an aggregate limit.
There are limits on what a policy will cover.
The HOB policy contains the following exclusions:
1.a. bodily injury or property damage which is caused intentionally by or at the direction of the insured;
1.b. bodily injury or property damage arising out of or in connection with a business engaged in by an insured. But this exclusion does not apply to activities which are ordinarily incidental to non-business pursuits.
1.c. bodily injury or property damage arising out of the rental or holding for rental of any part of any premises by an insured.
1.d. bodily injury or property damage arising out of the rendering or a failure to render professional services.
1.e. bodily injury or property damage arising out of premises: (1) owned by an insured; (2) rented to an insured; or (3) rented to others by an insured; that is not an insured location.
1.f. bodily injury or property damage arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation, use, loading or unloading of: (1) motor or engine propelled vehicles or machines designed for movement on land, including attached machinery or equipment; or (2) trailers, semi-trailers or mobile homes; which are owned or operated by or rented or loaned to an insured.
1.g. bodily injury or property damage arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation, use, loading or unloading of watercraft.
1.h. bodily injury or property damage arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation, use, loading or unloading of aircraft.
1.i. bodily injury or property damage arising out of: (1) the entrustment by an insured person; or (2) the negligent supervision by an insured of any person; with regard to the ownership, maintenance or use of any motor vehicle, watercraft or aircraft which is excluded in paragraph f., g. or h. above.
1.k. bodily injury or property damage arising out of the transmission of sickness or disease by an insured through sexual contact.
1.l. bodily injury to any person eligible to receive any benefits voluntarily provided or required to be provided by an insured under any workers’ compensation law or occupation disease law.
Homeowners Liability Insurance is not discussed specifically in any one area of the Texas Insurance Code, rather the laws related to homeowners insurance are discussed through out the Insurance Code. Sometimes it is a specific topic that is most likely related to a homeowners situation but for the most part the relevant issues are mixed in with other areas of insurance law.