Home Insurance may be something that you purchased when you took out a mortgage, without giving it much further thought apart from paying a monthly direct debit. However, home insurance offers a range of protection for accidents in your home. 

Depending on the details of your cover, home insurance may offer protection if a visitor falls down the stairs and makes a claim, if you or one of your family has a serious injury, if a child puts a football through a window, or a DIY disaster ruins a carpet.

Home insurance is available as buildings and contents cover for homeowners and as contents only cover for renters or tenants and provides peace of mind should an accident occur in your home.

Home Insurance - Accidents in the Home

Home insurance protection for an accident in the home

Home insurance policies vary in which specific types of home accident cover are included. Some types of home accident cover are standard and some are optional extras for which you will pay an additional premium. 

Home insurance policies also vary in the levels of cover they offer for various home accidents. For example, Zurich offers €1.3 million public liability cover and €2.6 million domestic employee cover, whereas 123.ie offers protection for liability to others of up to €3 million, but excludes any kind of employee except a childminder for up to 2 children.

Generally, all home insurance cover for any kind of accident is based on the home being well maintained and occupied for the majority of the year. So if the visitor who fell down the stairs was found to have fallen as the carpet was loose or dangerously frayed, you may not be covered.

Home insurance for accidents

There are several elements of home insurance cover that offer protection against accidents in the home. 

These are all available with home insurance, both buildings and contents or tenant’s insurance and each offers a different form of protection.

Home insurance liability cover

Home insurance generally offers liability cover, or personal liability cover, of up to €3 million, depending on your policy. 

This liability cover is intended to protect you if someone is injured, has their property damaged  or, in a worst case scenario, dies while in or around your home.

Home insurance liability cover does not protect the policyholder or any member of their household if they themselves are injured but to protect them in the event that they are found liable for the injury or loss of a third party while on your property.

Home insurance liability cover

Compensation claim

The liability or public liability aspect of home insurance cover is intended to cover you or another member of your household for the costs associated with a claim in the event that someone suffers an injury, has their property damaged or dies in your home and its boundaries and any of you are found to be liable.

This protection would cover any award of compensation and your legal defence in the event of a claim made against you.

Domestic employees

It is also essential to ensure that any domestic employees such as childminders or household staff such as cleaners or gardeners are protected should they be injured, have their property damaged or die in your home. Some home insurance policies offer protection for domestic employees but not all so it is wise to check what is included in your home insurance policy.

This cover may not include contractors or tradespeople who carry out work in your home, depending on the insurer. You would need to check with your own insurer to see who is covered under your liability cover or ensure that anyone who is to work on your home has their own public liability insurance. Do not assume that anyone who works on your home is covered as home insurance policies vary.

The liability cover included as standard with AXA home insurance may offer protection against injury to casual or temporary employees or those employed to carry out repair work.

Personal accident cover

This form of cover is generally not standard in home insurance policies but may be purchased as an additional form of cover with your home buildings or contents cover.

It is intended to offer financial protection should you or a member of your household be injured in an accident in your home.

Generally cover is for quite significant and permanent injuries such as loss of a limb or loss of sight and the coverage limits may not be as high if personal accident cover is purchased as  a standalone policy.

However, if you are in the unfortunate position of sustaining a serious injury at home, then the cover may offer you some financial protection.

Injuries in the home

Zurich offers €3,250 cover for a fatal accident to you or a member of the household that lives with you permanently. 

Aviva also offers a death benefit as standard where you or your spouse die as a result of a fire, accident, or an injury related to theft in the home.

Standalone personal injury insurance will offer you protection wherever your accident takes place, although there are limits to the number of days that you are covered abroad, and covers hospitalisation and a much wider range of injuries than are typically included in home insurance personal accident cover. 

AIG offers standalone personal injury insurance which can be purchased for as little as €5.95 per month.

Accidental damage cover

Accidental damage cover is usually an optional extra available when you purchase a home insurance policy, although some home insurance policies will offer partial accidental damage protection eg. for glass or audiovisual equipment.

Accidental damage cover offers protection against sudden, unintentional damage to your home’s building or contents  such as a paint spillage or a breakage.

It does not offer protection against breakage due to wear and tear and assumes that your home is well maintained. Neither does it cover intentional or malicious damage to your home or its contents.

AXA offers accidental damage cover for fixed glass, glass hobs, and sanitary ware as well as €2,000 cover for both audiovisual and home office equipment as standard.

Another key exclusion in most accidental damage cover is damage or destruction caused by pets in the household. Damage due to the presents of rodents, vermin, or insects would not be covered as accidental damage.

New for old cover

It is worth checking that your home insurance offers new for old cover in the event of having to replace items due to accidental damage. 

Indemnity cover will assign a value to older items based on an estimate that takes their age, wear and tear etc, into account. This may not be sufficient to replace items given cost of living increases.

Generally also accidental damage cover will not replace suites or sets of furniture or fittings. If you burned a hole in your sofa with a cigarette, you could not also replace the armchairs that match it in a three piece suite.

Contact us today

Accidents happen and they can be costly. If someone is injured or worse while in your home, your immediate thought may not be financial protection but if a claim is later made, then you will need the liability cover that home insurance provides in order to defend yourself and to cover any award for compensation.

The personal accident cover included in your home insurance may be limited but could provide some financial support at a difficult and stressful time.

Likewise, if you drop or smash an expensive TV or vital piece of home office equipment, you will be glad that they can be replaced so that you can get back to working or relaxing at home.

The financial protection offered by home insurance will give you peace of mind that, if an accident were to happen, you will not be out of pocket.

Contact us today or fill out our online assessment to discuss your home insurance cover, we can help you to find home insurance cover for any accident that may occur.

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