In insurance terms, property casualty insurance can also be called property liability insurance. Whatever you call it, what it does is help protect you against financial losses that come as a result of being held legally liable for an accident that causes damage to another person or another person’s belongings. It may help you pay for a person’s injuries or any legal costs you incur as a result of the person being injured on your property due to your negligence. This kind of insurance comes mostly into play with auto, homeowners and even renters insurance.
What does property casualty cover?
If you’re involved in a car accident and you’re found to be at fault, the casualty insurance often pays for the repair or replacement of the other person’s car, in addition to any medical bills if that person suffers physical injury. It also generally extends to any additional damage done to the other person’s personal belongings. Say, for instance, that you get into an accident with a musician on his way to practice and the accident damages not only his car, but also his expensive guitar and amplifier. If you are deemed to be at fault for the accident, you could be held liable for the car and the equipment. The same holds true for damages that someone suffers in an accident while on your property. For example, if someone is hurt or killed while in your home, and you’re found to be at fault, property casualty insurance may help pay all associated costs up to your policy limits. Here are some examples of the sort of damages that property casualty insurance may cover.
Medical bills. Whether the injured person has medical insurance is beside the point. If you’re found to be at fault, you could be held responsible for the payment of those medical bills.
Pain and suffering is another type of damage people typically claim when in an accident. Medical bills aside, if someone is seriously injured, they could also seek to hold you financially responsible for the monetary equivalent of the pain and suffering they’ve experienced as a result of the accident.
Loss of wages. If someone gets injured severely enough, they may not be able to work for quite a while. If this were to happen, you could be held liable for those lost earnings.
Legal fees. If you’re sued, it can cost you to hire an attorney to defend you. Casualty insurance typically covers your attorney fees if someone injured in your home sues you for damages.
Determining if you need property casualty insurance is relatively simple. If you have assets—a retirement account, financial investments or a home in which you have equity—then having property casualty insurance may be a good idea for you. Without it, you could be putting your assets (including any belongings you have that could be sold to pay for a settlement) at risk.
In a world where anything is possible, it’s always a good idea to help insure yourself against the chance that something unexpected could happen.