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house at nightBehind every good Round Rock home insurance policy is a team of legal experts ready to go to court and fight on the homeowner’s behalf. Many people don't realize it, but their home insurance policy benefits include payment of certain legal fees. Not only does this include court costs but it also includes lawyer’s fees and, in the event of a settlement or judgment against the homeowner, can include at least part of the total judgment.

Which Legal Fees Are Covered and Which Aren't

A homeowner can generally expect his home insurance policy to cover the legal fees for any claims that arise due to the homeowner’s negligence within the home. That means, if a visitor to your home is injured due to a loose walkway stone that you neglected to repair, you could be sued but your insurance policy would likely pay the legal fees, within policy limits.

Home insurance does not, however, cover legal fees associated with intentional acts of the homeowner either on the property or away from it. If a homeowner knowingly causes damage to another individual at his home, it's unlikely that the insurance policy will pay anything – including damages.

Deductibles and Limits

The ability of a home insurance policy to cover certain legal fees as well as judgments against the homeowner is just another reason why policyholders must be vigilant when selecting their deductibles and liability limits. Homeowners will be expected to pay their deductible when they have a claim whether it includes legal fees or not. Depending on their policy they may have to pay this deductible on an annual basis or per incident.

The dollar amount of the legal fees and claims that exceed the deductible is generally paid by the insurance company, but only up to the policy’s limit. In this increasingly litigious society, legal fees and claims can easily exceed a homeowner’s liability limits if they have been ultra conservative in setting it. In order to help shield themselves from these unexpected and high costs, many homeowners choose to add an umbrella policy to extend their home insurance liability limits.

If you have questions about how your insurance policy will impact certain events or want to discuss the possibility of adding an umbrella policy to your insurance portfolio, give us a call 512-518-6292.

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