No doubt you’re a responsible homeowner. You always make sure to maintain your home, but accidents happen. Luckily, if a guest gets injured in your home, your homeowners or renters insurance may cover certain medical expenses. It’s called guest medical coverage and is included in most plans.
What is guest medical protection insurance?
Also known as goodwill coverage, guest medical coverage is usually part of your homeowners or renters insurance. It helps to cover any necessary medical expenses when an incident occurs in your home, no matter who is at fault.
The policy is meant to cover basic medical expenses so that it could prevent any legal complications between you and the guest. These can include things like ambulance rides, x-rays, hospital stays, and even surgical procedures.
For example, say you decide to invite a few friends over for a summer BBQ. One of your friends accidentally leans into the grill and burns her arm. It’s a pretty major burn, so you rush your friend to the emergency room to have the wound taken care of. The policy will cover the doctor’s visit up to your policy’s limits.
Keep in mind that guest medical coverage isn’t applicable to anyone who is a member of your family. Your health insurance policy would need to cover that.
What if I’m responsible for the injury?
There are two types of coverage if something happens to anyone in your home, one of which is family liability coverage (also known as personal liability coverage).
This type of coverage kicks in if you or someone you live with accidentally injures a guest and is legally responsible. You’re technically liable for the damages, which can include their medical bills that your liability coverage will pay for (up to your policy’s limit).
Family liability protection may help you even if the accident happens outside of your home, although it doesn’t cover damages related to car accidents. For example, if your child throws a ball into a neighbor’s yard and hits someone, your insurance will help pay for their medical expenses.
How much does guest medical actually cover?
It depends on your actual policy, but most companies cover anywhere from $1,000 up to $5,000. If the medical expenses go over this limit, you’ll be responsible for covering the remaining amount.
If you think you need a higher limit, you may be able to purchase it as an add-on. Alternatively, you can consider purchasing a higher limit by getting an umbrella insurance policy to make sure you’re sufficiently covered.
Some things an umbrella will cover:
- Personal liability protection
- Worldwide coverage
- Up to $10 in liability coverage
- Coverage for multiple properties
What if I’m a renter and it’s my landlord’s fault?
There is landlord insurance, which can help cover medical expenses if the injury is due to negligence.
Maybe your landlord didn’t maintain the property or make repairs after repeated requests. If your guest suffers an accident as a result, their insurance policy will kick in.
For example, let’s say your rented apartment has a wobbly railing outside and your landlord didn’t make repairs after repeated requests. Your friend uses it when walking to your apartment and falls. The landlord would be responsible in this case.
Get the coverage you need
Don’t get caught without the right type of coverage.
Of course, you’ll take every precaution to ensure everyone under your roof – including your guests – are safe. However, accidents do happen and you don’t want to deal with hefty medical expenses because of it.
If you know you’ll be entertaining a lot or might need special coverage for other reasons, do your homework now and make sure you have the proper coverage before it’s too late.
By doing so, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your guests will get the help they need while under your roof.
Sarah Li Cain is a finance writer based in Jacksonville, Florida. She’s written on topics such as real estate, banking and FinTech and has appeared in publications such as KeyBank, Vistaprint and Quicken Loans.