Home liability insurance: a must for homeowners

You are finally in your own home and can enjoy the freedoms that you never had as a tenant. But with the house comes some obligations. For example, you must protect your surroundings from dangers that arise from your property. For example, from falling roof tiles. Or leaves in front of the front door on which someone could slip. But it is impossible to eliminate all dangers. That’s why the house liability insurance steps in if someone is injured. You can find out exactly how the insurance works here.

What is a home liability insurance?

You may know and have personal liability insurance. It covers damage that you personally cause to the property of others. For example, if you accidentally drop your friend’s cell phone in the lake.

It works in a similar way with household liability insurance. Only not in relation to you, but to your house. Of course, your home does not develop a life of its own in this case and falls on passing strollers. But your property can expose neighbours or visitors to certain dangers. For example, someone could slip and injure themselves on the sidewalk in front of your house. Or one of the trees in your garden could fall through a storm onto the fence of the family next door.

So that you do not have to pay for the consequential costs in such cases of damage, there is the house liability insurance.

Who needs the insurance?

Whether or not it makes sense for you to take out household liability insurance depends on your living situation:

  • Homeowners should definitely have liability insurance that covers their house. It may be that your personal liability insurance is already sufficient here. But this does not always apply. Therefore, before deciding for or against a separate house liability insurance, the conditions of the existing insurance policies should be checked.
  • Tenants do not need to worry about the house liability insurance, but may have to pay for it through the operating costs.
  • Landlords should have household liability insurance. And they can pass the costs on to the tenants. Tenants usually cannot defend themselves against this, even if they have their own personal liability insurance.
  • So far, you only have one piece of land on which you would like to build at some point? Even then, a house liability insurance could be useful. Because personal liability insurance often does not cover it.

When it comes to house liability insurance, please note that the terms and conditions of the individual providers can vary greatly. Even if there are more exciting ones, you should therefore always check out the conditions of several home liability insurance policies before you decide on one. Otherwise it could happen that claims that are important to you are not covered. In the worst case, you could be asked to pay if something happens, despite having taken out insurance.

Which damages does it pay for?

Even if the insurance companies’ benefits vary considerably in some cases, there are still some claims that are standard for the house liability insurance. For example, providers usually pay for damages that occur when you accidentally miss one of your obligations as a homeowner:

  • The traffic safety obligation: The owner is responsible for removing dangers for visitors to his property or passers-by so that they do not suffer any damage. For example, he must remove snow, ice or leaves from the sidewalks where someone could slip.
  • The maintenance obligation: The owner has the obligation to keep his property and buildings in good condition. Loose pavement slabs, for example, must be repaired in the same way as a crumbling facade.

A house liability insurance policy covers not only your own failures. Your employees are also insured. Maybe the cleaner accidentally leaves the floor wet. Or the gardener neglects to remove all garden tools from the paths after work. If a visitor or passer-by is injured in this case, the insurance company is usually also liable for any costs incurred.

This does not include the plumber who repairs your tap or the technician for your refrigerator. Only persons with whom you have concluded an employment contract are considered to be co-insured for the household liability insurance.

And what if you rebuild? Maybe your house should have a new facade, tighter windows or a chic extension. No problem. Anyway, as far as the homeowner’s liability insurance goes. It often covers damage caused by alterations or renovations.

When is the insurance not liable?

Normally, only damage that you are not wilfully responsible for yourself is insured. If, for example, you would water the path to your house in winter so that all people passing by would fall down, the insurance company might refuse to cover the costs of any damage.

Even for damages based on known defects, the house liability insurance usually does not pay. If you have known for months that the tree in your garden is rotten, it should come as little surprise if it falls over with the next breeze. If it causes damage to the neighbour, it is no more surprising if the insurance company is not liable for it.

Are the premiums tax deductible?

The short answer is yes and no. Liability insurance policies are generally tax-deductible. The reason: they are among the insurances that can be claimed as pension costs. However, under certain circumstances, the tax office can also include a house liability insurance among the property insurance policies. In the case of homeowners, it may therefore differ whether the household liability insurance is recognised in the tax return.

As far as landlords are concerned, the principle is clear. You can claim the house liability insurance in your tax return as income-related expenses.

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