Legal Liability & COVID – What You Should Know

Legal liability or liable simply means a person is legally responsible for a negligent action. When a person commits a negligent act that results in damage, injury, or death of another person or their property, they are legally responsible for compensation. Examples would include texting while driving and causing an auto accident or causing a fire because they’ve left something burning. With the growing concerns surrounding COVID-19, legal liability can also be attached when one fails to take responsible steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

An insurance policy can protect persons or businesses from legal liability known as Property and Casualty Insurance. This policy protects against property damage or injury to others when one is found ‘legally liable’ for an event.

Two-Part Policies

Most insurance policies consist of two parts: liability and property.

  • Liability Insurance– Liability insurance is a piece of a general insurance policy designed to protect against third party claims. Payment of this coverage is typically paid to the person or persons suffering loss as a result of a negligent action by the insured. Payments from these policies are not usually paid to the insured. Liability insurance also pays legal defense costs if damages occur as a result of the insured’s negligence.
  • Property InsuranceProperty insurance is a series of policies that cover either property protection or liability coverage for property owners. These policies provide financial reimbursement to the owner in the event there is a theft or damage that occurs to the insured’s property. 

Liability Coverages

Accidents are unpredictable and can occur in the workplace, at home, or while out in public, leaving a person vulnerable to legal costs. Some cases appearing in the court system today involve people contracting COVID-19 and blaming establishments for their illness due to improper social distancing enforcement or improper use of PPE.

There are several liability-only policies for professionals and businesses that will protect them from accidental or negligent actions that can occur during their business interactions. Professional Liability protects the public from careless actions or errors committed by engineers, public officials, lawyers, or other public professionals when they are performing their duties. Medical Malpractice Insurance is a type of liability insurance for those working in the medical field. This insurance covers a medical professional’s actions when their care falls below an expected standard and causes a death or serious injury.

Exclusions to Liability Insurance Policies

Liability insurance is an essential piece of many insurance policies. This coverage provides protection to many different lifestyles. However, liability insurance will not benefit someone who intentionally harms another’s property or intentionally causes injury or death to someone. Liability insurance will also not cover criminal actions or the actions being performed for you by another. An example would include the policy not covering someone driving to the market for you and being involved in an at-fault accident.

Speak with your insurance agent or representative to learn what liability coverage means for your individual policy. With the changing times and spread of COVID-19, new lawsuits are springing up across the country. It is crucial to protect yourself from contracting this disease, as well as protecting yourself from possible legal liability.