Every homeowner's insurance policy is unique. Aside from the obvious fact that no two pieces of property are exactly identical, each homeowner's insurance policy represents a delicate compromise between the homeowner who takes out the policy and the insurance company that provides it. Likewise, every homeowner's insurance claim is an intricate dance that balances the homeowner's desire for compensation with the insurance company's desire to enforce the terms of its policy as it sees fit. More often than not, the disagreements that arise during the crafting of a policy and the filing of any subsequent claims can be solved amicably. However, vitriolic and costly conflicts can also arise between insurance companies and their customers. After all, insurance companies that made a habit out of honoring every claim filed by their customers would quickly go out of business.
If you're relatively new to the world of homeowner's insurance, you've probably heard a few things about this type of coverage. For starters, you probably know that insurance companies don't respond well to fraudulent or misrepresented claims. If you file such a claim with your insurer, it will be denied. Worse, your policy could be voided. If you commit a particularly egregious misrepresentation, you could be subject to criminal prosecution for insurance fraud.
You may have heard that some homeowner's insurance policies have personal liability clauses that cover the medical costs associated with certain injuries that occur on the covered property. Unfortunately, this personal injury protection is unlikely to extend to your own person. This is because you can't legally hold yourself liable for an injury that you sustain on your own property. If you slip and fall on an icy walkway or break through a rotted wooden railing on your elevated deck or porch, you'll be responsible for paying for your own medical care. In theory, your health insurance provider should take care of these costs.
There are certain special circumstances in which you might be able to file a homeowner's claim for an injury that you sustain on your own property. If you can prove that the injury was not the result of your own negligence, your provider will consider your claim. To increase your chances of securing compensation, you'll need to prove that your injury was caused by a defective or improperly-installed piece of equipment or appliance. Before you file your claim, ensure that you have all of the pertinent sales receipts and work orders at your disposal.