The Importance of Personal Liability Coverage and Property Insurance


August 6, 2020

Debbie Arnold
Registered Insurance Broker

Group Business Development Manager
Sound Insurance Services

Although the Automobile Protection Association is focused on everything to do with cars, I thought I’d take an opportunity to address coverage that is often overlooked by consumers. To drive a car in Canada, it is mandatory to have automobile liability coverage to protect third parties from injury. But what about personal liability coverage? Do you need it? How do you get it?

Personal liability insurance is part of a personal property policy, whether for your home, condominium or rental. If you own a home and have a mortgage, the mortgage company will insist that you carry fire insurance. If you do not have a mortgage, you should still carry insurance on the home to protect your investment.

If you’ve purchased a condominium, whether to occupy or rent out, you’re responsible for the interior of your unit and anything contained in it as well as responsibilities to the other unit owners and common areas. The condominium corporation can assess you for losses that the building’s insurance doesn’t cover.

If you’re renting an apartment or part of a house, your personal items are not covered by the landlord’s insurance. More importantly, if you accidentally start a fire, the landlord’s insurer will sue for damages as will any other tenants occupying the building who were affected by the fire.

Unfortunately, too many consumers overlook the importance of personal property insurance to protect assets and financial well-being.

For example, in the grocery store parking lot, you accidentally let go of your full shopping cart while trying to open your trunk. The cart slides away striking an elderly lady who falls and breaks her hip. A few months later you receive a lawsuit notice for $1,300,000. The accident was a result of a negligent act and you are therefore liable. If you have a personal property policy, you will have Personal liability coverage, hopefully with an adequate limit to cover this loss. If you don’t, you’re financial well-being is at risk when you have to secure a lawyer to defend this lawsuit.

Any property you own, rent or occupy requires coverage. The amount and type of coverage will depend on the property. Many insurers will extend coverage to students away at school or elderly parents in a nursing home. As our population ages, the latter can be a concern and should be addressed with your insurance representative.

As important as personal liability is, so too is umbrella liability coverage. Personal liability will cover your negligent acts but not libel, slander or defamation of character. Umbrella liability coverage includes these exposures which are becoming more prevalent in this digital age dominated by social media.

Whatever your personal circumstances are, a conversation with an insurance professional is a good place to begin exploring your needs and requirements to protect your financial well-being.

APA Members have access to a Group Property and Automobile Program through Sound Insurance. We invite you to contact us anytime to discuss your insurance needs.

Debbie Arnold, R.I.B. (ON)
Group Business Development Manager



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