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Liability Coverage on a Homeowners Policy

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Homeowners Liability Coverage not available for Jerry Sandusky

Above is an article regarding Jerry Sandusky’s Homeowners policy through State Farm.  The article appears on www.centredaily.com, a site which focuses on the greater State College region of PA.


As expected, Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, initially filed a claim against State Farm with hopes that the policy’s Section II Coverage for Liability would kick in and protect Jerry Sandusky.  Anyone could have guessed that there would be no coverage from the insurance giant on these claims but do you know the reason why?



My guess (and hope) is that you will never be in the same situation as the former Penn State coach but what if you were sued?  Would your homeowners policy provide coverage for you?

In most cases, yes.  However, depending on the situation, maybe not…


Say I’m at your house enjoying a nice evening, playing charades, eating popcorn and drinking soda.  I start messing with your dog, taunting him and generally annoying the hell out of the guy.  Like any dog would (and probably should) do, he bites me! Is there coverage?


Absolutely.  Now there is a good chance the insurance company is going to cancel your policy at the next renewal unless you get rid of your furry companion.  Some companies will allow the dog but will force you to sign a form indicating no coverage would be provided if the dog were to bite again.  Be careful with this, keep looking until you find a policy that covers the dog.


You will pay a higher premium but the risk is too great not to have coverage.


Now, let’s say that I’m at your house messing with your dog. And before he gets the chance to bite me, you punch me in the face.   It is your intention to break my nose.  Key word-intention.  There is no coverage on your homeowners policy for bodily injury to a person if it is the intention of the Insured (you) to cause the injury.


If the injury occurs as a result of you knocking me down to protect me from the dog than there is coverage.  It was not your intention to cause injury to me.


That is the reason why State Farm will not provide coverage to Sandusky for his heinous crimes.  It was certainly his intention to do what he did.


Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to use the Liability Coverage of your homeowners policy?

-Keith Laskey-

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