Homeowner’s insurance covers your home and your family in certain cases of personal liability. For example, if you popped the cork for a wine bottle and it accidentally hit someone in the eye, that person might sue you and your homeowner’s insurance to cover their medical bills and injuries. This would likely be covered by your policy as it was accidental. However, there are other scenarios where acts of an intentional nature might not be covered. This is known as the “intentional acts exclusion.” As a homeowner, it is important to understand the homeowners intentional acts exclusion and how it impacts your coverage.
What Are Intentional Acts
As the name implies, intentional acts are those that you intend to perform. For example, swinging a fist at someone during a fight would be an intentional act. Your fist does not accidentally swing towards someone’s face. You swing it knowing that it will cause harm to another individual. Thus, it is an intentional act for the purpose of causing harm. Thus, Massachusetts homeowners insurance companies will not cover this.
A gray area seems to be acts of self defense. There are many cases arguing that self-defense, such as shooting an intruder in the middle of the night or striking someone who attacks you. Insurance companies have argued that self-defense is still an intentional act, whereas homeowners argue that it should be covered. In many cases throughout the country, the courts have ruled in favor of the insurance company.
Why The Intentional Acts Exclusion Is Heavily Debated
Homeowners are personally liable for any judgements against them for injury to others when their homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover the incident. The amount could be significant and present quite a hardship. Judgements can include financial compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation, loss wages, and pain and suffering, just to name a few. For clear intentional acts, you should not rely on insurance coverage. However, many scenarios are not so clear. The gray area is where debates and lawsuits often occur between homeowners and insurance companies, as homeowners fight for coverage.
Importance of Understanding Homeowners Insurance Intentional Acts Exclusion
Knowing about the homeowners insurance intentional acts exclusion does not necessarily change how you might approach certain situations. After all, you are probably not thinking about insurance before committing an intentional act or one in self defense. It is, however, helpful to be aware of this exclusion and not to assume that you will be covered in all cases. As with any type of insurance, being an educated consumer is important.