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Homeowners liability insurance, innocent victim

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by jack76590, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. jack76590


    Aug 15, 2004

    There was a recent case were a person legitimately defended himself, but in the process shot an innocent bystander.

    I know most homeowners liability insurance does not cover the civil aspects of a self defense shooting. Naturally no insurance can cover the criminal aspects beyond paying lawyer fees.

    So my question is if a person harms an innocent unintentionally in a legitimate self defense shooting, would you expect homeowners liability insurance to provide civil coverage for the innocents injuries?

    I suspect this is not a yes or no question. But my understanding is the basic reason homeowners liability insurance does not cover shooting a bad guy in self defense is, because it is an intentional act. Hitting an innocent in the process of defending yourself would not be an intentional act.

    Thanks, Jack
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    Jack, it would depend on how a given policy was written. Normally, homeowners' insurance does not cover a deliberate act which harms another, a willful tort. However, I would expect plaintiff's counsel would argue that the innocent being hit was a negligent act, and therefore covered. There would also be issues as to whether or not a homeowner's policy covered something which happened off the premises...again, the exact wording of the policy would be an issue.

    Best bet might be to open this in Carry Issues, and draw on the expertise of GT members who work in the insurance industry.


  3. jack76590


    Aug 15, 2004
    Thanks Mas,

    I will post in carry forum. However, I believe my homeowners umbrella liability insurance must cover incidents, that occur off my property. I say that because it is add on liability insurance to my vehicle insurance policy. This permits me to safely carry the minimum liability on my vehicle insurance. It also makes the umbrella liability coverage rather cheap, especially true if you own multiple vehicles.

    Of course just because it covers incidents involving vehicles off my property, does not mean it covers other types of incidents away from my property. It would just appear that location was not a limiting factor. Jack
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012