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Case Study: Wrongful Death – Homeowners Insurance

Case Study: Wrongful Death – Homeowners Insurance

One beautiful spring day an 11-year-old girl in New York attended the birthday party of a friend. Her parents dropped her off, expecting to pick her up when the party was over, but a few hours later, she was dead. The cause of death was a combination of asphyxiation and blunt head trauma. It is believed that the young lady got a marshmallow lodged in her throat, was unable to breath, passed out from lack of oxygen and struck a table on the way down. No criminal charges were filed against anyone at the party, but her parents have filed a wrongful death suit against the homeowners in civil court. What would you do if this happened in your home? How Will You Defend Yourself? Mounting a legal defense in a civil case can be expensive. Unless you have unlimited funds and an attorney on retainer, a lawsuit can put a kink in your current and future financial plans. Homeowners insurance, and even renters insurance can help protect you and your family against the financial strain of a protracted legal battle in the event of injury or death at your home. Will It Be Covered? The Homeowners Special Form 3 (HO-3) defines “bodily injury” as bodily harm, sickness or disease including required care, loss of services and death that results. A death on your property is included under this definition, but it does depend on the circumstances. Under Coverage E “Personal Liability” the policy states that if a claim or suit is brought against an insured for bodily injury caused by an occurrence for which the coverage applies, the...