As a landlord, you are responsible for maintaining the rental property a safe and habitable. Nevertheless, accidents can still happen, and if someone is injured on your rental property, they may hold you liable. Medical expenses coverage is a type of general liability insurance that provides reimbursement for medical or funeral expenses incurred by others due to bodily injury or even in the severe circumstances of an accidental death. This coverage applies regardless of who is at fault, and is subject to the specific conditions and limitations outlined in the policy.

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How is medical expenses coverage different from general liability coverage?

Medical expenses coverage and general liability coverage are two different types of coverage within landlord insurance. Here's how they differ:

Medical Expenses Coverage: a type of coverage that pays for medical expenses incurred by someone who is injured on the insured property. It typically covers immediate medical costs, such as ambulance fees, hospital bills, surgical expenses, X-rays, and other medical treatments. Medical expenses coverage is usually provided on a no-fault basis, meaning the injured party does not need to prove negligence on the part of the landlord to receive coverage.

General Liability Coverage: provides protection for a landlord if they are found legally responsible for causing bodily injury or property damage to a third party. It covers the costs associated with legal defense, settlements, or judgments if the landlord is sued. General liability coverage typically includes coverage for bodily injury, property damage, personal injury (such as defamation or wrongful eviction), and advertising injury (such as copyright infringement or false advertising).

The main difference between medical expenses coverage and general liability coverage lies in the scope and purpose of the coverage. Medical expenses coverage focuses solely on providing immediate coverage for medical expenses of injured parties, regardless of fault. On the other hand, general liability coverage provides broader protection for landlords against claims or lawsuits resulting from bodily injury or property damage caused by their negligence.

When are medical expenses covered?

Medical expenses are covered for “bodily injury” caused by an accident when the following conditions are met:

  1. On the premises you own or rent
  2. On ways next to the premises you own or rent
  3. Due to your operations, provided that:
    (a) The accident occured within the specified coverage area and during the policy period.
    (b) The expenses need to be incurred and reported to us no later than one year from the date of the accident.
    (c) The injured person must agree to undergo examinations by physicians selected by us, and we will bear the cost of these examinations. The frequency of these examinations will be reasonable and as needed.

The payments will regardless of who is at fault. However, the payments will not exceed the maximum coverage limit. The coverage limit can vary from policy to policy,  The insurer will cover reasonable expenses for the following:

  • Immediate first aid was provided at the time of the accident.
  • Essential medical, surgical, X-ray, and dental services, including prosthetic devices.
  • Required ambulance services, hospital stays, professional nursing care, and funeral services.

When are medical expenses not covered?

In addition to the conditions mentioned above, there are some common exclusions to medical coverage one needs to be aware of. The coverage does not apply to:

  1. Any Insured. The term "insured" refers to the individual or entity that is covered by the insurance contract. For example, if you are designated as an individual (private landlord), both you and your spouse are insureds, but only for the business you solely own. If it’s an LLC, you, your members, and managers are insureds, but coverage applies respectively to the conduct of your business and the duties of managers. 
  2. Hired Person: Injuries to individuals hired to work for or on behalf of any insured or a tenant of any insured will not be covered. Please consider the additional coverage Employee Benefits Liability if you regularly hire contractors or other staff to do work on the property
  3. Injury On Normally Occupied Premises: Injuries to individuals that occur on the part of the premises owned or rented by you, which they normally occupy, will not be covered. The Tennant or owner of the premises is excluded since this coverage applies only to third parties (people that do not normally utilize the premises)
  4. Workers' Compensation And Similar Laws: Injuries to individuals, whether or not they are employees of any insured, for which benefits for the "bodily injury" are payable or must be provided under workers' compensation, disability benefits, or similar laws, will not be covered.
  5. Athletics Activities: Injuries to individuals while practicing, instructing, or participating in any physical exercises, games, sports, or athletic contests will not be covered.
  6. Products-Completed Operations Hazard: Injuries falling under the "products-completed operations hazard" will not be covered.
  7. Coverage A Exclusions: Exclusions specified under Coverage A will not be covered.

Bottom line

It's important for landlords to have general liability coverage and medical expenses coverage, as both types of coverage as they serve different purposes. Medical payments coverage helps with immediate medical expenses, while general liability coverage protects against more extensive claims and legal actions. Together, these coverages provide comprehensive protection for landlords in case of accidents or injuries on their rental properties.