What Is Property Damage And Property Liability? Must Read!

16 November, 2023


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All that you own is valuable. It has taken time and effort on your part or the people related to you to acquire them. As a result, if there is property damage, you have certain legal rights to exercise against it. By doing that, you can get compensation. 

It is very important that you understand your options after property damage. This guide aims to help you grasp when and how property damage occurs, “property damage liability” , “what does property damage liability cover,” and “how to file a claim to recover funds for repairing or replacing the damaged items”- all of it.

So, What Exactly Is Property Damage?

Property Damage can mean any destruction or harm to your belongings. It can lead to a decrease in the monetary value of these belongings or even make them less functional due to the damage.

It’s important to note that property damage is not an example of bodily injury. Sometimes, an accident can cause both physical injuries and property damage. For instance, in a car accident, your vehicle may undergo damage. You or others on the property may suffer physical injuries as well.

So, basically, Property Damage is when what you own breaks, destroys, or suffers harm. It can lead to a loss of money because the damaged item may be worth less or need repairs. This property may not work properly anymore or may not be for use after the damage. Damaged property can include all things like your car, phone, computer, or even your home. In some accidents, both property damage and bodily injury can happen together, for example, in a car crash. You can make an insurance claim to the responsible party to get money for repairs or replacements of your damaged property.

What Types of Property Can Undergo Damage?

When it is property damage, any type of property could get damaged. However, all property fall into two different types.

Real Property

Real property usually refers to land. It also includes anything and all that is permanently attached to the land. For example, it can include your land as well as the home built on it, the tool shed in your yard, your fancy swimming pool, and all the trees in your garden. All of it is considered real property. house sitting on your land, your in-ground swimming pool, and trees on your land are all considered real property.

Therefore, the house sitting on your land, your in-ground swimming pool, and trees on your land are all real property

Personal Property

Personal property refers to all that is not real property. Anything that belongs to you that you carry with you when you leave home is classified as personal property.  This can include your clothes, your bags, jewelry, your car or other vehicles, and yes, your phone or electronic devices. Commonly all forms of personal property fall under the category of “chattel”

Both real and personal property could potentially sustain property damage either due to natural causes such as an earthquake or due to the actions of people or companies.

What Is Property Damage Liability?

Property damage can happen due to natural events or even actions caused by people or companies.

So, suppose you are driving and a deer jumps out of nowhere across the road and you accidentally crash through your neighbor’s fence. Now, who is gonna pay to fix the fence?

Now this is where property damage liability comes into the picture. The liability insurance will cover all costs of fence repair. So, what are the types of damage liability?

1.     Negligence

When someone harms your property due to sheer negligent, you recover compensation. However, you will need to show that their actions were negligent and resulting in losses to your property.

2.     Trespass To Real Property, Land Or Chattels

If someone deliberately comes into your property without your permission, you can proceed to make a claim. However, you will need to prove that you own the property, and that they caused harm to it.

3.     Conversion

Conversion is the act of severely interfering with one’s property rights. You can get compensation for your property in case someone sells your property without your permission.

What Does Property Damage Liability Cover?

1.  Property insurance provides coverage for damage caused to your property due to events like fires, storms, or vandalism.

2.  It includes coverage for your personal belongings. That can include furniture, electronics, clothing, and other things (in case of damage or theft).

3.  Property insurance can also include liability coverage, like medical expenses or legal fees.

4.  This insurance ensures that your home is protected, including the walls, roof, floors, and other built-in features. It even covers other structures on your property, like garages, sheds, or fences.

5.  Depending on your policy, property insurance may also cover damages caused by certain natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods (usually requires separate policies in high-risk areas).

6.  Apart from liability protection for your property, it also covers personal liability outside of your property, such as accidental damage caused by you or your family members.

7.  Property insurance often includes coverage for medical payments to others who are injured on your property, regardless of who is at fault.

What To Know While Making A Property Damage Claim?

You can start by contacting your insurance company by phone. Notify them of the damage but avoid giving opinions about the cause until you fully understand it.

  • Take photos of the damage, gather necessary documents, and make a list of lost items.
  • Keep receipts for repairs, preventive measures, and other expenses related to the damage.
  • Read your policy and be aware of coverage options to avoid potential issues later.
  • Take reasonable steps to prevent additional damage after the initial incident.
  • Avoid making false claims or collaborating with others to overcharge the insurer.
  • Don’t delay filing your claim beyond a reasonable time limit set by your insurer.
  • Don’t begin repairs until the insurance company inspects and approves them.
  • Keep damaged items until the insurance company authorizes their disposal.
  • You have the option to use the settlement to purchase another property or cash out instead of rebuilding.

Your insurance policy protects you, and being cautious and patient during the claim process can help ensure you get the coverage and compensation you deserve.

To Conclude

Damage of property is no new challenge in the world of laws. A major section of criminal and civil laws of the US are specifically dedicated to it. Any damage to property is substantial because it affects the valuation of the property. Besides, properties also hold sentimental value. 

Thus, in this article, we covered the basic tenets of what damage to property can entail. In case of doubts, please be sure to leave a comment below. We will surely get back to you! Do let us know if you found our article helpful! 

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Jyoti Jha is a freelance SEO content writer for tech , health, and education-related content. With 5 years of experience in the industry, I am creating high-quality content that captivates readers and delivers value.

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