Ask an Agent: Who is liable in a slip and fall accident?

Q: If someone slips and falls on my sidewalk, am I liable for their injury?


A: Slip and fall incidents have been the subject of many conversations in our office in the last year. For this reason alone, it's a very good idea to carry personal insurance—even if you think your “things” do not have much value and do not need to be insured.

Under various circumstances, if someone is at your residence and they are injured, you can be found liable for their injuries. Home and renters policies have two different types of coverage that can help protect you from liabilities associated with slip and fall incidents. 

  • Medical Payments to Other: This coverage is a "goodwill coverage" and will help keep things from going to a lawsuit. I have found the health insurance companies are very aware of this coverage on homeowners policies. Health insurance companies are insisting (even if someone is injured at a friend or families residence) that "medical payments to others" coverage will pay before health insurance will—even if you were not neglectful.
  • Personal Liability: This coverage on the home policy is for if someone files a lawsuit against you—claiming you were neglectful. With this coverage you can choose your coverage. The average policy is between $100,000-$500,000; though you may find this to not be enough coverage to cover the law suit. In additional to home insurance, most people can purchase a personal umbrella policy to help with coverage if a lawsuit is filed against you. A couple of good things about a personal umbrella policy is that it comes with a lawyer that will defend you in a liability suit. It not only covers your residence; it follows you to your car—or even at the golf course.

If you have more questions about your limits of liability or if you are interested in an umbrella policy, please contact one of us in the office.


What can BHS Insurance help you with? We have over 25 associates dedicated to finding the best coverage for your life, home and auto needs. Request a quote online today.


Answered by:



     Christy Allen, Account Manager

      20 years’ insurance experience

      12 years at BHS Insurance