What happens if a guest causes damage to your home?

So, having people come over to visit is a lot of fun. Family and friends are oftentimes welcome guests, and it can be nice to spend time with people you care about and relax a bit. Whether you just planned a dinner with some family friends or you’ve got guests staying for a week, having company can be exciting. But what would happen if your guest accidentally caused damage to your home? We’ll go over how the situation could play out – and how home insurance could help.

What happens if a guest causes damage to your home?

Despite how much we try to prepare for the future and have everything planned out to the minute, accidents happen. Your guest may not have meant to cause damage to your poor house, but it happens. No one is immune to moments of clumsiness.

Okay. If the situation is ideal and everything goes well, your guest might sincerely apologize and immediately tell you that they’ll repair the damage. (Which would be a load off your mind – no argument, no awkwardness, no dent to your bank account.) But that would be the absolute best-case scenario. Things may not be that simple – reality can get messy.

Technically your guest ought to be responsible for paying to repair the damage. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it could also be a legal thing. But the situation could get complicated if your family member or friend causes damage while visiting as a guest and they’re not offering to pay for repairs. However, they do have a responsibility to reimburse you for the expenses. If they flat-out refuse, you might have a case to take legal action.

Yeah, we understand that that might not be the route you want to take. You might feel like that would be out of the frying pan and into the fire.

So, home insurance.

Maybe you wonder if your home insurance typically covers you if a guest causes damage to your house. Generally, yes, it does. But you really need to read through your policy to make sure you know what’s covered and what’s not. Are certain situations excluded? Be familiar with your coverage and the language in the policy.

A couple of things to look for:

First, will the policy only cover the house’s structure (i.e. walls and the floors)?

Second, does the coverage only apply to accidental damage?

Don’t play guessing games with your insurance. Check your policy and read it carefully so that you know that you have the coverage you need. It’s important that you know what losses are covered and which aren’t.

You also have to consider whether it’s the best course of action to use your home insurance. If you use your home insurance to cover the damage instead of getting your guest to pay for it, you could end up with higher insurance rates. So, that’s something you need to think about depending on the situation. (Maybe the damage isn’t too bad and you can cover it on your own, out of pocket. Yes, you may never invite that guest back to your house, but it’ll be over with at least.)

So, yeah, that’s the deal with what happens if a guest causes damage to your home. Technically, the guest should be responsible for the damage – and hopefully your guest offers to cover it without any ado. Yes, your home insurance may cover the damage, but you need to consider if that’s the way you want to go. Your rates could go up. Also, make sure that you know what your policy covers and doesn’t cover. That’s always important.

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