Home Insurance

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Does home insurance provide coverage if my domestic helper causes third party injury or property damage?

When Mrs. Chan’s domestic helper, Mary, carried out her cleaning duty at the insured premises, she accidentally dropped a container of cleaning fluid while cleaning the window and damaged a private car parked on the street below. As a result, the private car owner lodged a claim for his loss against Mrs. Chan, the occupier of the premises from which the cleaning fluid container fell.
 
Does the “Personal Liability” section of Mrs. Chan’s home insurance provide coverage for Mrs. Chan’s liability?
 
Although the incident was caused by Mary’s negligence, she was carrying out cleaning duties as per Mrs. Chan’s instructions at the time of the accident. In the third party claim against Mrs. Chan in her capacity as Mary’s employer, Mrs. Chan may be held vicariously liable for the damage or loss to the third party’s property arising out of the incident. In cases of this nature, the “Personal Liability” sections of most home insurance products in the market may provide coverage for the insured’s liability.

On the other hand, if Mary hurt a passenger on a bus during her holiday – a period of time during which she was not carrying out duties for her employer on her employer’s instructions – even though Mrs. Chan is Mary’s employer, Mrs. Chan is not legally liable for Mary’s actions during Mary’s free time and is therefore not liable for any third party bodily injury or damage or loss to any third party’s property. The coverage of different home insurance policies in the market may be different and customers are advised to check policy details carefully.

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