How Home Insurance Can Protect After a Burglar Sues a Homeowner

A burglar injured by an angry homeowner should chalk his or her injuries up to the hazards of the job, but some burglars are actually suing-;and winning their cases. Here is a look at homeowners’ rights in defense of their property, and how Home Insurance can protect the homeowner during a break-in.

Can a Burglar Sue a Homeowner?

If the burglar’s injuries are based on their own negligence, no, they cannot sue. However, if the injury was caused by the homeowner’s intentional act, there may be a case. To sue, the plaintiff must prove that the homeowner had the duty of providing a safe environment, that the duty was breached, and that the burglar’s injuries were caused by the breach.

What Constitutes Reasonable Force?

According to law, if a burglar goes into a home, the homeowner can defend themselves and their property with reasonable force. However, the definition of “reasonable” depends on circumstances. Using a baseball bat in self-defense is considered acceptable, as is arming oneself with a gun if the burglar has a lethal weapon. Courts only allow burglars to sue if the homeowner’s actions were excessive, or if the actions weren’t in self-defense.

Retaliation is Illegal

Once a burglar has left the home, the threat has ended. Any attack on the person after that point is considered illegal. Homeowners can be sued under the Occupier’s Liability Act if a burglar is injured while on their premises. Burglary laws were changed in 2003, so that burglars injured in the commission of a crime cannot sue without court permission.

How can Homeowner’s and Contents Insurance Help?

Home Insurance can help in two ways. Some policies can cover homeowners against costs and losses incurred if a person, including a burglar, gets injured in the home and then sues for damages. Home insurance, when purchased in adequate amounts, can help homeowners replace stolen items. In doing so, some of the distress associated with the home burglary can be alleviated. Homeowners should always read their policy documents thoroughly, so they know just what’s covered by during a burglary-;and what’s not included in the policy.

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