By Tim Gaspar
It has all the trappings of a true Hollywood drama. The mudslinging, adultery, movie contracts, dirty sheets (ewww) and homeowners insurance.
Homeowners insurance? What does homeowners insurance have to do with the Amber Heard trial? Amber Heard is broke. Guess who is paying her legal fees? Any good homeowners insurance policy includes coverage for personal injury which covers a number of items including libel, slander, false arrest, invasion of privacy, etc.
The policy won’t protect you from intentional acts so you can’t buy a home policy and then intentionally slander someone but many policies have a “duty to defend” provision where the carrier will promise to defend you if such allegations are alleged.
In Heard’s case the Travelers paid for her second round of attorneys but won’t be paying the judgment from last week. I say “second round” of attorneys because the insurance company will use their attorneys, who are usually very good but not the marquee Hollywood names you see in print all the time – which Amber started with.
There is a common misconception that a homeowners insurance policy only covers fire, or maybe fire and burglary. A good home insurance policy covers a variety of physical damage issues including fire, smoke, wind, vandalism, collapse, etc but also liability coverage of all kinds (liability insurance is what kicks in when you get sued), cyber coverage if your computer or wifi gets hacked, equipment breakdown when your smart home system is on the fritz and much more.
Remember O.J.’s civil trial? O.J.’s home insurance covered the defense costs on that. Remember Bernie Madhoff? There are home insurance policies that will actually cover victims of those types of schemes.
Probably most importantly, is your child on social media? Maybe they repeated some gossip they heard about another student? That’s one of the leading causes of liability claims for families.
Understanding your insurance isn’t easy. There is lots of legalize, pages of confusing often contradictory language, etc. Ask your agent what your policy covers and what additional coverage might be available.
Tim Gaspar is the owner of Gaspar Insurance in Woodland Hills and Simi Valley. He also has offices in Arizona and New Jersey. To reach Gaspar call (866) 624-4012 or visit gasparinsurane.com.