Baby Shower Brawl: Is Anyone Covered?

Posted by Jim Pietro on Jan 15, 2013 12:38:56 PM

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You may have read the story about a violent brawl at a baby shower which happened in Stoughton, MA over the weekend. The Boston Globe reported that "bottles and punches were thrown and furniture was smashed."

If someone was hurt and the injured party brings a law suit against the perpetrator, would the person who initiated the violence be covered by insurance? Assuming they had a homeowner or tenant's policy in place to begin with, most likely not. Homeowner's insurance policies do include coverage for liability and property damage. However, the liability section of a home policy excludes "bodily injury or property damage which is expected or intended by the insured". Every company's policy can be worded differently, but for the most part intentional acts are not covered.

So are there any types of intentional acts involving violence that might actually be covered for liability under the homeowner's policy? Depends on the scenario, but the answer is "maybe". A situation where bodily injury or property damage is not "expected or intended" by the named insured may be a covered loss. For example, when a person acts in self defense and accidently causes property damage or bodily injury which is not intended or expected, just may be such a situation.

Based on reports, it seems as though for most of the participants in the baby shower brawl, their actions were intended and expected. They should not expect their insurance to respond to any claims.

Topics: Jim's Blog, renters insurance, home insurance

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