Comprehensive personal liability insurance covers you for accidental bodily injuries and property damage suffered by others and for which you bear responsibility. It's typically included with homeowners insurance policies, but it doesn't apply only on your property. It covers you wherever you are.
Business and Auto Claims Excluded
CPL insurance covers you only in your personal life -- not your professional activities. Say you're painting your own home and a tall ladder slides off the side of the house and hits someone on the sidewalk. That would be covered by CPL insurance. But if you were a professional painter on a job and the same thing happened, CPL coverage wouldn't apply. You would have to have business liability insurance. CPL insurance also doesn't apply to claims stemming from vehicle accidents. Those are covered by your auto liability insurance.
Typical CPL insurance covers property damage and "bodily injury," which refers to actual physical injury to a person. It doesn't cover "personal injury" claims, such as slander, invasion of privacy, false arrest and other non-physical harm. CPL insurance also pays to defend you in court, if necessary, against lawsuits related to covered injuries and damage. Insurers might refuse to include CPL insurance, or might limit its scope, if you have a pet considered to be particularly dangerous, a trampoline or pool without restricted access, or something else that may put you at increased risk of claims.
Cam Merritt is a writer and editor specializing in business, personal finance and home design. He has contributed to USA Today, The Des Moines Register and Better Homes and Gardens"publications. Merritt has a journalism degree from Drake University and is pursuing an MBA from the University of Iowa.