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Difference between strict liability and fault-based liability

When determining who is liable for a loss, one of the factors considered is strict or fault-based liability. But what is the difference between these two concepts? And what does this mean for you in concrete terms?

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strict liability

What is strict liability?

Strict liability is a form of liability (something is charged to you) without any fault on your part and without any blame on your part. According to the law, this form of liability applies to, for example, parents, employers, home-owners and pet-owners. These are the cases which you, as a private individual, will have to deal with the most.

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Examples showing that taking out liability insurance is important:

Strict liability as parents
As a parent, you are liable for damages caused by your children, up to a certain age of the children. This is established by law. Suppose your 5-year-old child goes to play at a friend's house and damages an expensive painting. As the parent of your child, you can be held liable for this damage, even if you did not damage the painting yourself. You can imagine that the amount of this damage can be considerable.

Strict liability as a homeowner
Suppose a roof tile blows off your house, damaging the neighbor's glass conservatory. As the owner of the house, you may be liable for this, even though you did not throw the roof tile yourself.

Does a liability insurance cover both types of liability?

In most cases, both strict and fault-based liability are covered on a liability insurance policy. Of course, it is important that you choose the right coverage, namely family coverage when you have a family and not single person coverage.

What is fault-based liability?

Fault-based liability is a form of liability (you are charged with something), where you are at fault and there is something to blame. This may be because you literally do something, or because you fail to do something.

Examples showing that taking out liability insurance is important:

Knocking over an antique vase

Suppose you are visiting your aunt. On a pillar she has an antique vase, a family heirloom. In your enthusiasm, you wave your arms and throw the vase off the pillar. In addition to leaving your aunt inconsolable, this also damages several thousand dollars.

Tripping and scratching your car
You bought new pumps with a nice high heel. You are wearing them for the first time, but it is raining very hard today. Suddenly you trip and your umbrella scratches a parked car. The side of the car in question has to be completely repainted to repair the damage.

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