Civil Damages

Updated: 29 February 2024

What Does Civil Damages Mean?

Civil damages are the monetary sums awarded to a plaintiff in a civil suit if they win.

In the context of insurance, policyholders often sue insurance companies if they believe the insurer has caused them financial harm. If the plaintiff's case is successful, they will typically receive civil damages.

Insuranceopedia Explains Civil Damages

Civil damages can vary widely from case to case. Depending on the scale of the loss, the defendant's degree of responsibility, and legal precedents, the plaintiff could be awarded anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of millions.

A policyholder may opt to sue their insurer if they (the policyholder) incurred a loss that they believe should have been covered by their insurance policy but the insurer declines the claim. In such a case, the plaintiff has the burden of proof to show that they should be awarded damages for the denied claim.

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