The insurance policies you have for your auto, home and “toys” (boats, motorcycles and seasonal locations) include protection against liability claims. This protection helps to pay for injuries or damages you’re found responsible for, or you cause in an accident. The limit for this coverage is set by you and is listed on the policy.
Are those limits enough? Do you want to know the real answer? Not if the damages are greater than the limit you’ve chosen. In other words, maybe not.
What would happen if they weren’t? What would happen if a court ruled that you owed an injured party $500,000 more than the limits of insurance on your policy?
Don’t think you could ever be in this situation? Think again. Here are a few claims in which umbrella coverage was needed and used:
- Teen Drivers: Insured’s teenage son was driving his girlfriend a short distance to the store. He lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree. His injuries were minor, but his girlfriend’s injuries have left her paralyzed. Her family sued the insured. The insured’s auto liability limits where exhausted, and he was left short by over $400,0000.
- Social Media Mishap: Insured’s daughter is angry at a teacher. She decides to “vent” about him online. She writes comments which questions his character. The teacher decides to sue the parents for personal injury for damages to his reputation.
- Homeowners Liability: A homeowner hosted a party. No alcohol was provided, but it was brought by other guests. After the party, a guest leaves and is severely injured in an auto accident while driving home. The injury is attributed to his consumption of alcohol. The homeowner is found liable for letting him leave intoxicated.
Although events like these may be rare, they can happen to ANYONE!
What happens if the limits in your insurance policy falls short of the final damages awarded? The damaged party can pursue your assets. This could mean liens against your home, vehicles, and bank accounts.
One of the most common responses we hear when discussing these kinds of losses is, “I don’t have anything for them to take”.
This is simply not true. You’re most valuable financial asset may be something you don’t have yet – future wages. And yes – a plaintiff can legally pursue your wages for years to come.
Here’s the good news:
All of this can be avoided with one more policy; an “Umbrella Policy”.
A personal umbrella policy can provide the extra coverage that would pay for the damages caused by these “Nightmare” scenarios…like the ones listed above. It is a liability policy which provides an additional $1 Million, or more, of protection.
An umbrella policy can apply to any or all of your other insurance policies (auto, home, dwelling, boats, etc.), and is triggered when the liability limits of these other policies are exhausted.
Sound expensive? You might be surprised. A $1 Million policy can cost as little as $150 per year. This will depend on the number of homes, vehicles, and drivers in the household.
Protect yourself form the unthinkable. Call us today for a free quote.