Personal Umbrella Policy Can Bring You Legal Shelter & Peace of Mind

Countless things can go wrong on any given day. When they do, there is always a chance someone wants to pin the blame on you. You’ve got liability protection through standard homeowners, automobile insurance or boat policies, but this is limited and most people fail to purchase enough. For example, buying $100,000 to $300,000 worth of liability coverage may be insufficient to cover severe injuries or a fatality for which an individual may be held liable. An umbrella insurance policy provides a second layer of liability protection on top of your other liability coverage.

An umbrella policy offers very affordable protection. A typical homeowner with two cars and a good driving record would pay less than $1 a day for an umbrella policy worth up to $1 million. If you own more assets, more umbrella protection is essential to greater peace of mind.

The frequency of lawsuits is on the rise, along with the cost. Relying only on the primary liability coverage in your policies may leave you seriously underinsured for injury lawsuits.

SHOULD YOU CARRY AN UMBRELLA POLICY?

An umbrella policy pays for losses above the limit of the underlying policies, such as your auto or home insurance and is a valuable additional layer of protection.

How do you know if you need an umbrella? Ask yourself, do I have:

  • Assets greater than my insurance liability limits?
  • Children to whom I am financially responsible?
  • Guests coming frequently to my home?
  • A swimming pool or hot tub?
  • A watercraft or off-road vehicle?
  • Rental or vacation property?
  • Volunteer activities that use my helping hands?

Consider these hypothetical claim scenarios:

  • An insured’s 18-year-old son was driving the family car on a short trip to the store. His girlfriend was with him. Another vehicle cut the young man off, causing him to lose control of the car, veer off the road and into a tree. There were no witnesses, and his girlfriend said it happened so fast that she could not recall a single detail. She was a 19-year-old college student and was hospitalized for more than a month with multiple fractures and internal injuries. She received extensive physical therapy in the weeks following and has nerve damage in her foot as a result of injuries related to the crash. The personal umbrella policy of the father of the driver paid the policy limit on this case.
  • At a recent pool party, a friend of the homeowner jumped into the pool and struck his head on the bottom of the pool. As a result, he is a quadriplegic. He sued both the homeowner and the installer of the pool. The case went to trial, and court awarded a settlement of $10 million, finding the homeowner to be 60 percent liable for the accident.

Talk to your Frontline Insurance agent about how much umbrella coverage you need. The amount of your current assets affects the chances of your being subject to a lawsuit, so the more you have to protect, the bigger umbrella you’ll need.

Please remember that the comments contained in this blog are general in nature and that coverage under any specific policy of insurance will depend upon the terms and conditions of such policy.