What is Umbrella Insurance?
When It Rains, It Pours…
Especially when it comes to unexpected accidents or claims…
You never know when it might rain. So just like the name implies, this type of policy acts like an umbrella, providing protection against a wide range of potential financial dangers, and unforeseeable mishaps.
Umbrella insurance is a form of liability insurance, therefore it does not cover:
- Your own medical expenses.
- Losses to your property.
However, what exactly is covered by your umbrella policy depends on how you decide to set it up. In most cases, umbrella insurance protects you from:
- Injuries you cause in a car accident
- Injuries someone suffers on your property
- Property damage you cause in an accident
- Property damage your pet causes
- Property damage a dependent or child causes
- Attorney fees and other legal costs if you’re sued
Yes, your existing insurance may protect you to an extent, but an umbrella policy goes much further for less cost than upping the limits on your existing policy because it covers for different types of risks. Umbrella insurance is also portable, in most cases; so it can follow you when and wherever you travel―even overseas.
Since the terms of umbrella insurance policies will vary, depending on insurance companies, and your own personal needs, a qualified insurance agent from [company] is the best person with whom to discuss the benefits, restrictions, and coverage from each carrier they represent.
Aren’t people with a lot of assets the only ones who need umbrella insurance?
Actually, anyone with a job who expects to keep the income they earn, could benefit from having an umbrella insurance policy.
What would happen, for example, if someone made a delivery to your house, slipped on a sidewalk recently wet by your sprinkler system, and suffered severe head injuries from the fall. They will sue you, of course.
Your homeowners insurance kicks in, and pays up to its maximum limits. But the jury finds you are responsible for an extra $500,000 over your homeowner’s limits.
Ask yourself: How long would it take you to pay that off with your weekly paycheck?
Umbrella insurance covers the amount that exceeds your homeowner’s coverage, usually up to $5 million-sparing you from a financial nightmare, along with paying the attorney to help you survive it.
Are Umbrella Policies Expensive?
Relative to the amount of protection you get, umbrella insurance is highly affordable. Especially since it’s unlikely you will ever have to make a claim against it. So your specific cost will be determined by:
- The amount of coverage you purchase
- Your insurance carrier’s provisions
- Your risk profile and driving record
You can save even more money by purchasing umbrella insurance from the same carrier who provides your home and/or auto insurance-check with us to make sure.
Tell me again why I need Umbrella Insurance?
A long time ago, you set some goals, made a plan, worked hard and got “there”. As you did, you accumulated possessions. Not to be ostentatious, but enough to make you and your loved ones comfortable.
You are rightly proud of these accomplishments. In fact, you have protected them with the best insurance you could.
Now you need extra protection, an umbrella insurance policy. A policy that will cover you above and beyond what any single policy might cover.
For example: What are your limits on your auto and home liability policies: $300,000 to $500,000?
If you get into an auto accident … or someone falls into your pool and hits their head … or whatever fluke occurrence-you can be sued. And what if the award goes to the plaintiff?
Okay, you say, the insurance will cover it.
But what if the amount is over the policy limits? (That happens, especially if you have nice things.)
Your standard home or auto policy is likely not going to be enough to cover what the plaintiff is asking for.
How will you pay the judgment? How will you even defend yourself in such a lawsuit? Can you actually lose all you have strived for?
You bet you can. Not only can you lose what you worked for, you can lose part of your wages for the rest of your working life. (Most people don’t know this.)
They Want It Because they can
In our society, three things work against you:
- It cost nothing to initiate a lawsuit
- Juries and judges are unpredictable
- Defending yourself costs enormous sums of money
One other factor also comes into play: They want it because they can.