How much liability insurance do you have on your primary insurance policies? Is it enough to protect your income and assets against possible litigation? Umbrella insurance is a valuable form of supplemental liability insurance that offers high limits of personal coverage that pick up where your home and auto insurance leave off.
With coverage that usually ranges between $1 million and $5 million, an umbrella policy usually fills in coverage gaps and deficiencies left behind by your primary coverage. It can be used to cover your legal fees, as well as any injuries, accidental death, or property damages you are responsible for.
Know Your Risks
Everyone is at risk of being sued, yet many people fail to purchase umbrella insurance simply because they are unaware of the hazards they face on a day-to-day basis. In fact, there are probably hazards lurking around your home that could be making you vulnerable to a potential lawsuit. Maybe it’s a dying tree leaning toward your neighbor’s property. Perhaps it’s a crack in your sidewalk that poses a fall hazard. If someone proves you are negligent for their personal injury or loss, you could be responsible for the damages.
Outside your home, risks follow you and your household members everywhere you go. You could be sued for damages incurred if your dog bites another dog at the park or your teen driver injures a cyclist at an intersection. You can even be sued for damages caused by defamatory comments made by you or your child either verbally or published online.
Judgments can be hundreds of thousands and sometimes even millions of dollars. Even if you win your case, you could still be on the hook for the cost of your defense, which could add up to thousands of dollars in legal fees.
What Could You Lose?
Once you know your risks, it is important also to understand what you could lose in a lawsuit. Most importantly, you should know that you do not have to be very wealthy or even own a business to have a major judgment issued against you. A court could liquidate your cash and investment accounts, seize your assets, and even garnish your future wages. If you are heir to an estate, a victim could even pursue you for reparation of damages payable from your future inheritance. In other words, it is not just what you have, but also what you will have that is on the line.
Accessing Umbrella Coverage
Most carriers require you to carry a minimum of coverage on your primary liability insurance before issuing an umbrella policy. If you do not have adequate limits on your home and auto insurance, you need to speak to one of our agents about raising them before qualifying for umbrella insurance. These limits are usually:
- $300,000 or $500,000 homeowners liability
- $250,000/$500,000 auto bodily injury liability OR
- $300,000 combined single limit (CSL)
Many people find the cost of umbrella insurance pleasantly surprising. In fact, purchasing $1 million in additional personal liability protection through an umbrella policy can cost as little as $200 per year. Additional savings may be available if you purchase umbrella and homeowners insurance from the same carrier.
That is why we recommend only working with an independent agent here at Integrity Insurance. Our team is trained and skilled in identifying rates and discounts that benefit our customers, all without sacrificing the coverage you need. For more information or to request your free quotes, contact us today.
Do you have extra liability insurance beyond your home and auto insurance?