It’s been a long, dreary and rainy workday. On a whim, you decide to make an unspectacular day just a little bit brighter by taking the family out to dinner. While driving to your family’s favorite restaurant, a dog runs out in front of your car. As you slam the brakes to avoid hitting the animal, your car veers across the center line directly into the path of a suburban mom’s minivan.
What began as a way to brighten a dreary day has turned into a nightmare and tragedy of epic proportions. Two adolescent girls in the minivan are instantly killed while a third lies in a coma in your city hospital’s intensive care unit.
In the aftermath of this life-changing event, you discover that even though the personal automobile policy you’d purchased to protect your family has the highest available limits of liability, the coverage it provides simply isn’t enough. The hospital bill to care for the young girl in ICU totals well over $2 million and it’s not yet clear that the families of the girls killed in the accident won’t sue you for wrongful death.
Think it couldn’t happen to you? The stark reality is that accidents such as this happen nearly every day. Fortunately, protection is available should the unthinkable occur—through a Personal Umbrella policy.
While it’s easy to assume that a Personal Umbrella policy is only for people with substantial assets, the truth is anyone is at risk of being held liable for an accident. Settlements of $1 million or more have become commonplace and if you don’t have umbrella coverage, you’ll have to pay whatever costs exceed your primary insurance policy directly out of your own pocket. Where will you find the money? Your children’s college tuition savings? Your retirement savings? Your home?
Personal Umbrella policies offer an unbeatable layer of protection – in many cases up to $10 million in coverage – over the coverage limits you already have from your automobile, homeowners, or other personal insurance policies.
While the odds are more likely you’ll need the protection of a Personal Umbrella policy for liability from an accident, depending upon the particular policy offered, you’ll also receive coverages not usually included in your basic policies such as libel, slander, false arrest, false imprisonment, wrongful eviction, violation of privacy rights, and wrongful detention. Many Personal Umbrella policies even pay your defense costs on losses where you’re found not legally liable, additional coverage which could save you thousands of dollars in legal defense fees.