The likelihood of being sued probably seems—and is—very low for most of us. But in the unlikely event that you are sued or held responsible for an accident or injury, your entire financial future could be at risk.
If you have homeowners, auto, or boat insurance, you already have some level of liability insurance. The cost of property damage, injuries to others, and/or lawsuits can quickly and easily exceed the limits of your home and auto policies. In the event that you are sued, you could be forced to pay a legal judgment in the form of your current assets and future earnings.
Umbrella policies provide extra liability insurance that helps protect you from major claims and lawsuits beyond the limits of your homeowners, auto, and watercraft personal insurance policies. Typically they provide $1 to $5 million in additional liability protection that kicks in when the limits on your other policies have been exhausted.
Umbrella policies are not just for the wealthy; every policy owner who wants to protect their current and future earnings and assets should have one.
What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?
Umbrella policies provide coverage for injuries, damage to property, certain lawsuits and other personal liability situations above and beyond the limits of your other personal insurance polices. In some situations umbrellas may even provide coverage for things that are not covered at all by your auto, home, or boat policies.
How Does Umbrella Insurance Work?
Liability insurance is the portion of your personal insurance policies that pays for expenses such as the injured person’s medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost wages due to the negligence of the person who is deemed to be at fault. Liability insurance also covers your legal defense if a lawsuit goes to court.
The standard amounts of liability coverage in your homeowners or auto insurance policies will often not be enough in these extreme cases. If you don’t have enough insurance, your personal assets could be seized. An umbrella policy fixes this gap in coverage by providing an additional $1 million to $5 million in coverage (larger amounts are also available).
Imagine being sued for $900,000 after an auto accident that is your fault. If your auto insurance pays $300,000 of medical expenses per accident and you have a $1 million umbrella policy, your auto insurance would pay $300,000 and your umbrella would pay the remaining $600,000 in damages.
Because umbrella policies are considered secondary insurance, you must have a certain amount of auto and home coverage in order to get an umbrella. The requirements vary by insurance company, but typically the following coverage requirements will apply:
• Auto insurance bodily injury coverage of $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident
• Auto insurance property damage coverage of $100,000 per accident
• Home insurance personal liability coverage of $500,000
Umbrella policies are generally very affordable for the amount of additional coverage they provide. Contact our agency today to find out more.