You have homeowners insurance. You have auto insurance. You’re covered, right? Your skies look clear. Why would you need an umbrella policy?
Picture this: You’re hosting a neighborhood barbeque. Bill from down the block slips on your deck and suffers serious injuries. Your homeowners policy liability coverage pays out $250,000. That’s great, but his total medical expenses, plus lost wages, create a grand total of $450,000. How will you come up with the additional $200,000?
This is where a personal umbrella policy comes into play. It’s designed to extend your liability coverage beyond your auto and homeowners policies. In a case like Bill’s, or if you encounter a similar situation with a car accident, your personal umbrella will cover you. Once you reach the limit of your standard policy, the umbrella coverage kicks in. This additional policy can make a huge impact when you face a large liability claim.
Personal umbrella policies are typically available in million-dollar increments, and most personal umbrella policies cover between $2 million and $5 million. While this amount may seem high, keep in mind that 13% of personal injury liability awards and settlements total $1 million or more. With today’s higher health care costs and hefty litigation awards, one incident can become very costly.
Umbrella policies are helpful for those with considerable assets as well as for those without much money in the bank. If you have few savings, an umbrella policy will provide the much-needed funds to cover a large liability cost. If you’re wealthy, opportunists may be more likely to file lawsuits, knowing you have the funds to pay their settlement. With this extra coverage in place, both groups are fully protected; your savings and assets won’t be at risk if you have an umbrella policy in place.