Umbrella Liability

Umbrella Liability

By Ann Gonya, VP- Private Client Group, Maury, Donnelly & Parr, Inc.

Accidents happen and lawsuits are all too common in today's litigious society. Protect you and your family from liability lawsuits that could substantially deplete your net worth and future income with the superior protection of an umbrella policy. This is asset protection coverage and perhaps the most important personal insurance for individuals. The more you have to protect, the more attractive you are as a target for a liability lawsuit. An Umbrella liability policy provides additional liability coverage once the primary liability limits for your home, auto and watercraft are exhausted.  Umbrella coverage has always been considered one of the most economical components of a personal insurance program and yet it is often an overlooked component of an individual’s financial planning. Assets such as your home, belongings, investments and future earnings could all be at risk. The fact is that a million dollars is not what it used to be in our litigious society. Lawsuits naming high-level executives or other affluent individuals as defendants are typically in the multi-million dollar range. To be fully protected you should consider the following:

 

  • Equity in your real estate holdings

  • Value of your personal possessions

  • Savings and investments, including retirement accounts

  • Future income stream from your employment

 

Developing an overall estimate can be a complex process but the general thinking around the adequacy of umbrella limits is that the limit you select should be a barometer of what you have to lose, your assets, weighing the cost benefits of buying higher limits.

 

Real Life Claim Scenarios:

  • A guest unknowingly dives into the shallow end of your pool and suffers devastating paralysis.

  • It is raining and your car skids unexpectedly. The passenger in the car you hit suffers a neck injury and lost earnings that amount to millions.

  • Your new wide screen television is delivered, the delivery man slips and falls on the steps to your home and breaks his leg.

  • While traversing a crosswalk, a woman was struck by an oncoming vehicle. The impact resulted in brain injury.

  • While taking items to his trash cans, a man was attacked by his neighbor’s dogs, which had escaped through an open gate on the neighbor’s property. The man sustained multiple lacerations and a back injury.

 

Is your limit sufficient to protect your assets and lifestyle?