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5 Reasons to Have Umbrella Insurance for Rainy Days

Umbrella insurance is aptly named. Umbrella (sometimes called Excess Liability) is liability coverage that steps in when a claim is excluded from coverage or when your primary liability limits have been maxed out. You might think your home and auto liability insurance policies are enough, but there may come a time when your assets and investments are at risk as the result of a claim. Or perhaps your insurance has not kept pace with your lifestyle or assets.  Let’s examine five reasons you might want to consider umbrella insurance.

Reason 1: Above-and-beyond policy limits

Both your home and auto policies provide liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage you cause to others or that happens on your property. Each coverage has a limit, and once you reach that limit, you’ll have to pay the remainder out of your own pocket.

The most common way to exceed the policy limit is if you cause any major injury, especially one resulting in a disability. Being sued is another, as the fees of a drawn-out legal battle alone could drive someone who isn’t properly insured into bankruptcy. These are litigious times after all.

Umbrella insurance can step in at a very reasonable cost and add a sizable amount to your liability insurance.

Reason 2: Insult added to injury

Umbrella insurance also covers claims not traditionally covered by home or auto insurance, such as libel and slander. Libel and slander both involve false statements that damage someone else’s reputation; slander is spoken and libel is written.

Anyone who spends time in the public eye or voices opinions on social media (budding entrepreneurs, authors, lecturers, and the like) will find this coverage useful. Social media makes it easy to publish embarrassing photos and videos of otherwise respectable people caught unaware during a night of drunken revelry or any other vulnerable moment.

Reason 3: Asset protection

Major lawsuits looking for a big payout can target your current assets and future earnings. Since your liability coverage is paying your defense costs, umbrella insurance can save you from having to liquidate your assets and remain in debt for years following a legal judgment.

If you own and rent property, umbrella insurance extends liability coverage to the units you rent. That’s important if someone injures themselves and sues you. Your umbrella will also step in if your home insurance doesn’t cover dog bites or indirect liability (e.g., a drunken party guest has a car accident).

Reason 4: Extended definition of “injury”

Lawsuits often include claims for pain and suffering. Umbrella insurance extends the definition of bodily injury to include the psychological cost of an incident if you are judged to be at fault. This is not covered by your home or auto policy, and it can run well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Umbrella insurance will always step in after the coverage from your primary insurance policies has been exhausted. It does not cover your property (just your liability), but it does fill many coverage gaps at a reasonable cost.

Reason 5: Negligent Entrustment

Lawsuits often include claims for negligent entrustment. Insurance companies may consider an insured’s disregard for whom they lend their things to as an intentional act of negligence. Therefore holding you responsible for the actions of others.

Ask your Cragin & Pike Advisors about umbrella insurance, the cost, and how much you need.

This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical or legal

advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Copyright © 2023 Applied Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.