In life, it’s going to rain. It’s not a matter of if, but when. While you might be able to get by without an umbrella during a light shower, getting soaked in a heavy downpour can really ruin your plans. When it comes to your risk exposure, the same is true. Most of the time, primary liability insurance is enough to cover minor damages. When you get blindsided by a major accident, though, you might need more than a standard liability to get by. Fortunately, there’s an umbrella for that, too.
Umbrella Insurance – What is It?
Umbrella insurance is supplemental liability protection that kicks in when the limits on your primary policies are exhausted. It’s like a safety net beneath your auto, home, condo, or renters coverage, and perhaps even your boat and ATV insurance. You hope you will never need it. But if you ever do, it could save you from financial ruin.
Umbrella insurance can extend your liability protection for property damage, bodily injuries, disabilities, accidental death. It is often confused with excess liability coverage, which also extends liability protection beyond the usual limits. However, an umbrella policy is much less restrictive and can be used to access broader scopes of coverage not covered by other policies, such as slander, libel, and false arrest.
Nearly anyone can qualify for a personal umbrella policy, so long as they meet certain requirements. Since the coverage is supplemental to liability coverage on primary policies, insurers typically require policyholders to have a minimum amount of home and auto liability:
- $300,000 or $500,000 homeowners liability
- $250,000/$500,000 auto bodily injury liability OR
- $300,000 combined single limit (CSL)
Who Needs Umbrella Insurance?
Nearly everyone has the potential of benefiting from umbrella insurance. Even if you consider yourself “low-risk,” all it takes is one bad day to undo everything you have worked so hard to attain. If the idea of losing your life savings or having your wages garnished for years to come has your stomach in knots, umbrella insurance is probably something you should consider.
Common Risk Exposures
- Do you have a teen driver?
- Do you have a trampoline or swimming pool?
- Do you have a dog?
- Do you host gatherings in your home?
All of the above scenarios can increase your risk of being sued. Liability and accusations of liability can be very expensive, even if you win a successful defense. There are legal fees and defense costs to pay, and if you are found liable, you might have to pay for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Your home or auto insurance might cover a few hundred thousand dollars, but how will you pay any remaining judgments in a million-dollar suit?
Umbrella Insurance is Affordable
Most policies are purchased in coverage increments of $1 million, with up to $5 million available. If that sounds like something that is out of reach, it’s not – especially if you shop around for coverage from an independent agent here at Wheaton Insurance. In fact, a million-dollar policy is usually less than $200 per year, with each additional million often costing less than half of the first.
Do you have umbrella insurance? If not, contact the team here at Wheaton Insurance to find out more about this important coverage and request your free quote today.