Your Personal Umbrella Policy: A Few ‘Non-Negotiables’
So maybe you’re still on the fence about whether purchasing a personal umbrella policy is a good move for you and your family. Following is a list of “non-negotiables” — that is, these are the exposures your family may have that make having an umbrella policy a must.
If You Have Children
Of course, kids are wonderful. But they sometimes do stupid things or hang out with other kids who do stupid things. Fair enough?
Their conduct often leaves us adults shaking our heads (even while remembering we were all young once). And then there are the rare, but tragic times when something truly terrible happens. Your teenager is involved in a deadly auto accident. A child suffers serious injury while playing in your yard.
Whenever a child is injured, the damages related to the injury, including pain and suffering, may extend for years, leading to more costly settlements and judgments.
If You Have Pets
Injuries from dog bites are one of the most common causes of personal liability claims. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the cost of such claims continues to rise annually. Policies often cover such claims, but some personal insurance companies restrict coverage for specific breeds.
And while dogs might get the most attention, people also own cats, rodents, reptiles, birds, horses and a multitude of other animals. In January 2018, a woman made national headlines because she attempted to board a commercial flight with her peacock. The point is, any animal you own can potentially cause injury and result in a liability claim.
If You Own Vehicles or Watercraft
By a wide margin, auto accidents are the most common source of liability claims filed against families. But any motorized vehicle — golf cart, tractor, kids’ motorized toy, ATV or watercraft
— can seriously injure passengers or pedestrians. A personal umbrella policy can increase the liability coverage in your auto policy or homeowner’s policy. However, it may be possible to arrange an umbrella so that it also extends coverage over other policies for vehicles like motorcycles, ATVs or watercraft.
If You Own Property
You have personal liability coverage in your homeowner’s policy to cover injuries occurring on your premises (for example, a loose board on your front steps causes someone to slip and fall). But do you also own other property, such as vacant land or a secondary residence? Do you own rental property? Not only can these increase your overall asset exposure, but you must also consider the increased likelihood of a person at one of your properties alleging that your negligence contributed to their injury.
If You Conduct Business
Personal insurance policies often restrict liability coverage for claims arising out of a business activity — for example, if a person is injured while visiting your home for a business meeting or if an auto accident occurs while your vehicle is being used for a business purpose. Such restrictions often hinge on how the policy defines the term “business.” In some cases, the policy may not prove restrictive enough to remove coverage completely for all business-related exposures.
Be aware that your umbrella policy will likely include a definition of “business” and attempt to restrict coverage for such activities. However, a review of the policy with your Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent can help determine if there is coverage for any business activities including those of a member of your household such as a minor child.
Increase Your Protection with an Umbrella
Personal umbrella insurance can prove valuable for most people and their families, not just the affluent. And it’s considered a “non-negotiable” if you have pets, children, motor vehicles, real estate property or business risks. For more information, contact your Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent today.