What is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is an additional liability insurance that will protect you financially in the event you are sued for a large amount of money.  It provides additional coverage if you are faced with costs due to a liability claim.  Umbrella policies provide coverage in excess of your auto, homeowners, boat, or business and can be applied to all if you have these policies bundled. Umbrella insurance will step in when your primary insurance coverage isn’t enough.

What does umbrella cover?

An umbrella policy provides two types of coverage:  liability and defense costs.  Umbrella policies will cover an excess of what your primary insurance excludes and/or additional coverage beyond the limits set in your other insurance.  It provides coverage for a variety of situations if your held responsible for bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury.  An umbrella policy will help pay for these liability-related costs.

What does Umbrella insurance not cover?

Umbrella policies do not cover physical property damage.  It does not cover damage to your own home or vehicle; for e.g. someone steals everything in your house, or a hailstorm totals your car; an umbrella policy will not step in as coverage.  This would fall under your homeowners or auto insurance coverage.

What does personal umbrella insurance cover?

  1. Defense cost – If you are sued your umbrella insurance coverage steps in to pay for lawyer fees and processing expenses that will help defend yourself in court. Any remainder umbrella coverage not used for defense cost may help pay for any associated liability expense you owe.
  2. Teen Drivers – Did you know the crash risk is 3x higher for 16-19-year old, and teens account for about 8-10% of fatal crashes every year. This creates high risk and high liability.  Having umbrella insurance coverage boosts your auto liability limit to protect against these increase risks.  Teen drivers typically raise your insurance premiums.  Having an umbrella policy is a great way to provide additional coverage at a lower cost, rather than adding the extra line of liability on your primary auto insurance.
  3.  Intoxicated party attendee – You host a party or a BBQ cookout at your house. One of your guests drinks too much and is intoxicated.  Your guest leaves your party and, on his/her drive home causes an accident.  Depending on your state, you may be partially liable for his/her expenses.  A lawyer could make the claim you over served him and did not cut him off, you did not stop him from leaving by taking his keys, offering him to stay the night, or offer to call a taxi/cab. People don’t realize one of the most surprising and expensive liability claims they find themselves in is indirect liability.  Umbrella insurance coverage can help protect against this when homeowners’ insurance likely won’t.
  4. Dog bites – Do you own a dog? You walk your dog and another dog spooks him.  Both dogs get into a fight, and your dog bites that dog.  Your dog also bites the other dogs’ owner while in the mist of pulling the dogs apart. This would cause bodily injury to both the owner and the dog.  If your dog bites first or attacks person your will be responsible for medical expense, lost wages and even pain and suffering.  This may not be covered by homeowner’s insurance, especially if you have a dog that is on the excluded dog list, such as a Chow, German Shepherd, Pitbull, Rottweiler, Akita and there are a few more.  Umbrella insurance coverage could step in to pay for the costs.
  5. Pain and suffering – You have an accident and are found at-fault for the incident. You could be sued for “pain and suffering.”  Pain and suffering is one of the costliest liability expenses.  It could lead to hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in some cases.  Umbrella insurance coverage can help cover these costs; the minimum umbrella limit is $1 million.
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