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Umbrella Insurance

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You have worked hard to create your wealth, but are you protected if someone takes you to court? Personal Umbrella Coverage can help fill the gaps between the limits of your existing home and auto policies, and financial judgments against you in case of a claim. Like an umbrella that protects you from the rain, a personal umbrella liability policy provides an extra layer of insurance coverage over your standard liability policies. It protects your personal assets by kicking in when your standard liability coverage is exhausted.

It's an unfortunate fact that accidents happen—and it's not uncommon for jury awards and out-of court settlements to run into the millions. While it's difficult to pinpoint the monetary consequences of the risks you and your family take each day, are you certain your current liability insurance offers you enough protection?

For example, what if...

  • A babysitter is injured by your otherwise friendly dog?
  • Your 14 year old is online making negative comments to his friends about a teacher and posting them on a Web site. The teacher discovers the site and sues? (You could have to pay up to $750,000)
  • While driving a rental car on business, you miss a red light and strike a car doing 50 mph.? Your colleague is severely injured. Your company’s business auto policy does not apply to your colleague’s injuries because he is covered under worker’s compensation coverage. (You could be sued for $1,500,000.)
  • You have a small professional office in your home, and work out of that office, seeing clients on occasion - one of your elderly clients slips on some ice on your sidewalk, breaks a hip and later dies from complications? (You could be sued for $2,000,000 in a wrongful death action.)
  • You have a candle burning in your bathroom. Your niece goes to wash her hands, her sleeve passes over the candle and is ignited. She suffers third degree burns and you are held liable. (You could pay up to $917,000)

If you are found to be legally responsible for injuring someone or damaging their property without a personal umbrella liability insurance policy, anything beyond the limits of your standard liability insurance coverage will come out of your own pocket. (Standard liability insurance generally includes homeowners, renters, auto and watercraft policies.)

Who Needs an Umbrella Liability Policy?
You do! Contrary to popular belief, umbrella liability policies are not just for the wealthy. At Marshall & Sterling, we recommend that everyone should consider carrying an umbrella policy. If you engage in a high-risk activity or hobby that increases your odds of getting sued (such as having a teenage driver, owning a swimming pool or entertaining frequently), it is wise to supplement your insurance with a personal umbrella liability policy.

How Much Coverage Do You Need?
You'll want to take into consideration not only your total personal assets but also your potential personal risks. For example, do you operate a business in your home and have employees and clients to your home on a regular basis? Does your profession or location of your home make you an easy target for a big settlement? Determine your personal risks to evaluate the amount of additional liability coverage that makes the most sense for you.

Coverages start at $1 million, and can go as high as $10 million. When considering the value of the umbrella policy, discuss your personal needs with our independent agents today.

How Much Does Coverage Cost?
Additional liability insurance is inexpensive when compared to the added coverage you gain. Depending on the policy value and your personal risk factors, such as recent auto tickets, your credit rating, etc., a $1 million umbrella policy typically costs about a dollar per day. Costs go up an additional $50 - $75 for each million thereafter.

Get the Best Rate
It's a good idea to source all your liability policies from the same insurance company; ask about our multi-policy discounts. Don't wait for a rainy day to find out you need the additional protection a personal umbrella liability policy can provide. Call Marshall & Sterling today to discuss your unique needs and learn about all of our liability insurance solutions.

Are you prepared?

  • Jury verdicts have increased 240% in the past 10 years – with average awards from $418,000 to $3,000,000. This is in addition to defense and court costs, which can run to the hundreds of thousands of dollars, even when you win!
  • One in eight serious auto accidents is caused by a driver without insurance. What if you and your family were hit by one of them? The medical costs, including hospital and rehabilitation services, could well exceed the uninsured motorists coverage on your personal auto policy.

Each day brings new possibilities for unfortunate accidents and liability claims. Marshall & Sterling offers United States Liability Insurance Group’s Personal Umbrella Policy to help protect you beyond the limits of your standard home and auto policies. Many people don't recognize their loss exposures, which can unfortunately result in catastrophic loss and significant financial burden. The following claims scenarios are factual and highlight the real possibility of loss.

  • Faulty Furnace: The insured’s tenant claims she became ill from carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from a faulty furnace. The tenant claimed permanent brain damage and demanded $750,000.
  • Coaching Circumstances: A teenager, who was destined for greatness as a softball player, filed a $700,000 lawsuit against her former coach, alleging his “incorrect” teaching style ruined her chances for an athletic scholarship.
  • Falling Concrete: A hillside on the insured’s property was covered with concrete to prevent erosion. The concrete had been installed before the insured purchased the property. Approximately 5 feet of the concrete fell to the neighboring property knocking the claimant’s home from its foundation. The resulting claim was settled for $970,000.
  • Paintball Misfortune: The insured permitted several of her children and their friends to play paintball in her large backyard. The children were experienced and advised of all the safety rules including the use of headgear at all times. A participant removed her headgear as she was leaving the field in order to better hear someone calling her name. The minor claimant was hit in the eye resulting in a $475,000 settlement.
  • Beach Explosion: The insureds hosted a beach party for their daughter. One of the attendees found what was believed to be an empty and discarded propane tank. The tank was thrown into a beach bonfire and subsequently exploded resulting in severe injuries to several guests. A $20,000,000 claim was filed alleging the insured failed to properly supervise the party.

Resources:

Common Questions & Answers
Insurance 101: Personal Umbrella Policies