My fellow agents and customer service agents in my office tell me they often get asked by people – What is an umbrella policy ? Why is it called an umbrella ? And why do you keep trying to talk me into getting one, Mr. Insurance Man/Woman ?
Let’s start with what it ” is”. An umbrella policy is an insurance policy that gives you higher liability limits than you have on your primary auto and home policies. It is an extra level of protection in case of a major liability claim so your assets will be additionally protected from future lawsuits, wage garnishments, and the like. As for the name “umbrella” it is called as such because it goes “over” and pops up (visualize an open umbrella) over your current coverage portfolio. If you buy a one million dollar umbrella policy and your primary policy has a $500,000 limit then in essence you have a total of 1.5M in liability coverage because the umbrella has “gone over” your primary policy.
As for why it is a smart move for you to have an umbrella policy it just makes common sense. In today’s highly litigious world coupled with courts that are definitely more sympathetic to the injured, one cannot take the chance – especially a individual who has amassed a high net worth and is visible in the community.
Pricing for most umbrella policies vary but in a normal situation for a family with a house and two card they can run as low as $200-225 a year. Trust me – that is a value.
Recent claims that have called for an umbrella to be used in the media included families that had injuries involving swimming pools, trampolines, and young drivers. Dog bites and animals attacks are also on the list along with slips and falls on one’s property, deaths and injuries at a teen party hosted by adults where underage drinking was involved, and even errant golf shots on the course where a man lost his eyesight due to a golf ball.
The list goes on but think for a minute – how vulnerable am I to being sued one day? It may or may not even be your fault but remember this is why you purchase insurance in the first place. You hope you never use it but if you do you are fully protected along with all the assets you have worked hard to attain.
Call us or contact us today to review your policies or to get pricing for an umbrella policy because as they say – “when it rains, a lot of times it pours” and you just might need that umbrella after all.
Chip Fridrich, President