Because umbrella insurance is designed for those really rare rainy days, it's relatively inexpensive. It’s also versatile.
Umbrella insurance provides additional coverage not only for your auto policy, but also your homeowners or renters policy, rental dwelling, watercraft, motorcycle, and other liability policies. Further, umbrella insurance covers things auto, homeowners and renters policies don't.
In the insurance world, there's something called "personal injury." This is not damage to someone's body, but to his or her career or reputation.
Example. Imagine you say in public that a certain person is a lying, no-good, (fill in your desired adjective). Maybe you really believe this to be true, but the person is very offended.
He or she can sue you for slander (if you say it) or libel (if you write it). If this happens, your umbrella policy could provide coverage, including legal fees, up to the limits of the policy.
Umbrella insurance also covers personal injuries such as invasion of privacy, wrongful entry, wrongful eviction, false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
Some umbrella policies will provide coverage if you're sued because of your service on the board of a civic, charitable or religious organization.
Note. Umbrella insurance doesn't cover everything. For example, if you are sued and the court assesses punitive damages against you, those damages won't be paid by your umbrella insurance.
What are punitive damages?
They are damages awarded to someone in order to punish the person being sued. Punitive damages are awarded for outrageous, totally reckless conduct – at least what a judge or jury perceives to be outrageous, totally reckless conduct.
What coverage amounts are available?
You can usually buy umbrella policies with a $1 million limit for $200 to $300 a year. If you need more than $1 million, you can usually buy each extra $1 million of coverage for $100 to $200.
Think about this: for only a few hundred dollars, you can increase your per-person auto liability limits 10 times, 20 times, even 30 times - and it applies to both your auto and homeowners or renters policies (and other liability policies) as well.
Based on the massive amount of coverage you can get for the relatively low cost, we often refer to Umbrella Insurance as one of the ‘best buys’ you can make.
While its affordability is a great benefit, the extra coverage an umbrella policy provides will be a far greater value if you ever find yourself in a situation where your auto, home or other liability policies don’t provide enough coverage for a serious claim.
And given how lawsuit crazy this country is, the peace-of-mind an umbrella policy provides can’t be ignored.
If you’d like to learn more, contact one of our Licensed Advisors or complete the form on this page. We’re here to help.
To continue learning about your insurance protection, return to our Resource Center.