Things happen…we all know that life carries with it a multitude of risks. Your neighbor can trip and fall off your front porch, you can get into a car accident, or your tree can fall over onto the house next door.
Most of the accidents in life are minor and no more than an inconvenience. But what if something major happens and you’re sued for causing an injury or damage to someone else’s property? That’s where liability insurance comes in. It pays your defense costs and if you’re found negligent, it pays the damages that the courts order you to pay.
You do have personal liability coverages in your homeowners insurance and auto policy. We recommend high limits of liability on both, especially your car insurance. But what if you lost a lawsuit for more than the limits you have on either of those policies?
In this era of huge lawsuits, it is certainly possible that could happen. But there is a solution and we think you’ll be surprised at how little it costs. It’s a Personal Umbrella Liability Policy usually with a $1,000,000 limit (higher limits are available).
Here’s how it works…
You are required to carry insurance policies for your home, car, boats, and recreational vehicles. To qualify for a Personal Umbrella Policy, you must carry certain limits of liability on these primary policies, called the underlying limits.
For example, the underlying limits required may be:
- Personal Auto Liability $250/500,000/50,000
Homeowners Personal Liability $300,000
Watercraft Liability $100,000
So if you have a Personal Umbrella Policy in the amount of $1,000,000, an auto claim could be settled in the following way…
You lose a lawsuit to a plaintiff for $600,000 after you get into an accident that’s your fault. Here’s how the policies would respond:
- Personal Auto Policy pays its full limit for one person, $250,000.
Umbrella policy pays the additional $350,000 required to pay off the $600,000 lawsuit.
Or, an acquaintance trips and falls off your front porch and severely injures his neck. He is a surgeon and can no longer perform the same duties he did before the fall and you’re sued. You lose in the amount of $1,000,000.
- Homeowners Policy pays $300,000
Umbrella Policy pays $700,000.
To top all of this off, a Personal Umbrella policy will also cover you for libel and slander. It’s called Personal Injury Liability and it is limited on your Homeowners Insurance. That’s because the homeowners policy only covers liability for “bodily injury” or “property damage.” There’s no mention of libel or slander.
However, your umbrella policy does cover you if you’re sued for damaging another person’s reputation or slandering them. So you get an extra coverage with the umbrella policy that you didn’t have before, and there are no underlying insurance requirements to get it.
You might think that coverage in these large amounts would be expensive. But that is not the case and it’s why Personal Umbrella Insurance is one of the best buys around. Depending on the exposure—homes, cars, boats, recreational vehicles, snowmobiles etc that you own—we at Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. can offer you an Umbrella policy for as little as $250–$500.
That’s a bargain that we encourage all of our clients in the New Hartford, Whitesboro, Clinton, and Utica area to take advantage of. Call our personal lines account managers for a quote today.
It’s the best insurance deal in town!
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000.