This article was posted by Stillwater Insurance. The original post can be found here.
A commonly asked question when considering purchasing Umbrella insurance is, “Do I really need it?” The answer to that questions depends on two things: (1) Do you own anything of value; and (2) How much risk do you have in your life?
Some people assume that they have enough liability protection from their Auto or Home insurance policies, but that’s not easy to predict. Umbrella insurance is a secondary type of insurance that will cover your liability legal fees and judgment expense if your primary coverage is exhausted.
If you don’t own a home, have little or no net worth and have a low-risk lifestyle, you may not need Umbrella insurance. However, most people should consider buying a policy, especially if you can answer “yes” to any of the below questions.
The top 10 signs you may need an Umbrella insurance policy:
- Are you a homeowner? It’s easy to be held liable for something that happens on your property, which is why Umbrella insurance is so popular.
- Do you have a pool, hot tub or trampoline? Unfortunately, these types of things that bring such comfort to homeowners are statistically likely sources of injury and lawsuits.
- Do you own a dog? If your dog happens to bite someone – even if it’s away from your home – the lawsuit could exceed the liability coverage you currently have on your Homeowners insurance policy.
- Are you a parent of a young driver? It’s been well documented that teenage drivers are involved in more severe crashes due to distractions and lack of experience.
- Do you own vacant land that the public can access? If someone gets hurt on your land – even if they are uninvited – they can sue for damages. This becomes even riskier if you lease the land out for hunting.
- Do you have a long commute for work or drive during rush hour on a regular basis? The more time you spend in a car, the higher the risk of getting into an accident.
- Do you own rental property? The more tenants you have, the higher your lawsuit risk.
- Do you have significant savings or assets? Without an Umbrella insurance policy, these may be at risk if the judgment against you exceeds your current liability insurance coverage.
- Do you want to protect future earnings? You may think that you don’t need an Umbrella insurance policy because your current net worth is low. What several people fail to realize is that your future earnings are also at risk of being garnished if you are sued.
- Do you own recreational vehicles? The more time you spend on these vehicles, the higher the risk of having an accident.
Additionally, if you engage in any of these activities, you may need an Umbrella insurance policy:
- Serve on the board of a non-profit or coach youth sports? Corporate board of directors are usually protected from personal liability, but those working for charities or non-profits often don’t get the same protection.
- Regularly post reviews of products and businesses on social media? It’s no secret that libel and defamation verdicts are on the rise, and lawsuits could result from something you post.
- Participate in skiing, surfing or hunting? Participation in a sport where you could accidentally injure another person increases your likelihood of being sued.
- Host large parties? The more people you have in your home at one time, the higher the likelihood of injury that could result in you being held liable.
It’s not too difficult to make the case that just about anyone can benefit from Umbrella insurance. A large lawsuit can wipe out not only your current savings, but also what you stand to earn in the future.
Like an umbrella on a sunny day, an Umbrella insurance policy is something you don’t expect to use. But when it rains, you will definitely be happy that you have it. For a few hundred dollars a year, you can have the peace of mind when the unforeseen happens.