In short, umbrella insurance provides extra liability coverage above the limits in your other insurance policies; such as Homeowners, Renters, Auto, Boat insurance and more. A key feature is that it usually cover legal defense costs separate from the coverage limit. It provides high levels of protection at affordable costs, making it a great way to protect assets.
In some instances coverage may extend beyond the what the liability portions of underlying policies cover, such as personal injury (e.g. libel/slander). You may also be able to extend your umbrella coverage to provide additional uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage beyond your auto policy limits.
Umbrella policies normally have required minimum liability limits for the underlying policies. Then umbrella policies usually begin at one million dollars in coverage and can be increased in million dollar increments.
Do I Need Umbrella Insurance?
If you have a higher than average chance of getting sued then you're probably a candidate for umbrella insurance. A few characteristics to consider would be:
Have recreational vehicles, like a boat or off-road vehicles
Owning what the insurance industry calls "attractive nuisances" like a pool or trampoline
If you have a teen driver(s), who are more likely to cause auto accidents
If you're a landlord, since a tenant could sue for an amount above your landlord insurance's liability limit after a bad injury
You've got hobbies that give an increased chance of injury to others, and thus lawsuits. Examples include hunting, skiing, or coaching sports
If you're a high net-worth individual or have a sizable amount of assets that could be targeted in a lawsuit.
A general rule of thumb is to have enough coverage to cover your net-worth. In today's increasingly litigious society considering Umbrella insurance is a must for many people and their families.
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