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Personal Insurance

What is an umbrella liability policy and why do you need one?

By January 23, 2018 December 12th, 2018 No Comments

I am relatively confident that in today’s society you know someone who has been sued or has sued. It is a fact that we live in a litigious society. People have sued for hot coffee and won. With these silly lawsuits, it makes it even more apparent that we all have liability. While your standard insurance policies, auto, and homeowners, have liability coverage, what happens if it is not enough?

Here comes what we like to call umbrella liability policies. What is it? It works like an umbrella and covers your existing policies that have liability. You would choose a limit, and that would be in addition to the limit on your home or auto insurance policy. The question is how do you know if you need one? We say everyone needs one. Let’s look at some examples as to why.

Loss #1:
A baby suffered brain damage because the babysitter, which could be your 15-year-old, left her unattended for a small amount of time. The baby was in a walker and it toppled over. The court awarded the parents of the baby $11,000,000. I don’t know about you, but the majority of people do not have $11,000,000 in their back pocket.

Loss #2:
In another crazy lawsuit like the coffee, a man in his twenties drove his car into a friend’s pool. He subsequently hit his head which damaged his spine and caused him to become a quadriplegic. He sued his friend and the pool manufacturer. He was awarded $10,000,000 by the courts which was split between the homeowner and pool company.

Loss #3:
Do you have kids in college or on their way there? This one is for you. A fraternity had their initiation. With alcohol fueling it, one of the brothers hit a man in the face. It caused him to become blind in one eye and he had several fractures. He sued the members of the fraternity and their families. He was awarded $1,300,000.

Loss #4:
An 18-year-old son of the insured was driving to the grocery store. His 19-year-old girlfriend was the passenger. He went off the road, struck a tree and severely injured his girlfriend. Since there was no witness and the girlfriend could not recall the accident, his parents’ policy had to cover the liability for her injuries and hospitalization.

In all four of the above examples do you see that anyone hurt someone on purpose? No. Most of the time it is a freak accident. Sometimes you may not even be in the same place when the loss occurs. You could be on vacation when someone slips on ice. You could be at work when your teenage son takes your car for a spin and hits a car full of children.

These may not be fun things to think about, but they are a reality. To protect yourself, and your family, an umbrella liability policy is not just a recommendation. It is a necessity.

Contact Chaney-Buskirk Insurance today at 304-738-9419 so we can help protect you adequately.