Umbrella liability insurance

Like any responsible homeowner or driver, you have home and auto insurance coverage – perhaps at even higher levels than the minimum required by your state. You may assume your policies will protect you in case someone is injured on your property or you're involved in an auto accident.

Although home and auto insurance are important foundations for financial protection, they may not be enough. You could be liable for amounts that exceed your insurance coverage.

Rainy day protection

Umbrella insurance, sometimes called personal liability insurance, is designed to cover catastrophic situations where a legal award could exceed the limits of your auto or home insurance. It is generally sold in increments of $1 million worth of coverage and goes into effect only once the primary insurance limit is reached.

For example, suppose someone is injured on your property and successfully sues you. If the judgment exceeds your home policy limit, you could be responsible for the difference. However, if you have an umbrella policy you have additional protection to cover that difference (up to the limit of the umbrella policy and subject to any deductibles and exclusions).

Who needs umbrella insurance?

You don't need to be wealthy to benefit from umbrella insurance, but the more assets you have, the more at risk you are for a lawsuit. Even if you don't have significant assets, it's possible a judge could garnish your future wages to cover an award that exceeds your primary insurance coverage.

You should also consider umbrella insurance if you:

  • Have a pet or pets that may bite or otherwise injure someone.
  • Are in certain professions or high-profile positions, such as physician, attorney or politician.
  • Have a swimming pool or other recreational equipment on your property.
  • Fortunately, catastrophic accidents are rare, and that means umbrella insurance is probably less expensive than you think. It's a small price to pay for additional peace of mind.

Protect yourself

An umbrella policy can provide extra protection from financial hardship after a catastrophic claim. If you have questions about umbrella insurance or would like to review your coverage on current policies, call us at 1-800-443-6316.