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What is a Personal Umbrella Policy and why would you want one?

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2006-09-07 02:09:52
2006-09-07 02:09:52

A Personal Umbrella Policy is a low-cost insurance policy that provides excess liability coverage above and beyond the limits of the liability coverage on your personal auto and homeowners policies. This additional coverage pays after you have exhausted your primary coverage if you are sued for damages suffered by someone as a result of an accident - especially an unexpected catastrophic accident - involving your car, property, or recreational activities. You're particularly exposed to the risk of an incident resulting in litigation if you have a swimming pool, have a student driver in the family, engage is high risk activities (jet skiing, snowboarding, snow skiing, horseback riding, boating etc.). Even the game of golf results in major lawsuits every year when someone is hit by an errant ball. As you accumulate assets (think home equity), you become a bigger target for lawsuits. If you lose a lawsuit and don't have enough liability insurance, your assets could be taken to satisfy the judgment. In addition, your assets probably include savings and investments. Even your future earnings can be garnished to satisfy a judgment against you. You can add Personal Umbrella coverage to take over where your auto and homeowners coverage ends. Annual premiums start as low as $200 a year for additional coverage of $1 million. Plans are available for coverage up to $10 million.

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So does that mean you cannot get an umbrella liability policy without having some primary coverage first? I am a landlord. Let's say I am not concerned about property damage or fire loss, just liability. Is there any type of insurance I can buy just for liability? _____________________________________________________________________________________________ In answer to your question, by its very nature, there has to be underlying coverage in order to have an unbrella policy. Otherwise, there is nothing for the umbrella to supplement. Different insurance companies have different underwriting requirements as to the amount of underlying coverage you much have to get an umbrella of a stated amount. Since you are a landlord, and presumably want coverage on the rental property, you may want to look into a Commercial General Liability insurance policy. It is a broad form of policy that covers an array of risks. Only a licensed insurance agent can advise you on what is best for your needs. However, since it is rental property, I do not understand why you would not want insurance on the property itself, such as fire insurance, unless the property is uninsurable. --Luke Brown

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If you have unprotected assets, such as a summer home or investment accounts that are not part of an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you may want to consider an umbrella policy. Talk to your insurance agent. Most will require you to have the maximum amount of coverage before they will sell you an umbrella policy. The point of such a policy is to protect you in the event you are sued and the damages suffered by the plaintiff exceed your policy limit. If you have unprotected assets, such as a summer home or investment accounts that are not part of an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you may want to consider an umbrella policy. Talk to your insurance agent. Most will require you to have the maximum amount of coverage before they will sell you an umbrella policy. The point of such a policy is to protect you in the event you are sued and the damages suffered by the plaintiff exceed your policy limit.

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A one million dollar general liability policy should be about $700.00 - $800.00 annualy if it's written correctly. If you are asking about a Personal Liability Umbrella, the cost may be closer to $200 annual depending on what state you live in and what you want covered under the umbrella, and if your cars it also takes into consideration the driving histories.

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An umbrella is an umbrella. They all work the same way. You may want to get an umbrella that has a design that you like. Even a basic plain umbrella would work great for keeping the rain off of your head.

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If your policy limit is 300k then the insurance company will pay them that portion and you will be liable for the rest. If you really want to cover yourself for more than those limits, I would purchase an umbrella type policy that covers over the policy limits.


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