Umbrella insurance can provide an extra level of security for your family when medical, legal, and property damages extend beyond what your home and auto policies cover. It kicks in at higher dollar levels and also extends to special situations involving pets, lawsuits, and foreign travel.
For example, you might cause a car accident resulting in $1 million in medical costs. However, your bodily injury coverage under your auto insurance policy has a limit of $500,000. An umbrella insurance policy can cover the remaining amount in order to avoid future garnishment of your wages or other legal actions.
How do you know if you need this added layer of protection? Here are four situations that might call for umbrella insurance.
1. Entertain Guests Often? You Might Need Umbrella Insurance
Entertaining friends, neighbors, and others at your home might necessitate an umbrella insurance policy.
In particular, if you allow guests in a swimming pool or on a trampoline, they could be injured and you could be held responsible for medical bills and/or liability claims. A visitor might even simply trip on an uneven sidewalk leading to your house, which could result in costly medical bills and/or liability claims.
Either way, an umbrella insurance policy that covers bodily injury liability could help protect you and your family.
2. Have Pets? You Might Need Umbrella Insurance
If you have pets that could potentially harm others, you might consider an umbrella insurance policy that covers bodily injury liability.
For example, you might be walking your family dog, which breaks loose and bites a passerby on the arm. The victim is unable to work for several months and loses her earnings. You could be held responsible for medical expenses as well as lost income. And if you injure a high wage earner, you might be liable for thousands or even millions of dollars for their lost income.
3. Active on Social Media? You Might Need Umbrella Insurance
If you’re an active blogger, or contribute regularly to Facebook or other social media sites, you might consider an umbrella insurance policy that covers slander (spoken defamation) and libel (written defamation).
For example, you might publish an inaccurate blog post about a restaurant, which you wrongly accuse of maintaining an unhygienic kitchen, and the restaurant sues you for libel.
4. Have Children? You Might Need Umbrella Insurance
If you have dependent children, an umbrella insurance policy can help protect not just you but also them in the event that they cause an accident.
For example, your teenage son might cause a multi-car accident. An umbrella policy could cover damage inflicted by him — in particular, teenage drivers account for 30 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28 percent of total costs among females, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You might consider umbrella insurance even if your children are younger. For instance, your young son is playing in the front yard and breaks a nearby window, as well as a valuable ornament that happens to be sitting on the window ledge inside.
In this case, or in any of the cases discussed, umbrella insurance policies provide additional liability protection of your assets and property from the unexpected. Learn more about the right insurance coverage for your family.