Clarke & Sampson Blog

Personal Umbrella Liability Coverage

Trent Tuttle | Monday, July 13, 2015
umbrellaAs we all know, accidents happen—and it’s not uncommon for jury awards and out-of court settlements to run into the millions. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the monetary consequences of the risks you and your family take each day, are you certain your current liability insurance offers you enough protection?

It can be hard to envision a large loss scenario, so here are a few examples that highlight the importance of umbrella insurance:

#1 A mailman was startled by a barking dog while delivering the mail through a door slot. The mailman slipped and fell down the stairs, suffering a fractured ankle among other injuries. The mailman sued and the case was settled for $800,000.

#2 While approaching a stop light, a distracted driver rear ended a stopped vehicle at a high rate of speed. The driver of the stopped vehicle suffered severe neck and back injuries. The case was settled for $1.1 million.

#3 A young babysitter left an infant unattended for a brief period of time. When she returned, she noticed the infant had fallen over and hit her head. After a medical examination, it was determined that the infant had suffered brain damage. The family of the injured infant filed suit against the baby sitter and her family. The courts awarded the parents and injured infant a multimillion dollar settlement. 

#4 A family hosted a pool party for some friends to celebrate the end of summer. The hosting family did not provide alcohol; however, several guests brought alcohol with them, and it was available at the party. After leaving the party, a minor was severely injured in an auto accident, and the authorities attributed the injury to alcohol consumption at the party. It was determined that the host family was responsible for the furnished alcohol, and was therefore responsible for all damages. The hosting family’s personal liability and umbrella coverage covered the entire loss.

#5 A teenage driver slid on ice and hit a passing vehicle, which caused minor injuries to the passing driver. A medical examination later that day showed that the injured driver suffered a wrist injury. The claimant was a computer programmer who depended on his hands, wrist, and fingers to work. The claim was settled for $250,000. 

If you are found to be legally responsible for injuring someone or damaging their property without a personal umbrella liability insurance policy, anything beyond the limits of your standard liability insurance coverage will come out of your own pocket. Standard liability insurance generally includes homeowners, renters, auto, and watercraft policies.

Like an umbrella that protects you from the rain, a personal umbrella liability policy provides an extra layer of insurance coverage over your standard liability policies. It protects your personal assets by kicking in when your standard liability coverage is exhausted.

How much coverage do I need?

You’ll want to take into consideration not only your total personal assets but also your potential personal risks. For example, do you operate a business in your home and have employees and clients to your home on a regular basis? Does your profession or location of your home make you an easy target for a big settlement? Determine your personal risks to evaluate the amount of additional liability coverage that makes the most sense for you.

Coverages starts at $1 million and can cost as little as a few dollars a week.

If you have additional questions on personal umbrella liability policies or wish to receive a quote on an umbrella policy please feel free to contact us at (703)-683-6601, or click the button below.


Learn More