How Umbrella Insurance Can Protect You – Do You Need A Policy?
Posted by Heritage Insurance Partners on
By: Debbie Parish, CISR & Senior Associate Agent
You are required by law in Virginia to carry minimum limits of liability to operate a vehicle. If it is good enough for the state it should be good enough for me, right? Nothing could be further from the truth.
For example, the minimum the state requires you to carry is $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $50,000 for one occurrence. Meaning, no matter what happens in an accident, whether you hit a car and send it into a tree or you hit a van full of people, the payout by the insurance company is capped off at those amounts.
What happens if someone is seriously injured and requires physical therapy? You could be on the receiving end of lawsuit papers. Now you need to look for an attorney (expensive right?) and try to figure out how to hang on to your assets. Or let’s say you have friends over and has an accident on your property? You do not mean for any of this to happen, but there you are… wondering how you will ever recover from potential financial devastation.
So let’s look at this differently. You have an umbrella policy sold to you by your local agent. Your agent has already advised you that you need much better limits of liability than the state requires. They offered you an umbrella policy that you bought thinking, “what is the worst that could happen?” But now you have the suit papers in your hand.
Instead of freaking out, you call that local agent. That agent gets you in touch with the insurance companies claims department.
Next thing you know, a lawyer provided by the insurance company is there to get you through this. You have an extra $1 million umbrella to give you protection and peace of mind. When you think about how much it cost to have 1 hour with a top-rated attorney and compare that with the annual premium on a personal umbrella policy, it seems like everyone should have one. For less than the price of a gallon of milk a week, you could have this vital protection. In this lawsuit-happy world, it could very well happen to you.
What is peace of mind worth?
Umbrella insurance policies also add coverage for personal injury claims, such as defamation, wrongful entry or eviction, or false arrest that are not covered by primary personal policies. For example, an umbrella policy covers the cost of a libel or slander judgment when your standard homeowners liability coverage will not.
If you have worked hard to acquire assets in your lifetime, you can be subject to a lawsuit no matter your net worth. A personal umbrella policy can protect you on rainy days to ensure you have sunny days ahead. If you have any questions about an umbrella policy or just want to learn more, then reach out to our staff here at Heritage Insurance Partners for assistance.