If you own a car, you probably have car insurance. You probably have home insurance on your house as well. You want coverage to protect your assets in case of unexpected, unpreventable accidents. However, there will always be a risk that your coverage won't fully cover one of your losses. That could lead you to still face considerable out-of-pocket costs. Do you have any other recourse?
While standard policies will have limits, you still might enjoy extra coverage provided by umbrella insurance. It can protect you in ways your regular home or auto policies cannot.
What's Umbrella Insurance?
You likely know that your homeowners or auto insurance come with liability insurance. It will provide a financial settlement in case you cause harm to third parties.
However, such losses can get expensive. The harmed party might incur thousands of dollars in medical bills, property damage or other losses. So, even if you have high liability coverage, there is still a chance that the damage costs might exceed the policy limits. If it does, an umbrella policy might be able to help you.
Umbrella coverage helps cover excess liability costs that your standard policies won't. They might also cover damage not insured on your standard coverage. Your coverage can usually apply simultaneously to car, home and other policies.
Let's say that a neighbor falls in your home. They sustain a severe head injury, requiring surgery and time off work. As a result they might sue you for $750,000 in damage. However, your homeowners liability insurance only includes $500,000 bodily injury coverage. Therefore, you face a potential personal cost of $250,000 ($750,000 - $500,000) to finalize the settlements.
Can you really afford such costs? Most of us couldn't and don't want to do so. So, if you have umbrella insurance, you might be able to make a claim on this policy for the remaining $250,000. Coverage, therefore, might prove instrumental in protecting your personal security.
How Do I Get One?
Everyone who has an income and wants to protect their assets should consider getting umbrella insurance. You can generally find the costs affordable. Most policies will offer a minimum of $1 million in coverage.
Keep in mind, you might have to carry certain limits of your basic liability coverage before you buy the umbrella coverage. Therefore, check to see if you need the maximum limits under your regular policies before requesting an umbrella quote.
Also Read: You've Paid off Your Home - Should Your Home Insurance Change?