Umbrella policies can be a great addition to your protection package, but make sure that you know what they will and will NOT cover. Just because you purchase the excess liability policy, doesn’t mean that you are covered for every possible situation. It is better to know the limits and restrictions before you need them than to find out they aren’t covered after the fact.
The following examples are only a brief description of some common situations that happen in real life. If you have any questions about your policy coverage or one that you are considering purchasing, be sure to check your policy or ask your agent before an issue arises.
What Is Covered:
1. Injury On Your Property – If someone falls on your property, trips over your child’s scooter that was left on the sidewalk or one of your children’s friends falls off the swing set in your backyard, you may be sued if they get hurt. Their injuries along with the potential legal costs and possible settlement will be covered.
2. Excess Auto Damages – If you or one of your covered family members are involved in an automobile accident that is your fault, the lawsuit that may follow along with any property damages and monetary settlement will be covered up to your policy maximum.
3. Dog Attacks – If your dog bites the paper boy, mail carrier, a jogger or one of your children’s friends, you will probably be sued for damages. Even if the person has provoked your dog on your property and then gets bitten, they will probably be awarded a settlement.
4. Civil Suits – A lawsuit against you for libel, slander, false arrest and a variety of other personal liability issues will be covered. If they win a court award in excess of your homeowner liability limits, the umbrella coverage will protect you up to its limit.
5. Others Property Damage – If by chance your dog chews up your neighbors Persian rug that was drying in their yard, your son is hitting a baseball and it through your neighbor’s three-story high leaded glass window or your daughter is driving on an icy road and fails to stop before she hits the house on the corner, you are covered.
What Is Not Covered:
1. Your Property Damage – An umbrella policy usually will not cover damages to your own property as this is what you own homeowners and auto insurance limits should cover. If your damages are over the limits of your own policies, your umbrella will not cover them.
2. Professional Liability – If you are sued for any type of professional liability, errors and omissions or any type of malpractice claims, your personal umbrella will not cover any of these costs. You can buy commercial or professional liability policies that may cover some or all of these issues.
3. Farm Activities – Any possible activities that are related to a commercial or family farm that could bring a lawsuit against you will not be covered by a personal liability policy. If you are involved in farm activities, you should look into specific farm liability protection.
4. Employment Practices – If you are being sued for any issues related to employment practices like discriminatory hiring or firing, sexual harassment in the workplace or no-compete clause violations, these will generally not be covered by most personal liability umbrellas.
Summary: As you can see, many different things can happen in life and unfortunately we live in a very litigious society. As lawsuits continue to get larger and larger, making sure that you have an adequate amount of protection becomes imperative. Don’t ignore the problem and hope it will never visit your family. Protect yourself, enjoy life ad sleep well at night.