I have had a number of questions from clients and others recently regarding insurance, particularly liability coverage options. The basic way most people obtain personal liability protection is through homeowners and auto insurance policies. However, the liability limits in most homeowners and auto policies are not sufficient to provide adequate protection for many people, in the event of a major liability claim.
Many people are not aware that there is a relatively inexpensive way to significantly increase liability coverage above limits found in home and auto policies, by purchasing an umbrella insurance policy. A personal umbrella liability policy is a broad form of liability coverage that protects you against large losses, or losses not covered by basic personal liability insurance. Issued with higher liability limits than basic liability coverage (a $1 million limit is common), an umbrella policy can be purchased as a stand-alone policy. More commonly, however, it is added using a rider to an existing homeowners or automobile insurance policy.
If the insured is found legally responsible for injuring someone or for damaging property, then the umbrella policy will pay either that part of the claim in excess of the liability limits of the insured’s basic liability coverage or for certain losses not covered by basic personal liability insurance, including personal injury and unusual occurrences, up to the limits of the umbrella liability policy.
For just a modest cost (usually just a couple or few hundred dollars per year for $1 million of coverage), an umbrella policy can be one of the best insurance investments you can make.
Hopefully this information helps to make the topic of personal liability protection a bit less scary this Halloween season!
I hope you find this information to be helpful. Feel free to forward to anyone who may benefit. Please contact me with any questions, or if you would like to discuss/would like assistance with any personal financial planning topics such as cash flow/budgeting, health care, taxes, insurance, investing, college/retirement planning, estate planning.
Note that planning tips and other info. are now posted on my website, http://www.truenorthfinancialplanning.com/, under Resources/Blog. Feel free check it out.
Thomas C. Dettre, CPA, MBA
President and Founder
True North Financial Planning, LLC
This information does not provide investment, legal, or tax advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.
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