It’s Sunday morning, your telephone is ringing!!!! You have just gotten home from church, when you take a phone call. The caller identified himself as the parent of one of the classmates of your darling daughter. The caller asked you to go to a Facebook page to see the cartoon your daughter has posted lampooning his little girl. He told you that his daughter is now locked in her room crying and she will need therapy.
Your mind races, does my homeowner insurance provide coverage for personal injury and if so what limits of liability are provided?
“Personal Injury” means injury arising out of one or more of the following offenses:
- False arrest, detention, or imprisonment, or malicious prosecution;
- Libel, slander or defamation of character; or
- Invasion of privacy, wrongful eviction or wrongful entry
Most people think that homeowners insurance covers personal injury, but the sad truth is under many basic plans the coverage is omitted. Whether or not your policy has the coverage and what particular policy limits are, is buried in the insurance policy contract language. Even with the better policies homeowner policies provide about $300,000 of liability coverage (personal injury is included in the liability portion of an insurance policy). $300,000 is not a lot of protection when you are in a courtroom where verdicts can easily surpass that amount.
So what can you do to protect yourself and your family from these kinds of awards?
The answer to that question for many insureds is the second layer of protection available from a personal umbrella insurance policy. This is a coverage that sits on top of your other personal insurance policies for your home, car, boat or recreational vehicles. The good news is that the personal umbrella coverage is very inexpensive, amounting to less than $150 – $200 dollars per year for $1 million in liability coverage. Personal umbrella coverage is one of the best deals of all in insurance. This is especially so when you receive all the discounts that are due to you.
When purchasing an umbrella policy, make sure you identify if the policy is an excess policy or an umbrella policy. Many people think that the policies are identical but there are major differences that can affect whether you have first dollar coverage or not. A true umbrella policy is a very broad policy normally providing better coverage than an excess policy. With some excess policies, your underlying policy must first respond to the loss. If your underlying policy denies coverage you may end up with a gap before the excess policy coverage kicks in.
Many insureds believe that their current income is not high enough to be threatened with a lawsuit. Don’t fail to protect your future income. A court award could threaten your wages and allow them to be garnished for many years. In some states court awards are not affected by bankruptcy, so they stick with you until satisfied.
Umbrella insurance is one of those kinds of insurance that is written to protect you and your family for now and the future. It is important that you make the right decisions when it comes to purchasing an umbrella policy. Because policies can vary from company to company and must conform to individual state laws, it is a good idea to consult an insurance professional. Your independent insurance agent can help guide you through the purchase process and help you find the coverage your family deserves.
Don’t fall victim to the trap of buying insurance to only protect your damaged property and to rebuild a damaged home. While those costs are significant, the possible loss resulting from a personal injury claim can be much more expensive. Don’t rely on some faceless internet company to make sure your protection is complete, consult a local independent insurance agent you can visit with and build a strong protection package.
Other Enhanced Insurance articles related to Umbrella Insurance:
Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.
While the majority of people want an agent involved in their purchase of insurance, many people want to see if they can save money by buying direct from the insurance company. Others want to try a direct quote to make sure the premium they’re now paying through their local agent is fair. If you want a quote for your coverage, click on the competitive quote button on the right side of this page.