Part three – umbrella insurance / coverage
Now let’s talk about umbrella / cover coverage. Think of this coverage as insurance coverage that goes beyond the underlying liability coverage.
To have such coverage, you must have a minimum liability limit, which is usually at least $ 300,000. Umbrella coverage is purchased in incremental amounts of $ 1 million and can go up to $ 10 million or more, depending on the insurer. The amount per million is surprisingly cheap; averages around $ 125 per million a year and even extends to cover your home / homeowner!
Who should have this coverage? Well, in my opinion, anyone who has the potential to lose something if sued excessively on attachable wages and / or property. Who else should have it? Anyone who has a pool, high risk activity on their property, high risk vehicles (off-road or on the road), or potentially attractive nuisances on their property such as equipment, sheds, barns, lakes, ponds, streams, or livestock, to name a few . For a pool, for example, based on the accidental drowning cases I have dealt with and or paraplegic diving cases, I would recommend nothing less than a $ 5 million umbrella.
A very important thought to ask your agent when purchasing an umbrella cover is whether it extends to your uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage. While insurers traditionally do not extend roof / excess coverage beyond liability insurance, many have now introduced “extended” coverage that allows for such an extension if you are willing to pay an additional premium.
In addition, the new extended insurance cover is usually only offered when you renew your policy or when you start a new policy. If you are not offered such extended insurance and / or are not entitled to it, you should still purchase the umbrella / excess cover. You should purchase uninsured / underinsured coverage with a limit of no less than $ 1 million, although I would suggest buying as much of that coverage as your insurer offers.
An experienced attorney can help you conduct a proper assessment of your liability / roof protection / excess coverage needs. Contact Stein Sperling for a free assessment and advice on insurance coverage.
-Fred A. Balkin is Principal and Personal Injury Attorney at Stein Sperling Bennett De Jong Driscoll PC, recently opened in Frederick. Contact him at 301-738-2222 or [email protected] Find out more about Stein Sperling at www.steinsperling.com.