What is an Umbrella policy and why do I need it?
An Umbrella Liability policy provides protection for large liability claims arising out of your auto and home personal activities, or businessowner/artisan and commercial auto business activities. The Umbrella program is designed to protect consumers’ financial assets beyond the limits they have purchased on their primary policies from a potentially devastating claim.
Being involved in a large liability lawsuit is a more frequent occurrence than ever before and could happen to anyone. Not only are judgments often high, but the cost of defending yourself can be significant. Here are some examples of situations where an umbrella policy would be needed.
Your vehicle, on ice, crosses the centerline of the road, severely injuring or killing the occupants of an on-coming vehicle. The State of Wisconsin affords a wrongful death award of $350,000 per adult, and $500,000 per child. These damages, or severe permanent injuries, can quickly exhaust the underlying home or auto limits.
A child wanders onto your property when you are not home and is seriously injured or killed. The parents of the child claim your are negligent and file a large lawsuit against you.
A passenger in your boat is severely injured during a boating accident. In addition to medical bills, they also claim that they can no longer do their job and file a lawsuit for lost earnings and pain and suffering. This amount could considerably exceed primary policy limits.
A telephone technician arrives at your office building on a rainy day to make repairs. On his second trip up an interior stairwell, he slips on the slate stairs and falls to the landing. The general manager of your building says he was never told about water on the stairs. The repairman underwent several knee, back and neck surgeries and now requires a cane. The jury found you 100% responsible, and awarded the plaintiff $1,600,000 in damages. You have a businessowner’s policy with $1 million limits. Fortunately, you also have a $2 million umbrella policy that will cover the additional $600,000 of the award.