What is a Personal Umbrella Policy
A Personal Umbrella Policy is a low-cost insurance policy that provides excess liability coverage above and beyond the limits of the liability coverage on your personal auto and homeowners policies.
This additional coverage pays after you have exhausted your primary coverage if you are sued for damages suffered by someone as a result of an accident - especially an unexpected catastrophic accident - involving your car, property, or recreational activities.
You're particularly exposed to the risk of an incident resulting in litigation if you have a swimming pool, have a student driver in the family, engage is high risk activities (jet skiing, snowboarding, snow skiing, horseback riding, boating etc.). Even the game of golf results in major lawsuits every year when someone is hit by a wild ball.
As you accumulate assets (think home equity), you become a bigger target for lawsuits. If you lose a lawsuit and don't have enough liability insurance, your assets could be taken to satisfy the judgment. In addition, your assets probably include savings and investments. Even your future earnings can be garnished to satisfy a judgment against you.
You can purchase a Personal Umbrella Policy to take over where your auto and homeowners coverage ends. Annual premiums start as low as $200 a year for additional coverage of $1 million. Plans are available for coverage up to $10 million. Note however, that your underlying auto and homeowners liability limits must usually have high enough underlying liability limits to meet the requirements of the company issuing the umbrella policy.
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