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Consider a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy

Jessica Lanning

Consider a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy

A personal liability umbrella policy increases the liability coverage of your homeowner’s and automobile policies.  It also expands coverage to include damages caused by non-owned property in your possession and suits for libel, slander, defamation of character, or invasion of privacy.  The policy also pays attorney fees to defend you against claims covered by your policy. Thus, even if you carry high limits on your homeowner’s and automobile policies, you should consider an umbrella policy.

Your homeowner’s and automobile policies will typically cover you for personal liability of anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000. However, if a judgment in excess of that amount is awarded against you, the amount in excess of your insurance limits will have to be paid personally, unless you carry personal liability insurance.

You may not think you need an umbrella policy because your actions would never necessitate the need for this coverage.  However, liability can arise from auto-related accidents or accidents on your property.  Liability awards are typically based on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries, not on whether you intended to harm the person.

Umbrella policies can be purchased in increments of $1 million.  They are designed to kick in once the limits of your homeowner’s and automobile policies are exceeded, so you’ll be required to maintain certain limits on those policies. Umbrella policies don’t cover intentional acts or damages resulting from a business, even a home-based business. Separate coverage is required for business risks.