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Grab an Umbrella, Because When it Rains…

Most of us don’t think much about being sued.  We ignorantly believe that negligence lawsuits are reserved for corporations, or the otherwise rich and powerful.  It’s hard for us to imagine that we are putting ourselves at risk for a major lawsuit just by getting behind the wheel of our cars, or by inviting friends over to our homes for a get-together.

Let’s imagine that it’s the Fourth of July, and you’re hosting a backyard Fourth of July party.  The fragrance of grilling burgers, bug spray, and citronella candles fills the air as dusk slowly descends on the evening.  The kids are playing in the backyard, running through the grass in their bare feet, blissfully unaware of the beautiful memories they’re making.  Your dog, who just turned 4 years old, is running with the children and having as much fun as they are.

Your neighbors have a daughter who just turned two.  Though she’s only been walking for a few months, she can be turbo when no one is looking.  While her parents have their backs turned and are reaching into the cooler for another drink, she wanders away toward the edge of the patio.  Your dog, chasing after the older kids, accidentally knocks the toddler over.  Her little head hits the concrete patio floor…

That’s how quickly disaster can strike.  A perfect evening can turn into a nightmare within seconds. Lawsuits will follow, and for serious injury or death to a toddler, the financial implications are difficult to exaggerate.

Your home insurance policy includes liability coverage.  Most homeowners carry between $100,000 – $500,000 in liability coverage with their home insurance. These six-figure amounts seem like a large sum of money until a major claim such as the one illustrated above occurs.  Medical bills, physical therapy, pain and suffering, legal fees, and even funeral expenses are all things you could be found liable for if someone gets hurt on your property.

Umbrella insurance, or Excess liability, is a policy that offers liability coverage in addition to the liability coverage in your home, auto, and golf cart policies.  Umbrella coverage kicks in once those underlying liability limits have been exceeded.  Referring to our Fourth of July disaster, let’s assume that you are found liable for $750,000 in damages.  If your home insurance has a $500,000 liability limit, that is the most your policy will pay out.  That’s where your Umbrella insurance kicks in – instead of that $250,000 balance coming out of your pocket, your Umbrella policy will take effect.

Remember, Umbrella coverage is not only available for home insurance – it covers the liability for your auto, boat, and even golf cart!  Think about major traffic accidents that result in total loss for multiple vehicles, or injuries for multiple occupants.  You can rack up over six figures in damages quickly, and your underlying auto coverage could easily be exhausted.

Umbrella Coverage is there for when the worst happens.  It’s fairly inexpensive, too – most policies are under $500 a year.  The peace of mind that umbrella coverage can offer is hard to put a price on.  Would you sleep better at night knowing you have a financial safety net in place for those nightmare scenarios?  Contact one of our Licensed professionals at ACF Insurance Services, and we will help you get that peace of mind today!