Average award for personal injury lawsuits last year was $789,784.00. While the average homeowners and auto personal liability limits are only $300,000, the need for extra coverage is very real for majority of families. What are top signs you may need to have a discussion with our team about a Personal Umbrella policy?
1. Youthful driver The presence of a youthful driver in the household is one of the main reasons for clients to purchase a Personal Umbrella policy. Young people, 15 to 19 years of age, represent seven percent of the population, and account for 11 percent of all crashes, amounting to over $10 billion in costs.2 In addition, 33 percent of deaths among 13 to 19-year-olds in 2010 occurred in motor vehicle crashes.3
Since young drivers are more likely to cause an accident, the likelihood of a lawsuit from crash-related injuries is greater.
Under a Personal Umbrella policy, personal injury also includes coverage for libel and slander. This arises more with younger generations today as social media has the possibility to ruin a person’s reputation. However, these policies are starting to exclude cyber bullying, and in that case, a separate endorsement may be needed.
2. Successful individualIt is evident famous actors, musicians, local television anchors, politicians, and the like are more probable to be served a lawsuit, however, successful individuals have assets to protect as well.
What is a "Successful Person"?
It doesn't necessary mean that you have a lot of wealth - it could be simply that there is a perception that you have a lot of money. Business Owners, doctors, attorney's there are preconceived ideas in our society that all are wealthy.
Successful people are not immune to lawsuits, and those with a home and multiple vehicles need a Personal Umbrella policy to protect the assets they have worked so hard for in the event of a claim.
3. Dog ownerWith 4.7 million dog bites annually, homeowners that own dogs are more susceptible to lawsuits if their dog injures someone. In fact, dog bites account for approximately one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims. If a client’s dog attacks someone, a Personal Umbrella insurance policy will provide coverage and defense costs beyond the limits of a homeowners policy, which would respond first. However, certain Personal Umbrella policies now exclude aggressive breed dogs, such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Dobermans, to name a few.
4. Owns a trampoline, pool, or tree house Every year, there are more than 1 million trampoline-related injuries. In addition to trampolines, pools and tree houses also present numerous exposures. For instance, recently there was an injury related claim where an unattended child fell out of a tree house. Lawsuits involving children tend to result in higher settlements, making a Personal Umbrella policy an imperative.
5. Rides snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, or dirt bikesRisk does not end at kids’ outdoor activities. Those who own adult ride-on machines including snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and dirt bikes should also have added protection. If a client injures someone else, the Personal Umbrella policy will respond. Brokers should also inquire whether the client has a boat or even a small farm, as these have similar risk exposures.
Many insureds are not aware of the need for a Personal Umbrella policy. However, lawsuits that exceed the liability limits on a standard homeowners policy have the ability to bankrupt a client. For a couple of hundred dollars a year, this can be prevented.
Winter can be a risk to the continuity of business operations. Small business owners should be ensuring that their assets and operations are protected against the elements of the season. A strong handle on risk management can help to maintain stability during this season.
Here are three wintertime risk management tips for small business owners:
1. Deter threats to the physical workspace
The biggest risks typically are frozen pipes and flooding during winter months.
2. Mind the building's exterior
Another major risk ─especially for smaller retailers ─ is the prospect of icy sidewalks and parking lots that cause slips and injuries to your employees or customers. If someone falls due to hazardous conditions on the sidewalks and parking lots around your business, you can be held liable for taking care of their medical bills.
The New York Times explained that some cities will penalize companies even if no one does fall. In New York City, the newspaper points out, the sanitation department handed out 10,000 tickets last winter to those who did not clear up sidewalks in front of their buildings, with fines ranging between $100 and $350. Make sure these pathways are clear and safe at all times.
3. Have a contingency plan for operations
Small businesses might already have a telecommuting policy in place to best serve the demands of the modern workforce, but wintertime needs to be a point of focus for this policy. Companies should also have a plan in case a major winter storm or other event makes travel to and from the physical workplace unsafe for employees. If you do not have a remote work or telecommuting policy in place and reside in one of the nation's northern regions, your company might miss several days of worker productivity. This is especially true for companies outside the retail sector.
Make sure that you have a reliable method to communicate with all staff members efficiently when a storm is in the forecast. Allowing workers to work from home can allow operations to continue on regardless of weather conditions at the office.
Be safe this winter, and ensure you plan ahead to keep your business thriving well into spring!
(source: Selective Insurance)