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.