Umbrella insurance is meant to help protect you from large and potentially devastating liability claims or judgments. Personal umbrella coverage comes into play when your underlying liability limits (such as from a homeowners, auto, watercraft insurance policy) have been reached.
A Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP) is a necessary addition to insurance protection for most insureds. Are you aware of the importance of this valuable coverage? One of the best ways to understand the need for a personal umbrella is to review actual claims examples. It is very clear that an incident arising from just normal daily activities can expose all of us to the potential for a large claims suit.
Excess UM/UIM Claim Scenario
The Insured was driving legally on a highway when she was rear ended by another driver. The collision caused the Insured’s vehicle to hit a barrier and bounce into a light pole. The other driver attempted to flee the scene on foot but was apprehended. He was uninsured, does not have a driver’s license and was cited for numerous violations.
The Insured sustained two broken ribs, three broken teeth, contusions to her lungs and lacerations to the head. After the insured’s primary insurance company tendered its full Uninsured Motorist limit, she was still left with $260,000 in medical expenses.
Auto Liability Claim Scenario
The Insured was driving southbound on a road and passed two orange construction signs, “Road Work Ahead” and “Shoulder Work Ahead.” As the road went uphill and curved slightly to the left, there were six barricades along the fog line (white lines on outer edge of the road) with a construction water truck parked just ahead of the sixth barricade.
The insured barely missed the sixth barricade, struck the front bumper of the water truck, hit another barricade and then struck the claimant, a laborer exiting the water truck. After impacting the worker, she struck several more barricades before correcting back onto the roadway. The claimant was thrown between 20 to 30 feet and sustained a fractured sternum and brain/spinal injuries
Premises Liability Claim Scenario.
The insured engaged a contractor to replace and install a new dock on the lake behind his house. After beginning the work, the contractor pointed out to the insured that a tree needed to be removed in order to get the old dock out of the water. The insured had a backhoe and proceeded to knock the tree down, allowing for the dock to be placed on the ground out of the water. As they were leaving the lake, the contractor pointed out another dead tree that should be knocked down. Even though the insured had the contractor move farther away to a safer area a limb hit the contractor on the head and neck. The underlying insurance coverage limits were paid out.