Personal Umbrella POlicY: Do I need to purchase one and how much coverage Should I get?

SL & Associates

​Private Client Insurance Advisory Firm


Let’s say you have a policy for your home and your vehicles. You have just the right policy for the duplex you rent out to others as well as coverage for your boating excursions. Your homeowner's policy even has a special added protection for the business that your spouse runs out of your home. While it looks like you have all the coverage you need, perhaps you should consider an umbrella policy.

Umbrellas are designed to be an additional coverage on top of a person's primary (also known as underlying) liability coverage. Primary refers to the fact that in the event of a loss, the liability portion of your auto or homeowner coverage is the first to respond. Umbrellas or excess liability policies respond to an eligible loss only after the primary insurance has paid its limit.

It's quite possible that your primary insurance limits provide more coverage than you'll ever need. However, circumstances could involve a type of loss that is not completely covered by a primary policy. For instance, you’re driving to work and hit a patch of black ice and find yourself sliding into an intersection. You end up causing a chain collision damaging several cars and injuring several drivers and their passengers. Or maybe you often volunteer to help transport members of your child’s first grade class on field trips. On your way to the destination, you are involved in an accident because you tried to beat a yellow light. You have several friends and family over for a gathering, and many are enjoying your swimming pool. One of your guest is seriously injured while jumping off your diving board. If you don't have enough primary coverage, any shortage may have to come out of your personal assets.

Umbrellas generally provide additional liability coverage for the following underlying policies:

Personal Automobile
Homeowners
Motorcycles
Recreational Vehicles
Watercraft
Personal Liability

The additional coverage may often extend to handling related expenses, also on an excess basis, such as the cost of providing a court defense or extending coverage to your travels abroad.

How do you know if you need a Personal Umbrella Policy? Take a moment to review and add up these items to assess the amount of your assets at risk.

How much equity do you have in your home?
How much personal property do you own?
How much do you have in your savings and checking account?
How much do you have in investments?
What are your total future earnings?

Add up these items, compare that to your current liability limits, and call our agents to discuss your risk and the options to protect yourself. Depending on the carrier and your primary coverage limits, you can typically purchase limits anywhere from $1 Million to $5 Million. There are plenty of other additional reasons to have an umbrella policy. Below are a few examples of additional reasons to purchase an umbrella policy:

If you have a Concealed Carry Permit
If you are a teacher or work with children
If you are in the medical field
If you do a lot of volunteer work
Your work has you driving a lot of miles
You host a lot of gatherings at your home

We all hope that you never need to use this policy. However, with an ever-increasing litigious society, it’s a good idea to have additional protection to help protect everything that you have worked so hard to earn. I can attest from personal experience the importance of an umbrella policy and having one to help you have the peace of mind of knowing you have the coverage for a claim.

Call today 419-205-9046 or schedule an appointment here to discuss and review what an umbrella policy can do to assist you and your family.