Personal Umbrella and Excess Liability policies give you an extra layer of protection over and above what is provided in your home owners, auto or watercraft policies. Driving a car or owning a home can be your two most common liability exposures that you face. If you have a young driver, liability can be passed on to you from an accident they caused will driving their car (referred to as vicarious liability). Owning a home or even renting a home, apartment or condo can provide additional liability exposures. You can be held liable should an individual suffer an injury while on your premises. Vacation homes, rental properties and investment real estate are all additional things to take into consideration when deciding how much umbrella coverage you should carry.
Some umbrella policies provide uninsured motorist coverage in additional to the excess liability protection mentioned above. This coverage is important and most umbrella policy will not provide it. This type of coverage will pay you in the event you or any family members living in your household are injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. This includes protecting children while they are riding a bike or as a pedestrian.
JLK Group can help you recognize some of the areas where you may face an increased personal liability exposure. Total net worth, although important, is not the best way to determine how much liability protection to carry. The bigger question is how much damage could I or my family cause?
|Type of Loss||Loss Description||Verdict and/or Settlement|
|Personal & Excess Liability
(Slip and Fall)
|Realtor walking around insured’s property prior to sale fell over raised door saddle, suffered nine foot fall down cellar staircase. Realtor suffered C6 paraplegia||$24,600,000|
|Personal & Excess Liability
|Construction worker doing renovations at insured’s home fell 12 feet from ladder suffering serious head and brain injury.||$11,000,000
*Plaintiff alleged dangerous work conditions as contributing factor to fall.
|Watercraft & Excess Liability||Insured’s boat collided with another boat killing a passenger in
the other boat. The passenger was a co-owner of a successful
business and high income earner.
*Insureds 5,500,000 limit was inadequate and was held personally responsible for $1,000,000.
|Personal Injury||Person doing tree trimming for client was severely injured; extensive burns and loss of limbs. Due to adverse legal venue and injuries sought settlement vs. litigation as case could exceed policy limits of $10,000,000.||$ Restricted
*While insured was not found negligent, loss exhausted primary liability, going into excess layer.
|Bodily Injury||While attending a family 4th of July picnic at his sister’s home, a 19 yr old male was injured by a firework that exploded close to his face. Eyesight was lost in one eye along with some facial disfigurement.||$3,000,000
*Injured party (brother) sued sister and
brother-in-law for damages.
(Libel / Slander /
|Attorney found guilty of making a defamatory remark about a successful real estate developer. Judge could not determine whether it was made as a business comment or a personal comment, so he split the award.||$600,000
*300,000 paid via professional liability and $300,000 paid by personal policy. Had policy not included Personal Injury insured would have been responsible for $300,000.
|Non-owned Auto Liability||Son driving non-owned vehicle (father’s business vehicle) and hit a pedestrian. Business carrier denied coverage based on unauthorized use of vehicle.||$500,000
*Paid by personal auto policy
|Insured’s son pulled over for possible DUI got into an altercation with a Police Officer who was injured.||$2,000,000
*Homeowners Personal Liability paid claim
vs. Auto liabilty as son was outside of vehicle.
|Automobile & Excess Liability||Insured’s car suddenly accelerated causing accident and head trauma to passenger. Passenger, single mother, suffered brain trauma and loss of some cognitive functions.||$2,000,000
*Plaintiffs demand for 3,400,000 exceeded
clients’ $2,000,000 primary & excess limits.
|Automobile Liability||Insured son driving home after passing Driver’s Licensing exam, ran off road. Mothers’ arm was outside the window and her hand was severed. Insured was able to file a liability claim under her own policy as she was the passenger, not the driver.||$1,000,000|
|Automobile & Excess Liability||Insured’s daughter was driving home after a family dinner celebrating her father’s birthday at a local restaurant. Daughter turned left in front of another vehicle. Passengers in other vehicle injured including one w/major brain trauma.||$1,200,000
*Injured party was able to go back to work
with limitations, otherwise, claim would
have been higher.
(Slip and Fall)
|Insured’s neighbor walked onto insured’s property to see renovation project. He was struck by two unsecured wooden planks that fell 25’from project suffering cervical injuries.||$1,000,000|
|Personal & Excess Liability||During a party at insured’s home, female suffered multiple dog bites during mauling – resulting in severe disfigurement.||$1,700,000|
|Automobile and Excess Liability||A speeding motorcyclist driving with an expired license was accidentally struck and severely injured by a young married couple out for a drive on a sunny day.||Maximum Limits|
|Personal Liability and Excess Liability||A volunteer Little League coach was struck in the ankle by the baseball helmet of an overzealous teenage player, and suffered a torn achilles tendon. The coach sued the player's family for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering totaling $600,000. More Information.||$600,000|