Personal Umbrella Liability

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Is Umbrella coverage for you?

What is an umbrella policy?

Umbrella policies extend liability above and beyond your home, auto, and other policies; they are the smartest, most cost effective way to ensure coverage for all of your assets and future earnings.

What does an umbrella policy cost?

For most people, umbrella coverage can be purchased for less than a dollar a day. Alternatively, the cost is comparable to one cup of coffee a week.

What types of coverage are included in an umbrella policy?

  • Additional liability coverage of $1 million – $5 million
  • Legal defense fees not covered by your current policy, for all household family members
  • Extended liability coverage for your current assets such as primary and secondary homes, rental properties, automobiles, motorcycles, watercraft, motor homes and more
  • Extended liability protection for future earnings

Do any of the following risks apply to you and your household?  If so, below you will find additional information.

 

 

As you can see, there are great advantages to having an umbrella policy.

Common umbrella objections:

  • “I wouldn’t ever do something requiring $1 million worth of coverage.” – A small accident can quickly lead to a $500,000+ claim.
  • “My assets aren’t worth that much.” – The resale value on your assets may not be much, but what is their worth to you? And what is their future worth?
  • “I am a safe driver.” – Even the safest drivers have bad days.

What do you think the insured’s in our examples would tell you about umbrella coverage? Would they recommend it? Those are easily your community members, friends, and family members. Without extended liability, you are personally responsible for any costs that exceed your primary policies. This puts your assets and your future earnings at risk. Could you imagine paying $750,000+ out of your pocket right now? What position would that put your family in? We want to help.

Contact Guide Insurance Services today, for a free risk assessment and additional information regarding umbrella coverage!

¹These are actual incidents shown for illustrative purposes only; they do not guarantee coverage. Each claim situation varies and past payments are not indicators of future claim values.

 

 

 

 

Babysitter, Caregiver

  • A babysitter left a 5-month old infant unattended in a walker. The infant toppled the walker, struck her head on the floor and suffered brain damage. The parents of the infant sued the teenage babysitter and her parents – an $11 million claim.¹
  • The claimant, age 2, was on the insured’s property with his grandparents who were there to care for 23 horses owned by the insureds. The insureds were out of town on vacation. The claimant was kicked by one of the horses, taken to the emergency room, and then life-flighted to a larger hospital. The claimant was given a 5% chance of survival and underwent surgery for a cracked skull (a piece of which was missing) with 30% damage to the right side of his brain. He survived and is residing in a neighboring state at a rehabilitation center – a large payment was made under the personal umbrella policy.¹
  • The insured, age 59, was employed to care for an 8 month old infant. While attempting to negotiate a curve, she crossed the center line and collided head on with a pickup truck, which was pulling a trailer of construction equipment. The only witnesses were the two 19 year old occupants of the truck. They both state the insured vehicle appeared to be traveling too fast for road conditions. The insured has no memory of the event and there are indications the insured had experienced blood sugar level problems in the past. A hypoglycemic attack may have contributed to this accident. The infant died later that same day of injuries received in this accident. Her medical bills were approximately $60,000. Her parents are college educated and the mother is in the insurance industry. They contend that their daughter would have obtained at least an undergraduate degree and earned at least $80,000 per year form ages 24-62. The two occupants of the truck were injured, but their claims settled within the underlying auto policy – the umbrella policy paid $550,000.¹

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Social Media, Blog, Words of Influence

  • An insured’s daughter hated math class as well as the teacher. The daughter made several “disparaging” and false remarks about her teacher online. The teacher sued the parents for personal injury – a $750,000 claim.¹

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Coach, Sports Teams

  • A teenager, who was destined for greatness as a softball player, filed a lawsuit against her former coach, alleging his “incorrect” teaching style ruined her chances of an athletic scholarship – a $700,000 claim.¹

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Young Driver, Owner/Operator of a Vehicle

Passengers

  • The insured’s 18 year old son was driving the insured’s car on a short trip to the store with his girlfriend. He lost control of the car and struck a tree. The insured’s son told the police that a vehicle cut him off, but there were no witnesses and no evidence of any impact with another car. His girlfriend, a 19 year old college student, was hospitalized for over a month with multiple fractures and internal injuries. She was in a wheelchair but is now able to walk with crutches and continues with physical therapy. She has a right drop foot as a result of the injuries – ­the full limit of the insured’s personal umbrella policy was paid.¹

Motorcycle

  • The 76 year old insured pulled forward out of her driveway, making a left turn into the path of a motorcycle which was coming out of a curve. The operator of the motorcycle applied his brakes and “laid it down,” but struck the quarter panel of the insured’s vehicle. The insured was cited for traffic violations. The motorcycle passenger (wife of the motorcycle operator), died at the scene. She is survived by her husband, four children (ages 7 to 15), her parents, grandparents and several siblings. The motorcycle operator suffered a fractured finger and abrasions and had a valid “bystander’s claim” under state law – the personal umbrella policy contributed $640,000 above primary policies.¹

Bicycle

  • Shortly after sunset, the insured was driving her minivan on a two-lane roadway. Near an intersection, she struck a bicycle driven by a 14 year old girl (Girl #1), who suddenly crossed in front of her. An accident occurred adjacent to a park where football and soccer practice had just let out. Six people witnessed the accident, including the girl’s best friend (Girl #2) who was riding next to her. Witnesses saw both girls initially start across the road, but the Girl #2 stopped. Girl #1 kept going and was struck. All witnesses agree that the insured’s van was traveling well within the 45 mph speed limit, that the insured did not apply her brakes or take any evasive action, and that Girl #1 did not look both ways before crossing the road. With the exception of one witness, who is a close friend of Girl #1’s family, the remaining witnesses are consistent in their testimony that the insured probably did not have time to avoid the accident. Girl #1 was thrown onto the hood, hit the windshield and was launched into the air, landing in a ditch where she was found unconscious. She was not wearing a helmet. She suffered a brain stem injury, head fracture, brain hemorrhage and multiple compound fractures of the right leg. She remained in the hospital for 90 days. She was released with weakness in all four limbs and was in minimally responsive states, requiring maximum assistance with all activities of daily living. Girl #1 remains on a feeding tube and school records show that she attends a special education program. The insured’s initial statement asserts that she never saw Girl #1 until she hit her. Girl #1 was hit by the van on the front passenger side corner, indicating that she was almost all the way across the lane when she was hit. The defense’s position claimed the insured’s failure to act was reasonable in that she did not have time to see and react to the sudden movement of the bicyclist. The final decision was that the insured should have had time to observe the plaintiff, Girl #1, and take evasive action – a $681,000 claim. ¹

Health Complications

  • The insured, age 59, was employed to care for an 8 month old infant. While attempting to negotiate a curve, she crossed the center line and collided head on with a pickup truck, which was pulling a trailer of construction equipment. The only witnesses were the two 19 year old occupants of the truck. They both state the insured vehicle appeared to be traveling too fast for road conditions. The insured has no memory of the event and there are indications the insured had experienced blood sugar level problems in the past. A hypoglycemic attack may have contributed to this accident. The infant died later that same day of injuries received in this accident. Her medical bills were approximately $60,000. Her parents are college educated and the mother is in the insurance industry. They contend that their daughter would have obtained at least an undergraduate degree and earned at least $80,000 per year form ages 24-62. The two occupants of the truck were injured, but their claims settled within the underlying auto policy – the umbrella policy paid $550,000.¹

Failure to Yeild

  • The insured’s 26 year old daughter was driving the insured vehicle when she pulled away from a stop sign, striking the claimant’s vehicle. The claimant had no stop sign at the intersection. The insured’s daughter was cited for failure to yield. Plaintiff (age 17) sustained multiple fractures to her jaw, scarring to the forehead, a severed left ear and a dental injury. She spent seven days in the hospital, where records also confirm memory loss and a combative disposition. Underlying auto limits of $250,000/$500,000 were in place and the insured’s daughter was listed specifically on the umbrella policy as a driver – $500,000 was paid by the umbrella policy.¹

 

 

Hosting Company, Hosting a Party

Paintball

  • The insured permitted several of her children and their friends to play paintball in her large back yard. The children were experienced and advised of all the safety rules including the use of headgear at all times. A participant removed her headgear as she was leaving the field in order to better hear someone calling her name. The minor claimant was hit in the eye – a $450,000 claim.¹

BonFire

  • The insured hosted a beach party for their daughter. One of the attendees found what was believed to be an empty and discarded propane tank. The tank was thrown into a beach bonfire and subsequently exploded resulting in severe injuries to several guests. A claim was filed alleging the insured failed to properly supervise the party – a $20 million claim.¹

Alcohol

  • A couple hosted a party for their teenage children. They did not provide any alcohol, but it was brought by some of the guests and was available. After leaving the party, one of the guests was severely injured in an auto accident, and the injury was attributed to his consumption of alcohol. This case went to court, and it was determined that anyone who sells or furnishes alcohol to a minor is responsible for the minor’s injuries as well as any injuries caused by the minor. The opinion of the court was that the homeowners should have prevented the consumption of alcohol by minors on their premises – both the homeowner’s and personal umbrella policies responded to this claim.¹

Household Toxins

  • The Insured hosted a party at his home. Among the guests was the claimant, who brought his wife, infant, and 2 year old child to the party. The insured gave the claimant a jug of spring water for him to use to mix formula for the infant. The 2 year old child also had a drink. Shortly thereafter, the children became ill. The family left the party, and then took the children to the hospital. The hospital requested the water jug which was found to contain arsenic. An old label was found wrapped around the handle with the world “weed killer” printed on it. The insured had apparently mixed a solution of weed killer in a jug similar to the ones used for spring water and mistakenly given it to the claimant. The infant died and the 2 year old child survived after being in critical condition – the limits of the personal umbrella policy were paid out.¹

Trip and Fall

  • The claimant and insured have been longtime friends, live on the same street, and the claimant had been to the insured’s home on many occasions. The insured lives in a home with a brick patio which had been constructed in the 1960s. Bricks were replaced one year before the incident. The insured, claimant, and another friend met at the club, had a few drinks, and all returned to the insured’s home where they sat on the patio in lawn chairs and continued drinking. The claimant, age 56, ended up falling and sustained a spinal cord injury which rendered him an incomplete quadriplegic. He underwent surgery and was on a feeding tube for several months. He continues to suffer partial paralysis of his arms and legs, uses an electric wheelchair to get around his house and requires assistance with some activities of daily living. The claimant owned his own business and was married 1 month before the incident. His wife now cares for him at home – the claim exhausted the underlying coverage limits and payment was made under the personal umbrella policy.¹

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Landlord, Rental Property

  • The insured’s tenant claims she became ill from carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from a faulty furnace. The tenant claimed permanent brain damage – a $750,000 claim.¹
  • A hillside on the insured’s property was covered with concrete to prevent erosion. The concrete had been installed before the insured purchased the property. Approximately 5 feet of the concrete fell to the neighboring property knocking the claimant’s home from its foundation – a $970,000 claim.¹

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Homeowner, Property Owner

Construction

  • A hillside on the insured’s property was covered with concrete to prevent erosion. The concrete had been installed before the insured purchased the property. Approximately 5 feet of the concrete fell to the neighboring property knocking the claimant’s home from its foundation – a $970,000 claim.¹

Party

  • The Insured hosted a party at his home. Among the guests was the claimant, who brought his wife, infant, and 2 year old child to the party. The insured gave the claimant a jug of spring water for him to use to mix formula for the infant. The 2 year old child also had a drink. Shortly thereafter, the children became ill. The family left the party, and then took the children to the hospital. The hospital requested the water jug which was found to contain arsenic. An old label was found wrapped around the handle with the world “weed killer” printed on it. The insured had apparently mixed a solution of weed killer in a jug similar to the ones used for spring water and mistakenly given it to the claimant. The infant died and the 2 year old child survived after being in critical condition – the limits of the personal umbrella policy were paid out.¹
  • The Insured hosted a party at his home. Among the guests was the claimant, who brought his wife, infant, and 2 year old child to the party. The insured gave the claimant a jug of spring water for him to use to mix formula for the infant. The 2 year old child also had a drink. Shortly thereafter, the children became ill. The family left the party, and then took the children to the hospital. The hospital requested the water jug which was found to contain arsenic. An old label was found wrapped around the handle with the world “weed killer” printed on it. The insured had apparently mixed a solution of weed killer in a jug similar to the ones used for spring water and mistakenly given it to the claimant. The infant died and the 2 year old child survived after being in critical condition – the limits of the personal umbrella policy were paid out.¹

Play Dates

  • The insured permitted several of her children and their friends to play paintball in her large back yard. The children were experienced and advised of all the safety rules including the use of headgear at all times. A participant removed her headgear as she was leaving the field in order to better hear someone calling her name. The minor claimant was hit in the eye – a $450,000 claim.¹

Swimming Pool

  • A 28 year old engineer dove into a friend’s above ground swimming pool struck his head on the bottom and, as a result became a quadriplegic. He sued both the homeowner and the pool manufacturer. The court found the homeowner to be 60% responsible and the pool manufacturer to be 40% responsible – a $10 million claim.¹

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Boat Owner/Operator

  • The policyholders are the owners of a speedboat, which is considered a “family” boat and made available to other members of the family for recreational use. Several family members were camping at the lake near the policyholder’s residence. One of the policy holders allowed them to use the boat during their stay. The policyholder’s 15 year old grandson was allowed to take three other family members (all minors) out on the lake to go tubing. The 10 year old claimant had just finished tubing. The tube and tow rope were placed in the stern of the boat and the claimant was sitting next to them. The conditions on the lake suddenly became very choppy and windy. The claimant was ejected from the rear of the boat along with the tube and the tow rope. The tow rope wrapped around the claimant’s neck, causing a significant injury. The occupants of the boat recovered the claimant and headed for the dock, flagging down the sheriff’s patrol boat on the way. The claimant lost consciousness and the deputy had to administer CPR several times. She was airlifted to the hospital. The claimant suffered an injury to her neck, trachea, esophagus as well as a fracture of the second cervical vertebrae. She was on a ventilator for 96 hours and in ICU for almost one month. Later, she developed serious complications to her pancreas, colon and gall bladder and suffers from ongoing extreme hoarseness with continued troubles with her breathing – a $700,000 claim on top of primary coverages.¹

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Livestock Owner, Pet Owner

  • The claimant, age 2, was on the insured’s property with his grandparents who were there to care for 23 horses owned by the insureds. The insureds were out of town on vacation. The child was kicked by one of the horses, taken to the emergency room, and then life-flighted to a larger hospital. He was given a 5% chance of survival and underwent surgery for a cracked skull (a piece of which was missing) with 30% damage to the right side of his brain. He survived and is residing in a neighboring state at a rehabilitation center – a large payment was made under the personal umbrella policy.¹

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Swimming Pool

  • A 28 year old engineer dove into a friend’s above ground swimming pool struck his head on the bottom and, as a result became a quadriplegic. He sued both the homeowner and the pool manufacturer. The court found the homeowner to be 60% responsible and the pool manufacturer to be 40% responsible – a $10 million claim.¹

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