Umbrella insurance protects you and your family from liabilities and can be the difference between financial safety and financial ruin. Learn about your options and start saving today!
As most people agree, protecting your family, assets, and self is of extreme importance. For this reason, people elect to purchase insurance, and as anyone who has gone through the process knows, there are several different kinds.
While most people are familiar with home and auto insurance, far fewer individuals know about Umbrella insurance, which is designed to add extra coverage above and beyond what standard insurance plans offer. The following few sections detail what Umbrella insurance is, what it covers, and some of the top providers of this type of coverage.
What is Umbrella Insurance?
Umbrella insurance is designed to add an extra layer of coverage to those who feel they need it. On top of this, it is also designed to protect you from large and potentially devastating liability claims. Although each policy differs somewhat, most people can expect to find the following type of coverage when purchasing umbrella insurance.
Bodily Injury Liability: No matter how good a driver you are, the possibility of getting into a car crash is always there. Such an event can be made much worse if you are found to be the cause of the accident and one or more individuals require expensive medical bills. As most would agree, such an event would be financially ruinous, which is something umbrella insurance protects you against.
Property Damage Liability: If you cause direct harm or damage to a person's property, whether through accident or mal intent, you can be held liable for any damages and repair costs.
Owner of Rental Units: If you own a rental unit, and some construction oversight causes a tenant or visitor to trip and hurt themselves, you could be required to pay their hospital and rehabilitation bills.
Slander/Libel Coverage: Many umbrella insurance policies have some money to protect holders should they be sued for slander or libel.
False Arrest: If, for one reason or another, you are the cause of the false or unjust arrest of another individual, most umbrella insurance policies provide coverage if you are sued.
What Does Umbrella Insurance Not Cover?
While it is essential to know what type of claims umbrella insurance covers you against, it is also important to understand what types of claims it will not. One common misconception that people have is that umbrella insurance can cover you from damages or losses that may occur to you due to unforeseen circumstances. This is not the case, and Umbrella insurance only offers coverage in instances where you have been found liable, such as those covered above.
Damage to Your Personal Property: Umbrella insurance is not designed to cover damages that occur to your own house due to an accident or negligence.
Criminal Actions: As most will have guessed. Umbrella insurance will not cover you from any liabilities caused by criminal actions or intent.
Businesses Losses: Umbrella insurance does not typically cover losses from liabilities incurred by business activities. Examples of this may include a malpractice lawsuit.
Best Umbrella Insurance Providers
Founded in 1912, Liberty Mutual is a name most Americans are likely to be familiar with. As one of the nation's largest insurance policy providers, it should come as no surprise that they offer highly competitive umbrella insurance policies.
When it comes to personal umbrella insurance, coverage starts at $1 million to cover any claims made against you or members of your household. For commercial umbrella insurance, policies start at an impressive $35 million in coverage and even offer businesses up to $250,000 to mitigate any damage caused to their brand or public image.
Since it opened its doors in 1922, USAA has been a favorite of men and women in the armed service. In fact, USAA provides servicemembers, veterans, and their families with up to $1 million in coverage for as low as $19 a month. Unfortunately, you must fall into one of these three groups if you wish to buy a policy from USAA, as they do not sell to non-military members or veterans.
Chubb umbrella insurance is often recommended to high-income individuals who want to ensure their family is protected in the case of an unfortunate event that leaves them liable. The main reason why high-income individuals are attracted to Chubb is that they offer up to $100 million in personal liability insurance, which is much higher than their competitors.
In fact, at $100 million in potential coverage, Chubb offers individuals more coverage than most insurance companies on this list offer to businesses! Of course, with these higher than overage coverage limits come substantially higher premiums, which can run as high as $500 or more per month.
Another impressive aspect of Chubb is that the company provides coverage both nationally and internationally. On top of this, they also cover individuals in case of frivolous lawsuits.
Traveler is a big name in the world of insurance and currently serves hundreds of thousands of customers throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Personal umbrella insurance policies start at $1 million and can go as high as $10 million. Higher coverage levels are available, but they require customers to go through a special underwriting process. Travelers also provide commercial umbrella insurance, which starts at $1 million and increases depending upon revenue, assets, type of business conducted, and the perceived risk factor.
One impressive aspect of Travelers is they currently hold an A++ rating with AM Best, the highest possible rating. If you are unaware, AM Best is an insurance rating agent located within the USA. While other rating agencies exist, AM Best is considered one of the most trustworthy.
Geico has built a large following in the United States, owing largely to their competitive policies, quality customer service, and memorable commercials. As you would expect, Geico also offers umbrella insurance, however the coverage limits are capped at $1 million, which is far less than many of their competitors.
Nonetheless, for those who feel they only require $1 million in coverage, Geico is still a quality option, as it currently holds an A + + rating from AM Best and is known for delivering quality customer service.