Keep in mind that technology and lifestyle trends, ie Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., will impact how important it is that you have a personal umbrella to protect you and your family.
The US is seeing an increase in frequency and severity of suits where personal umbrella claims are involved. Consider this, when these claims occur it used to be $10 million could cover most claims, but in the past few years we’ve seen personal injury awards in the multi-millions. Not many people can afford that…so, if you are one of the people that can’t afford a few million out of pocket, you need to make sure you are covered.
A few things to consider:
- An example to consider: a typical working middle-class family member causes an accident where someone is seriously injured, depending on the state in which the accident occurs or the level of your coverage, you could end up paying for the rest of your life to settle the claim.
- Further consider, whether or not the courts find your client responsible, the defense costs could be devastating. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, if you get sued, the legal cost could financially ruin you even if you’re found not guilty.
- An umbrella will cover, or help cover, the cost of legal counsel in the case of a frivolous and unneeded lawsuit.
In addition to the mounting legal costs associated with personal umbrella claims, here are a few new exposures that can get you in hot water:
- Technology. While new and improving automotive safety devices like adaptive cruise control and driver-assist have the potential to reduce loss frequency, they could also drive up the cost of repairs. Meanwhile, the use of mobile phones and other devices in the car has led to an increase in distracted driver claims.
- Firearms. New weapons laws like "concealed carry" have increased thus the need for liability coverage. Personal umbrella coverage may be available for certain situations.
- Social media. When you consider that personal injury claims can include customer reviews or defamation of character, you have a whole new arena that can cause the need for protection from an umbrella.
Cyber liability. A personal umbrella may cover cyber liability including personal injury, libel, slander and defamation of character. Online bullying is a big thing to consider. The fact is, you’re responsible for your kids.