You’re making success happen.
You work hard every day. You are buying a home or plan to. You are receiving pay increases. You are putting money away for kids, college, and retirement. You plan to retire comfortably one day and have a house that’s paid for, social security income, and a 401k plan paying you each month. Perhaps you will also be generating income from other investments such as real estate.
Until “It” Happens.
And then “it” happens. “It” can be anything. “It” could be your teenage driver T-boning a couple because your teen driver misinterpreted the light and thought they could make it. (Your teen driver is driving around town with every asset you have worked for and will work for riding on the hood of your car. Sobering thought, right?) “It” could be somebody tripping on your driveway or sidewalk as they came up to the front door. “It” could be your normally very friendly dog uncharacteristically biting the kid that was visiting your home with their parents. “It” could be not firmly planting an umbrella in the sand and having it blow away in a firm breeze and striking an innocent bystander. “It” can be anything. If and when “it” happens, your entire financial future and all of your planned dreams may depend on one thing: having an excess liability policy (aka: “Personal Umbrella Policy” or “PUL”).
An Umbrella Liability Policy can make the difference between financial success and ruin.
An umbrella liability policy extends the limits of your liability coverage on your home, auto, and other personal liability policies (such as policies on boats, motorcycles, RVs, second homes, and some rental properties). The most common coverage for an umbrella policy is $1 million that covers over your underlying limits of liability on your other policies. This means that if you have, for example, $500, 000 worth of liability protection on your home insurance policy and $300,000 liability coverage on your auto policy, with a $1 million PUL, you would have $1.5 million worth of liability protection on your home and $1.3 worth of protection on your auto policy. Some companies, such as Nationwide Insurance (in Virginia) offer a unique coverage aspect on their Umbrella policies that extends the coverage of your umbrella policy to cover your uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage for a small additional premium.
Important: Keep your insurance company on the hook
Not only does this provide significantly improved protection, it performs one other critical task, too. It keeps your insurance company on the case. You see, if an insurance company is dealing with a situation so severe that the company does not believe they can settle the claim without paying the policy limits, then it’s much more logical to simply pay the limits of the policy and not continue paying legal fees. If you are faced with such a situation, you would then need to hire your own attorney, pay all of your defense costs, and then be responsible for any amount over what the insurance company already paid. This is definitely not a situation you want to be in.
By protecting yourself with an umbrella policy, you place the insurance company on the hook for a substantial sum of money and greatly reduce the probability of the insurance company issuing a check for the policy limits and “walking away”. This is AS IMPORTANT as the coverage itself, since legal fees can cost tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you have any assets to lose such as a house, investments, rental properties, savings, and future earnings, then you should have an umbrella policy. If you have any extraordinary risks such as notoriety, young drivers, a swimming pool, rental properties, pets, a boat, motorcycle, RV, or airplane, then you should have an umbrella policy. To the extent that you have more of these, you should carry higher limits on your umbrella policy.
How to Best Structure Your Insurance Plan
At The Braun Agency, our belief is that your insurance program should be structured to prevent catastrophic financial loss, while at the same time, be set up to minimize insurance costs. Lower insurance costs can be established by assuming risks you can afford to take through higher deductibles and the elimination of redundant coverages and coverages that you do not need. An umbrella policy may be the most valuable policy you own and, yet, one of the least expensive. Often, it may be paid for by other modifications in your insurance program.
The best way to find out how to optimize your insurance program is to obtain a comprehensive “On Your Side” review with The Braun Agency. During your review, your agent will make recommendations to prevent financial catastrophe and minimize your insurance costs. Find out what The Braun Agency can do for you today.
Wishing you much financial success,
J. Richard Braun, CFP
The Braun Agency’s mission is to help you get from where you are to where you want to be financially by planning, achieving your plan and protecting your plan from unexpected events. In the process, our goal is to deliver insurance services in a manner that exceeds your expectations. See what The Braun Agency can do for you today. Give us a call at 757-452-4563 to speak with one of the licensed, professional members of our team or request a contact here. The Braun Agency. We’re on YOUR side. 757-INSURANCE.