On a rainy day you carry an umbrella for protection. However, every day you should carry another kind of umbrella — an umbrella insurance policy, for a more serious type of protection.
There are basically two reasons to have umbrella insurance.
First, it’s necessary to protect you against liability. A few examples:
- If you are a landlord and your tenant falls down the stairs due to a faulty railing.
- You might be a business owner and someone slips and falls on a wet floor or icy sidewalk.
- Maybe you have a swimming pool and a small child ventures into the water unsupervised and drowns.
When there are lawsuits in this situation, often the compensation you are responsible for far exceeds what you might have in an ordinary policy to cover you for this liability.
Another reason, and often the most overlooked, is to protect yourself in the event you are injured by another person who is negligent and is without adequate insurance coverage. This happens more times than people realize.
In both cases a successful settlement in a lawsuit could run into millions of dollars, depending on the situation and the severity of injuries.
“But I am not a wealthy person and I don’t think I could afford it,” you say.
The fact is, you can’t afford not to have one. The good news here is that an umbrella policy is generally available from amounts of $1 million to $5 million dollars and can actually be quite affordable in most cases.
The number of people driving without insurance is startling, even though it is a law in most every state.
A study by the Insurance Research Council a few years back found that about one of every seven drivers was uninsured. That’s about 14 percent nationwide.
In Indiana, individuals are required to have at least $25,000 of coverage per person and $50,000 per accident in order to legally operate a vehicle. Still, authorities estimate that one in every five Hoosier drivers is operating their vehicles without proper insurance.
Yes, you have to show proof of insurance to get or renew your driver’s license. The fact is, some people show that proof, then they later cancel the insurance, especially during tougher economic times.
While there are penalties for operating without insurance, often this discovery is made when it is too late, such as at the scene of an accident where the uninsured driver is at fault.
So you are definitely at risk. Tauber Law strongly recommends that you always buy uninsured motorist coverage in case you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have adequate coverage – or any coverage at all.
There are various levels and types of coverage that can cover physical injury, property loss, or both. Be proactive. Ask your insurance agent about an umbrella policy. Don’t wait for your agent to offer one to you.
Think beyond automobile accidents, as well. It’s smart to have an umbrella rider to protect you at your home or even if you operate a watercraft.
Do you have enough to cover a lawsuit against you resulting in millions of dollars in damages that you are responsible for? Further, if you are a victim of an uninsured or underinsured individual, can you afford to pay for care that might be needed for the rest of your lives? The answer to these questions are usually “no.”
Yes, your health insurance might cover a portion of the cost, but there are lifetime limits and co-pays that you might have to pay out-of-pocket. The sum total could be exorbitant. Generally, health insurance also won’t pay for lost wages or pain and suffering, or the costs of special modifications you may need in your home in case of a victim who becomes severely handicapped.
While we don’t sell insurance at Tauber Law Offices, we can guide you in making sure you have solid protection as we develop your estate plan. What’s more, if you are a victim of an underinsured and negligent individual – no matter what the case – we can help you in the recovery of as much compensation as possible. Still, the only way to assure adequate coverage in this type of case is to carry enough insurance yourself. Plan for the worst case scenario if you can.
Helping you with that plan is our mission at Tauber Law Offices. We’re a family of lawyers that treat you with understanding, compassion and aggressive representation that only ends when you receive fair compensation. Your initial consultation is always free.