Do I Need a Personal Umbrella Policy?

Umbrella insurance covers unexpected or catastrophic events that exceed the limits or scope provided by traditional policies. It’s a good option for those who have significant assets and wish to protect them from judgments or lawsuits. The Pittsburgh slip and fall lawyers at Chaffin Luhana can help you to decide if umbrella insurance is a good choice for your business or household.

When life throws curveballs your way

The only thing for sure in life is that nothing is ever for sure. Even well-prepared people with plenty of insurance can find themselves facing situations that threaten to drive them into bankruptcy. Here are three ways this can play out in the real world.

  1. An auto accident that causes catastrophic damage

For example, imagine that you’re driving to work one day when you fail to stop for a red light. You end up in a multi-car collision that sends dozens of people to the hospital and causes huge amounts of property damage.

To make things worse, you’re the sole cause of the crash, as verified by on-site surveillance cameras. You’ll soon be hearing from several law firms.

  1. Widespread damage that originates on your property

Here’s another frightening scenario. You’re away on vacation when a fire breaks out in your home. The blaze spreads beyond your residence to the surrounding homes, until a good chunk of your neighborhood is on fire.

The final bill vastly exceeds your homeowner’s coverage, putting your financial assets at serious risk.

  1. Unusual lawsuits that standard insurance doesn’t cover

Let’s say you’re a small business owner who terminates one of your employees due to theft or fraud against the company.

A year later, you receive a call from the HR department of a firm to which your ex-worker is applying.

They ask for an “honest appraisal” of the person’s integrity and work ethic; you provide one.

A few days later, you get a call from an attorney. Your former employee is suing you for $1 million due to your “defamation of his character.”

Questions to ask about umbrella insurance

These three situations have one thing in common: devastating financial consequences for those who find themselves at the center of them. It’s for just such situations that umbrella insurance exists. To find out if this type of coverage is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you have significant financial assets? It’s a simple fact of life that successful people are at added risk of being targeted by lawsuits. To put it plainly, you’ve got something that others want. Umbrella insurance can help to safeguard it.
  2. Do any of your work duties or other activities expose you to added liability? Examples include those who are outspoken about their opinions, who occupy prominent places in their community, or who find themselves in a leadership position. For these individuals, a moment’s indiscretion or even an innocent mistake can lead to costly consequences.
  3. Do you own a home, a motor vehicle, and/or a watercraft? Most people who carry umbrella insurance possess one or more of these items. For example, a landlord who owns multiple rental properties can probably benefit from this type of coverage.
  4. Do you own or operate industrial equipment? For example, a person who owns earth-moving equipment might need umbrella insurance, since the potential harm caused by commercial construction vehicles is so great.

Why talking to an attorney should be your next move

If umbrella insurance sounds like a product you can use, then your next step should be to talk to a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney. Here’s why:

  • Personal injury attorneys deal with catastrophic and unusual situations every day. They can tell you more about typical circumstances that invoke the need for umbrella insurance. This is a proactive way to prevent lawsuit-worthy incidents from occurring in the first place.
  • Unlike insurance salespeople, personal injury attorneys have no product to sell you. This means you’ll get objective advice on which types of coverage will best meet your needs, not a self-interested sales pitch.
  • Personal injury attorneys can also advise you on legal matters in general, giving you valuable insights that can benefit every aspect of your life.

Get in touch with Chaffin Luhana today to arrange a no-cost consultation with one of our Pittsburgh slip and fall lawyers. We look forward to hearing from you.