More about Skokie Umbrella Insurance
Nobody’s perfect. That’s why you buy liability insurance.
Think of umbrella insurance — sometimes called excess liability insurance — as a fail-safe for your savings and other assets. If you’re sued for damages that exceed the liability limits of your car insurance, homeowners insurance or some other coverage types, an umbrella policy helps pay what you owe. In some cases it provides coverage that’s not included in the base insurance policies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Umbrella Insurance
Who needs Umbrella Insurance?
Umbrella insurance is not required. It’s commonly purchased by people who:
Have significant savings or other assets.
Are worried about liability claims against them when they travel outside the U.S.
Own things that can lead to injury lawsuits such as pools, trampolines and dogs (check with your insurer to make sure your breed is covered).
Engage in activities that increase your chances of being sued, such as:
Being a landlord.
Coaching kids’ sports.
Serving on the board of a nonprofit.
Regularly posting reviews of products and businesses.
Participating in sports where you could easily injure others (skiing, surfing, hunting, etc.).
How Umbrella Insurance works?
To get a better sense of how umbrella insurance can come in handy, imagine the following scenario:
You run a red light and accidentally T-bone another car. There is significant damage to the vehicle, and several people are injured. The car needs $50,000 in repairs, and treatment of the injuries totals $250,000. Plus, the driver of the other car is an orthodontist who won’t be able to work for months due to a broken arm and sues you for $200,000 in lost earnings.
You’re on the hook for a grand total of $500,000. If you carry only $300,000 liability coverage with your car insurance, the remaining $200,000 will have to come out of your pocket.
If you have umbrella insurance, it would pay the difference between what your primary insurance covers and what you still owe.
Buying Umbrella Insurance
Insurers typically sell umbrella insurance in million-dollar increments. This means the cheapest policy available provides up to $1 million in coverage, the next-cheapest policy offers $2 million in coverage, and so on.
Companies sell umbrella insurance only if you already have either auto or property insurance — usually homeowners insurance, but possibly another policy such as renters or condo. You must buy a minimum amount of liability insurance on those coverages before you can buy an umbrella policy; the minimums vary by company.
For instance, to add umbrella coverage to your car insurance, your policy may need to have $100,000 to $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage and $100,000 property damage liability coverage. To add umbrella coverage to a homeowners policy, you need around $300,000 liability insurance.
How much Umbrella Insurance do you need?
It’s wise to buy at least enough umbrella insurance to cover your net worth. This includes your savings, other assets and income. You may also want to include potential income if you’re likely to earn much more in the near future than you do now — if you’re a medical student, for example.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much umbrella insurance is the “right” amount, because you don’t know how much a potential worst-case lawsuit could cost you. Umbrella policies typically start at $1 million in coverage, so you get a decent amount no matter what you choose.
Cost of Umbrella Insurance
According to the Insurance Information Institute, an umbrella policy with $1 million in coverage costs about $150 to $300 per year. With its high coverage limit, umbrella insurance gives you good value for the cost. In our litigious society, the extra cost is well worth the peace of mind you get knowing your assets are insulated from lawsuits.
HOURS & LOCATION
Statewide Insurance Agency of Skokie
8001 Lincoln Ave Suite 715
Skokie, IL 60077
Monday: 9:00am to 6:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am to 6:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am to 6:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am to 6:00pm
Friday: 9:00am to 6:00pm