An umbrella policy is simply extra liability insurance. It is available to assist in protecting you from major claims and lawsuits. It will also help protect your assets, and consequently, your future. In the case of car, homeowners, and boat insurance policies, your umbrella policy will assist in coverage when the limits of these are exhausted.
What Does an Umbrella Insurance Policy Cover?
According to Geico, umbrella insurance policies will provide you coverage for:
- Injuries sustained in an accident
- Damages to property
- Certain lawsuits
- Personal liability situations
Most people in West Virginia believe that they are covered for these scenarios. While this may be true, in cases where coverage is exhausted, your umbrella policy will be able to offer further coverage.
Below are the types of coverages that are provided by an umbrella policy:
Bodily Injury Liability
A PUP will cover the cost of damages to another person. Essentially, this includes the cost of medical bills as a result of:
- Injuries to another party in a car accident in which you were at fault.
- Injuries to others as a result of your dog.
- Injuries that were sustained in your home due to a slip or fall.
- Injuries that are sustained by a child that falls or injures themselves while on your property.
Property Damage Liability
A PUP will cover the cost of damage or loss of another party’s property. This can include:
- The damage to a vehicle or other property due to an auto accident that you caused.
- The damage to someone’s property as a result of your car hitting it.
- The damage to school property.
A PUP will cover the liability you may encounter as a landlord of a building. This can include:
- Someone who trips over a cracked piece of sidewalk in front of your property and sues you for damages.
- A tenant’s dog bites someone, and they sue you for their injuries.
Whether your property is commercial or residential, your PUP will protect you in the event someone is injured.
An umbrella policy will be of great value to you if you happen to be sued for something like:
- Wrongful eviction
- False arrest
- Malicious prosecution
What Does an Umbrella Policy NOT Cover?
While umbrella policies cover a lot of scenarios that are extremely helpful, there are some situations in which they do not apply. These can include:
- Business Losses – If you are the owner of a business and someone is injured while doing business with you; your PUP will not cover this.
- Intentional Damages – Your umbrella policy will not cover damages caused by you if you have intentionally injured someone or caused damage to their property.
- Exotic Vehicle Liability – Planes, jet skis, snowmobiles are not usually covered by your PUP. If you happen to be injured on an exotic vehicle, you will most likely be paying your bills yourself. However, umbrella policies vary for everyone so be sure to check which vehicles yours covers.
- Damage to Your Property – An umbrella policy will cover you if you cause damage to someone else’s property, however, it will not help you pay for damages to your property. For example, if your lawnmower spits a rock at your house and breaks a window, you will have to pay to fix the window out-of-pocket.
- Hired Help – If you hire someone to work at your house, an umbrella policy may not cover them if they are injured while on your property. Occasional hired help such as babysitters might be covered depending on if they work less than 35 hours a week.
Should I Purchase an Umbrella Policy?
When deciding whether or not to purchase an umbrella policy, think of this: unfortunately, most people carry only the minimum insurance that is required by law. Even worse, many people don’t carry any insurance at all.
If you are injured because of the negligence of someone else who does not carry an umbrella policy for themselves, and your insurance limits are exhausted, you could be left with having to pay for your medical expenses and damages on your own. At Colombo Law, we are committed to getting you the compensation that you’re entitled. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, contact us right away for assistance.