You don’t have to be a millionaire to be sued like one. Million-dollar judgments against individuals for negligence are becoming more common. Some examples of Umbrella claims are:
A child made disparaging remarks about a teacher on social media. The courts awarded the teacher $750,000 in damages.
A teenager was awarded $700,000 against a former sports coach for incorrectly coaching her and ruining her chances at an athletic scholarship.
A parent hosted a party on the beach for her teenaged daughter. Some of the guests, unbeknownst to the host, brought in alcohol. After leaving the party one of the guests was seriously injured in a car accident. The courts determined that the hosts should have been supervising the party and could have prevented the use of alcohol by the teenagers. The Umbrella insurance and homeowner policies were both used to respond to the claim.
A family was in their front yard when their 81-year-old neighbor came across the street for a quick chat. The family didn't realize that their gate was unlatched and out came their gregarious golden retriever, Gus to greet him. As the neighbor bent down to say hello to Gus, the dog jumped up and knocked him over. The neighbor twisted and fell backward, breaking his arm and hip and hitting his head on the sidewalk. He was rushed to the hospital, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries. The family's standalone personal umbrella covered Stewart's medical expenses and ongoing litigation once their underlying homeowners insurance was exhausted. Claim: $1 MM
Umbrella policies offer inexpensive “peace of mind” for most types of negligence claims. Automobile accidents are probably the most common source of serious claims. This policy supplements your basic automobile liability with extra million-dollar layers of protection. It also covers other types of catastrophic claims such as a neighbor’s child drowning in your pool or the delivery man being seriously injured by falling over your child’s toys.
As you can see from these examples an Umbrella is a very valuable policy and should be considered by anyone who has assets to protect.
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