This post details the needs of an insurance coverage most people don’t even know they need. Umbrella Insurance. Let me start with an example that has bounced around in several social circles that I frequent;

A babysitter left a 5-month-old infant unattended in a walker. The infant toppled the walker, struck her head on the floor, and suffered brain damage. The parents of the infant sued the teenage babysitter and her parents. The court awarded the infant’s parents $11,000,000.

The moral of this situation is that parents can be held liable for the negligent acts of a child. We will leave the ramifications this to a lawyer.

Think about the exposures that exist in raising kids today. They spend a lot of time out of direct supervision but remain our responsibility. Here are a few examples when liability becomes more than the child you are the parent of:

• Driving
• School or other trips
• Sports
• Birthday parties

When your child operates a vehicle with occupants the liability increases. If they are at fault for the accident you are responsible for the medical bills and pain and suffering also known as general damages. We know that new teen drivers are the ones most likely to have an accident.

Another good example of when a personal umbrella policy deserves consideration follows:

A 28-year old engineer dove into a friend’s above ground swimming pool struck his head on the bottom and, as a result became a quadriplegic. He sued both the homeowner and the pool manufacturer. The court found the homeowner to be 60 percent responsible and the pool manufacturer to be 40 percent responsible and awarded $10,000,000.
A similar story can be found here

Owning a pool increases the liability exposure that a homeowner faces. Drowning and maintenance can lead to all types of increased liability exposures.

The other thing that an umbrella policy will cover is the legal defense – up to the policy limits. As costs for everything continue to rise, the cost of a lawyer will take a pretty penny. A personal umbrella policy can ease this stress.

Typically, personal umbrella policies are tied to your home and auto policies. Also called excess personal liability insurance, it protects you beyond the liability coverage of the auto and home policies. We hope that no one ever uses the umbrella policy. However, one bad incident will make you happy to have one.

Small business owners need to consider a Commercial or Business Umbrella Policy as well. Business umbrella polices provide another layer of liability insurance, on top of the underlying business policy.

Things that occur often are slip and fall situations.

This example from Kentucky shows what can happen;

Averyt v. Walmart. Considered the largest verdict in a slip and fall case, this case arose out of Holly Averyt slipping and falling on an ice and grease spot on December 13, 2007 at the Greeley, CO location. Her injuries required four surgeries and she was no longer able to work as a truck driver. A jury awarded her $15 million and the State Supreme Court upheld that verdict.
Example found on

I am sure that most business owners can see this happening in any area that customers have access. It can happen not only in the parking lot but in a waiting room, a store aisle, and other areas leading up to the business.

The cost for 1 million dollars of extra liability insurance is usually less than $500 a year!

Umbrella policies, both personal and business, are a simple and cost-effective way to protect the hard work and dedication you have put into your family and your business.

Call my office today to discuss this important coverage. 971.303.8508

Be sure to review the policy you have or will purchase with your agent as every company and each policy has its own details and may or may not conform to information contained above.