What is Umbrella Insurance?
Umbrella insurance is extra liability insurance that you purchase in addition to your regular insurance policies. As its name implies, umbrella insurance sits “on top of” your other insurance policies like an umbrella, to provide added financial protection in the event that other policies cannot cover the loss.
For example, let’s say that you rear-end a luxury vehicle, and it turns out that you must pay far more than your insurance coverage allows. If you don’t have an umbrella insurance policy, you’ll need to figure out where to get that money. But if you do have umbrella insurance, then that policy would kick in and you would likely pay nothing out of pocket.
It used to be that only the very wealthy needed umbrella insurance. But anyone can be sued for any reason at any time, and umbrella insurance provides added protection against losses. If someone falls on your front steps or your tree falls on a neighbor’s house during a storm, they can successfully sue you for damages. Anything that happens on your property or because of your property is fair game and not always covered by traditional homeowners’ insurance. Umbrella policies provide protection in many situations that usual liability policies don’t cover.
While being wealthy isn’t a prerequisite for needing umbrella insurance, most people who fall into this category need it. Obviously, the more money you have, the more of a target you become for lawsuits, and the more you have to protect. Financial expert Dave Ramsey highly recommends umbrella insurance to anyone with more than $200k in assets.
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