How much Umbrella Coverage do I Need?
March 16, 2015
The minimum amount of coverage for umbrella policies is $1 million. Policies are typically offered in larger amounts, but the amounts umbrella policies come in are always in increments of millions. Companies targeting individuals with a high net worth may offer policies that cover as much as $50 million or more. The majority of individuals who purchase umbrella policies pick the standard amount of $1 million, but there is a growing number of people choosing $2 million instead. For a policy of just $1 million, the annual premium is between $200 and $250. However, that amount may be higher if the insured has young drivers on the policy, more than two cars or points on a driving record. Each amount more than $1 millions costs slightly less to insure, but the increments become significantly more expensive after the $10 million threshold.
If a person is liable for a serious accident, a higher amount of coverage ensures much better protection. One of the biggest advantages of umbrella coverage is that it is very cheap in comparison with what it would cost to pay for medical bills and property damage out of pocket. Never take shortcuts when assets such as a home, investments and belongings are at stake. Some people mistakenly think they only need to be insured for their net worth, but this is far from true. Judgments and medical bills can easily reach into the millions in a short amount of time. Since damage awards are never capped off at a person's net worth, they may exceed the value of a person's entire assets and still leave the person owing money.
Protecting future wages from garnishment is also an important issue to consider. A person who does not have adequate coverage can easily be jeopardized. If the injured person has a considerable income, that individual is more likely to gain the attention of personal injury attorneys. They are typically successful at helping injured parties receive maximum judgments. While $1 million may seem like adequate coverage, the total amount of claims adds up quickly.
In a litigious society, $1 million is a risky choice for an umbrella coverage amount. It is common to see settlements totaling over $5 million. Also, keep in mind that there are often multiple parties injured in an accident. If all of them are injured and need extensive medical care because of permanent injuries, the at-fault party will be in financial trouble. It is important for all people to think about how much they would seek if they were injured or paralyzed in an accident, and use that amount to consider how much umbrella coverage to buy.
Any person who has assets or even earning potential alone should consider buying umbrella coverage. Experts suggest a minimum of $2 million in coverage. However, people who wish to buy more or have a small amount of assets should consider purchasing at least $5 million in coverage. People with large amounts of assets should consider a policy over $10 million. This type of insurance is essential for everyone, but the only issue at hand is to choose an optimal coverage amount. To learn more, discuss concerns with an agent.