Do you need additional liability protection?
Answers to some commonly asked questions
A young woman ran a stop light and collided with another car, killing an adult and child. The courts found her negligent and ordered her to pay the “wrongful death” limits in Wisconsin of $850,000. The young woman had an auto policy with liability limits of $500,000 per claim, leaving her with an uncovered loss of $350,000.
If this woman would have had a personal umbrella policy, it would have paid the remaining $350,000.
What is an umbrella liability policy and how much does it cost?
A personal umbrella liability insurance policy provides you with liability protection in addition to your existing auto and home insurance policies. You can purchase $1 million or more of additional liability coverage to protect yourself from catastrophic events that might result in liability to others for their claims against your assets.
No one expects a catastrophe in their life. And it’s true that catastrophic events happen to very few people. That’s why you can buy $1 million of additional liability protection very economically. Depending on your circumstances, the usual cost of a $1 million personal umbrella policy is between $175 and $225 per year.
Do I really need more insurance?
If I already have liability protection on my auto and home insurance, do I really need an umbrella policy too? Isn’t an umbrella policy only for the wealthy?
Many people believe that only wealthy people need this type of insurance. This is simply not true. The risks are real. The liability coverages on your auto and home policies will protect you against bodily injury and property damage or both, but only up to your policy limit. If you are liable to others, you are responsible for paying any negotiated or court determined damages resulting from your actions. This amount may exceed your policy limits. Your assets and even your future earnings may be at risk. In recent court cases, certain plaintiffs have been awarded damages of several million dollars.
Under Wisconsin law, a “wrongful death” occurs when the death of an innocent person is caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person. The maximum wrongful death award is $350,000 for an adult and $500,000 for a minor child.
Even if you already carry the highest liability limits on your auto and home insurance, you are now exposed to a possible loss that may exceed the liability limits of your policy.
Should I include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in my personal umbrella policy?
The standard personal umbrella insurance policy does not include uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. These are important optional coverages just as it is with your auto insurance policy. They protect the policyholder for bodily injury when another person that is responsible for an accident does not carry adequate auto insurance to pay for your damages. By adding these coverages, they increase the UM/UIM protection provided by your auto policy by the stated limit of the personal umbrella liability policy.
To add this protection, you must carry UM/UIM limits of $250,000/$500,000 on your auto insurance policy. The annual premium charge is based on the number of vehicles insured by your underlying auto insurance policy—typically about $75–$100 per vehicle.
For more information
This brochure explains the basics of a personal umbrella liability policy. For more information, call one of our Member Service Consultants toll-free at 1-800-279-4010.
For questions regarding coverages, please refer to your WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company Family Car or Home Protection Policy.
Benefits of having a personal umbrella policy
Besides the extra liability protection, a personal umbrella policy provides you with other benefits, including:
Defense costs and attorney fees
Your personal umbrella policy will generally provide coverage for legal expenses if a liability claim is brought against you. These costs are paid in addition to your policy limit.
Personal injury protection
A personal umbrella liability policy can also provide you with protection if you face liability for certain acts not usually covered by your home policy, including:
- False arrest
- False imprisonment
- Defamation of character
- Invasion of privacy
- Wrongful eviction
- Out of country*
*Our personal umbrella policy has been broadened to extend coverage in those instances where you may rent or operate an automobile or watercraft outside of the United States. For example, if you want to rent a car or jet ski when you are on vacation in France, you’re covered.
Effective March 2016. Subject to change.