Why is a Personal Umbrella Policy Important?

A Personal Umbrella Policy is a necessary addition to insurance protection for most insureds.  Are you aware of the importance of this valuable coverage? One of the best ways to understand the need for a personal umbrella is to review actual claims examples. It is very clear that an incident arising from just normal daily activities can expose all of us to the potential for a large claims suit.

With the help of our friends at RLI, we’ll take a look at some very real situations where Personal Umbrella policies came into play.umbrella policy

Claim Scenario #1

The Insured’s 18 year old son was driving the Insured’s car on a short trip to the store with his girlfriend, the Claimant.  The car left the roadway and struck a tree.  The Insured’s son told the police that a vehicle cut him off, but there were no witnesses and no evidence of any impact with another car.  The Claimant has no recollection of the accident.

The Claimant, a 19 year old college student, was hospitalized for over a month with multiple fractures and internal injuries.  She was in a wheelchair but is now able to walk with crutches and continues with physical therapy.  She has a right drop foot as a result of the injuries.  The Insured’s personal umbrella policy limit was paid.

Claim Scenario #2

Claimant, age 2, was on the Insureds’ property with his grandparents who were there to care for 2 horses owned by the Insureds.  The Insureds were out of town on vacation.  The Claimant was kicked by one of the horses, taken to the emergency room, and then life flighted to a larger hospital.

The Claimant was given a 5% chance of survival and underwent surgery for a cracked skull (a piece of which was missing) with 30% damage to the right side of his brain.  He survived and is residing in a neighboring state at a rehabilitation center. A large payment was made under the personal umbrella policy.

Claim Scenario #3

The Insured hosted a party at his home.  Among the guests was the Claimant, a family friend who was also the Insured’s financial advisor.  The Claimant brought his wife, infant, and 2 year old child to the party.

The Insured gave the Claimant a jug of spring water for him to use to mix formula for the infant.  The 2 year old child also had a drink.

Shortly thereafter, the children became ill. The family left the party, and then took the children to the hospital.  The hospital requested the water jug which was found to contain arsenic.  An old label was found wrapped around the handle with the word “weed killer” printed on it.  The Insured had apparently mixed a solution of weed killer in a jug similar to the ones used for spring water and mistakenly given it to the Claimant.

The infant died and the 2 year child survived after being in critical condition.  The Personal Umbrella policy limits were paid out.