Should You Have Umbrella Insurance?

Have you considered adding an umbrella insurance policy to your current insurance coverage? Today, lawsuits are everywhere. In instances of severe losses, whether it is a serious car accident or a damaging dog bite, lawyers are pursuing settlements larger than ever before. Your primary policies have a limit on liability insurance. If a severe loss occurs and your policy liability limit is exhausted, your assets would be next in line in terms of paying off a large settlement. Umbrella insurance was designed specifically to further protect those assets. After all, you don’t need to be a millionaire to be sued like one.

Umbrella insurance is referred to as “peace of mind” coverage. If a covered loss were to exhaust your policy liability limit, the umbrella policy would provide an additional $1 million in coverage (higher limits are available). Factors that increase your liability risk include items like recreational vehicles, a second home, or a business rental property. It’s likely that most families don’t have a second home, or a recreational vehicle to toy around on. However, most of us are exposed to common risks such as dogs (60 percent of families own a dog), guns, or what about those parties that often happen when parents are away from home? Do you have a young driver in the household? A recent study done by AT&T found that 97 percent of teens say it is dangerous to text and drive, yet 43 percent of them do it anyway. Would your current liability limit be enough to cover you if you or a young driver accidently hurt or even killed another driver while texting and driving?

The good news about adding an umbrella insurance policy is that the cost of doing so is inexpensive. A typical starting rate for a personal liability $1 million umbrella is approximately $125 for the year. The policy then blankets your home, auto, and any other liability exposures. You’ve worked hard to accumulate your assets; don’t let one accident take them away. Call us today if you have any questions about umbrella insurance and what it would cost to add one to your policy!

Texting and Driving

The technology that we have available on our smartphones continues to evolve and further stresses the demand to constantly be connected in the technological world. We have the ability to check our e-mail, send a text message, and update or browse our social media channels all with a few taps from our fingertips. While our smartphones increase the efficiency of how we communicate, these powerful devices also tempt us to use them in times that we should probably set them aside. Unfortunately, one of the most common circumstances that these devices are misused is while driving.

AT&T has been stressing a program referred to as, “Texting & Driving…It Can Wait”. You may have seen some of their advertisements depicting stories about “The Last Text”. In many instances, these stories involve a young driver sending a text behind the wheel and the result of that text being the end of their life. Some of the texts are a simple phrase like “on my way”, a text that is certainly not worth risking a life over. Imagine this, take out your phone and read aloud the last text you sent or received. Would reading or replying to that message from behind the wheel be worth the risk of a car accident or taking your or another’s life?

Most of us have seen someone texting behind the wheel. I was traveling home from the Northwood’s recently and even saw a motorcyclist sending a message while riding at a conservative 70mph. Drivers that take that risk while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash.  AT&T’s research found that 97% of teens know that texting and driving is dangerous, yet 43% of them still do it. If you have a young driver or if you would like to learn more about the dangers of texting and driving, watch AT&T’s “Last Text” documentary. The lives of the participants in this documentary were drastically changed in a matter of seconds because of a senseless text message.