Personal Umbrella Policies… Should You Bother?


In today’s economy, everyone is watching their household budgets. So why worry about umbrella coverage? Shouldn’t a home and auto policy leave you adequately covered?

Unfortunately, we live in a world of lawsuits. Large damages are being awarded and this can have long-term financial impact. Those lawsuits can come from unlikely sources, such as our furry friends.

Take Ernie for instance. Ernie is a much-loved, rather timid labradoodle who enjoys taking naps on the driveway while his owner mows the lawn.

Ernie watched from eight feet away as his neighbor, a 39 year old man, showed off his rollerblading skills to his kids. The man wiped out on the sidewalk in front of Ernie’s house and broke his leg. He required surgery, costing around $35,000 in medical costs and $18,000 in lost wages.

Fair or not, the man brought a lawsuit against Ernie’s owner, suing for $220,000 in damages. He alleged that Ernie had caused the accident by getting in his way, despite multiple witnesses to the contrary.

Ernie’s owner was lucky–a jury vindicated Ernie. However, lawsuits such as these can easily exceed the liability limits on a homeowner’s policy, leaving the insured responsible for the remainder. An umbrella policy would prevent that, giving you an extra $1 million to $10 million in excess liability coverage depending on the limit you choose.

Your furry friends can put your assets at risk in other ways as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, with half of those occurring on the owner’s property. Dog bites, according to the Insurance Information Institute, account for about a third of all homeowner’s insurance claims, which only cover limited damages.

Protect what you love. For more information about Personal Umbrella, please watch this video or call us at Watkins Insurance Group to talk about your options. We’re here to help! (512) 452-8877.

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