When it rains, it pours and no storm is quite as terrifying as a lawsuit. Hundreds of litigation proceedings take place in Arkansas courtrooms every year. While it's important for those who have been wronged or injured to be compensated for their losses, those who find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit need protection as well. An umbrella insurance policy provides that extra layer of protection.
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Before you search for umbrella insurance quotes, however, there are several factors to consider.
Prominent Ligitation in Arkansas
The following lawsuit awards have been issued in AR litigation proceedings:
- In 2006 a jury returned a $6.5 million verdict in a civil suit against private contractor The Shaw Group after a 21-year-old Army private in basic training was electrocuted after coming in contact with a metal latrine.
- The family of Matt Johnson won a $3.65 million award resulting from his electrocution on a billboard in 2005.
- In 2012, Josh Sanford and others secured a $32,000 settlement for a Sharp County, Arkansas bar manager who had been misclassified by her employer as "exempt" from the overtime requirements of the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act.
- In 2009, a jury returned a judgment in excess of $6.9 million for a corporate client in the Circuit Court of Pope County, Arkansas. A complex case with multiple defendants, the claims included multiple counts of breach of contract; breach of duty of good faith; breach of fiduciary duty; tortious interference with business contract and business expectancy; fraud; conversion; trespass to personal property; misappropriation; unjust enrichment; and civil conspiracy.
- In October 2006, attorneys were successful in obtaining a $9.8 million judgment on behalf of El Dorado Chemical Company against Ingersoll-Rand for losses related to a fire at a chemical manufacturing facility.
What Is Umbrella Insurance?
Umbrella insurance is extra liability insurance that will supplement your basic liability policies, such as your auto, home or business insurance. An umbrella liability policy provides extra insurance that covers a much higher limit and goes above and beyond claims directly relating to your home and auto.
The main purpose of your umbrella policy is to protect your assets from an unforeseen event, such as a tragic accident in which you are held responsible for damages or bodily injuries. If another party files a lawsuit against you, your umbrella coverage will pay for the damages you're legally responsible for up to the policy limit.
Why Is Umbrella Insurance Important?
In today's litigious society, it's not unusual to find yourself the subject of a lawsuit. Awards in the hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of dollars are not uncommon. Considering that more than 80 percent of all umbrella claims stem from automobile accidents, anyone could benefit from the extra insurance coverage provided by an umbrella insurance policy.
Not only are your current savings and assets at risk for seizure should you be found responsible for the injury or damages to another person, but any future income you may receive or assets you may acquire down the road could be part of an award as well. An umbrella insurance policy can be the only way you could avoid losing everything in the courtroom.
What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?
Umbrella insurance can protect you from:
- Bodily injury liability claims
- Property damage liability claims
- Legal fees
- False arrest
For professionals and business owners, an umbrella insurance policy can protect you from:
- Product liability claims
- Professional liability claims, such as malpractice or consulting errors
- Lawsuits stemming from the actions of your employees
Who Should Carry Umbrella Insurance?
While you may be thinking, "I don't have millions to lose, what's the point of umbrella insurance?" such policies are even more important for those with moderate incomes. Lawsuit judgements do not take ability to pay into consideration. A single car accident could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees and lawsuit awards.
Some people are at greater risk of lawsuit, however, and the extra insurance protection provided by an umbrella insurance policy could greatly benefit them:
- Business owners
- Professional consultants
- Service sector companies
It's strongly recommended that you discuss your risks with a qualified insurance agent to determine the level of umbrella insurance that would fit your needs.
Is Umbrella Insurance Expensive?
For the extra liability protection that umbrella insurance offers, you may find it surprisingly affordable.
The average quote from insurance providers for a $1 million umbrella insurance policy is $200 annually -- a relatively low price for the peace of mind and security it provides.
Most insurance companies offer umbrella policies in $1 million dollar increments, and some offer plans in $5 million and even $10 million increments. It is also worth pointing out that doubling the policy limit to $2 million will not usually double the premium quote.
Where Can I Find Umbrella Insurance?
The last thing you want to worry about as you face a lawsuit is whether or not you can afford your legal fees or if you will have anything left when the verdict comes back. The peace of mind that an umbrella insurance policy provides allows you to stay focused on moving forward.
Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents on the Trusted Choice® network are always available to answer your questions, suggest coverage limits for your umbrella policy, and even assist you in filing a claim. These agents have years of experience working with Arkansas insurance providers, enabling them to find you a number of quotes from a variety of companies, ensuring you only receive the quotes with the best coverage options at the most affordable rates. Contact a Trusted Choice member agent near you to find out how you can obtain an umbrella insurance policy that meets your needs and budget.