In today's litigious society, news reports are filled with coverage of high-dollar lawsuits. Late night TV and billboards that line Delaware's roadways are filled with smiling attorneys, promising their clients millions in settlements and judgments, if only you file suit with their firm. While civil cases are important to ensure those injured or damaged by others receive the compensation they're owed, if you find yourself on the other side of a lawsuit, you need protection as well. Only a comprehensive umbrella insurance policy protects your finances from being raided due to a lawsuit.
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Before you search for umbrella insurance policy quotes, however, there are several things to consider.
How Delaware Handles Civil Lawsuits
The following cases were tried, and won, by just one Delaware law firm:
- $13 million verdict in Bailey v. Beebe Hospital, a nursing home negligence trial
- $5 million recovery in Crowhorn v. Nationwide, an auto insurance dispute
- $4.9 million recovery in Trujillo v. Lee, a workplace accident settlement
- $2.8 million verdict in Gates v. Texaco, a chemical exposure case
- $2.4 million verdict in Caldwell v. White, a medical malpractice case
Only an umbrella insurance policy would have protected those found liable in these cases.
If I'm Not Wealthy, Why Should I Worry?
Lawsuit judgments need not be in the multi-million dollar range to be devastating. Even a relatively "small" win in civil court could set your bank account significantly back. According to the Association of Trial Lawyers of America:
- The average compensation payout for injury lawsuits is $60,000.
- The average award in punitive damage lawsuits is $50,000.
- Nearly 85 percent of successful plaintiffs win monetary damages.
Even if you are not independently wealthy, one car accident or one slip-and-fall on your property, and you could face a lawsuit that could clean out your savings.
What Is Umbrella Insurance?
Umbrella insurance is a form of liability insurance that will supplement your basic liability policies, such as your auto, home or renters insurance. An umbrella liability policy covers a much higher limit and goes above and beyond claims directly relating to your home and auto.
The main purpose of an umbrella policy is to protect your assets from an unforeseen event, such as an accident in which you are held responsible for damages or bodily injuries. If another party files a lawsuit against you in Delaware civil court, your umbrella coverage will pay for the damages you're legally responsible for, up to the policy limit you set.
What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?
An umbrella policy provides additional coverage or excess liability above the limits of your basic insurance policies. It can protect you from major costs stemming from bodily injury liability claims and property damage liability claims. Most Delaware insurance companies offer umbrella policies that also provide a broader form of coverage and can help cover:
- Legal fees
- False arrest
- Libel (written defamation of character)
- Slander (spoken defamation of character)
For example, say your teen son or daughter is found making disparaging remarks about a classmate online. More and more civil cases are being brought in front of Delaware judges as a result of cyber bullying and libel. If the parents of the student decide to sue you, an umbrella insurance policy may protect your assets.
How Much Umbrella Insurance Do I Need?
It's impossible to predict the future, but you should consider the following when looking at various umbrella insurance policies:
- Your risk. Consider risks as a homeowner or renter, the risk of causing an accident during your work commute, and any potentially dangerous activities you participate in that could put those around you at risk.
- Your assets. These include any Delaware property, possessions, stocks, bonds, savings and retirement funds. The more assets you have to protect, the higher the umbrella policy limit you should consider.
- The potential loss of future income. Liability lawsuits can result in the loss of both current assets and future income. Even those with few assets to protect may want to consider the long-term consequences of a serious claim.
What Will My Umbrella Insurance Quote Look Like?
Quotes for an umbrella policy from Delaware insurance providers usually start in the rage of $150-$200 for a $1 million policy. Your quote will increase if you decide to set a higher limit. However, doubling the amount of coverage and increasing the policy limit to $2 million will not usually double the cost of your quote.
How Can I Find Umbrella Insurance?
The added protection of an umbrella insurance policy could mean the difference between a slight annoyance of a civil suit and total financial meltdown. Don't let one litigious neighbor destroy your dreams of financial security. Knowledgeable, independent agents on the Trusted Choice network are always here to help answer any questions you may have about your umbrella insurance policy, suggest coverage options, and even help you file a claim. Their years of experience working with Delaware insurance providers enables them to find a number of quotes from a variety of companies, ensuring you only receive the most competitive rates.
Contact an agent in your area to find out how you can be better protected with the added coverage and peace of mind offered by an umbrella insurance policy.