Whether you're cruising one of Idaho's wide-open highways or watching late-night TV, it's hard to escape the billboards and commercials featuring personal injury lawyers promising potential clients piles of cash when they use their services to file lawsuits. In today's litigious society, lawsuits are commonplace, and so too are high-dollar payouts to the injured. But what about those who find themselves on the other side of the courtroom -- the accused? Who or what is available to protect them?
Only an umbrella insurance policy can protect your savings and assets from being awarded to an injured party. An independent insurance agent can help you find the umbrella insurance policy that fits your particular situation. But before you search for umbrella insurance quotes, there are several things to consider.
Idaho Lawsuits at a Glance
According to Idaho court records:
- A $1.6 million judgment was awarded to a man who fell down a stairway at a Boise business.
- A woman was awarded nearly $100,000 after she was involved in a car accident. The other driver was a teenage boy.
- The three grown children of a couple who were killed by a drunk driver were awarded a multimillion-dollar judgment against the bar that served the woman alcohol.
What Is Umbrella Insurance?
In cases where significant damages are awarded, those who are sued can benefit greatly from an umbrella insurance policy. Umbrella insurance is a form of liability insurance that will supplement your basic liability policies, such as your auto, home or business insurance. An umbrella liability policy covers a much higher limit and goes above and beyond claims directly relating to your home, business and auto.
The main function of an umbrella policy is to protect your assets from an unforeseen event, such as a tragic accident in which you are found responsible for damages or bodily injuries. If another person files a lawsuit against you, your umbrella coverage will pay for the damages you're legally responsible for up to the policy limit you set.
How Does Umbrella Insurance Work?
Umbrella insurance covers any damages you are required to pay as a result of causing someone injury or death. It also pays for your legal defense, even if in the end you are not found to be responsible. An umbrella policy only kicks in once your basic liability limits have been exceeded or the claim is excluded from your basic liability coverage. The claim will be made against you, the policyholder, on behalf of the wronged party. Then your insurance company may pay the settlement amount up to the limits of your coverage. If the settlement awarded is above your coverage limits, you are responsible for paying the remaining amount out of pocket.
Who Should Carry Umbrella Insurance?
You may be thinking that you do not have very many assets or savings, so why bother with umbrella insurance? That may be precisely why you need it. Remember that any future earnings or assets you may acquire could be subject to garnishment in a potential lawsuit. Others who may want to strongly consider an umbrella insurance policy are those who, whether by professional or personal choice, are at higher risk of facing lawsuits.
Professionals like attorneys, medical practitioners, therapists, and other consultants may want to consider such added liability protection to cover themselves in the event a disgruntled client or patient decides to file suit. Idaho business owners whose companies are open to the public may also want to consider the additional peace of mind an umbrella insurance policy offers to protect themselves from litigious delivery people or the random slip-and-fall lawsuit from customers.
How Much Umbrella Insurance Should I Carry?
Idaho insurance companies offer umbrella policies that generally range from one million to several million dollars in added liability coverage. When choosing your coverage limits, consider this:
- The risks you may face. Determine your risks as a homeowner or business owner, 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.
- The value of your assets. This includes properties, belongings, stocks, bonds, and savings and retirement accounts. The more assets you have to protect, the higher the umbrella policy limit you should consider.
- The potential loss of future income. Because liability lawsuits can result in loss of both current assets and future income, even those with few assets to protect may want to consider the long-term ramifications of a serious claim.
When you examine your future income potential, consider your career track. You don't have many assets now, but if you’re in a high paying career, you could be involved in a lawsuit that may target money you haven’t even earned yet.
What Will My Umbrella Insurance Quote Look Like?
Coverage for an umbrella policy from Idaho insurance providers typically starts in the quote range of $150-$200 for a $1 million policy. Your premium quote will increase if you decide to increase coverage. However, getting twice the amount of coverage and increasing the policy limit to $2 million will not usually double the cost of your premium. Most providers will offer you an additional million dollars in protection for as little as $50 more on your monthly premium quote. At that price for a significant increase in coverage, umbrella insurance is probably far more affordable than you may have thought.
Where Can I Find Umbrella Insurance in Idaho?
When you are facing a lawsuit, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not you will be left with anything once the verdict is in. Knowledgeable independent insurance agents in our network are always available to answer any questions you may have about umbrella insurance, suggest coverage limits, and even help you file a claim should you be sued. Their years of experience working with Idaho insurance providers enables them to find you a number of quotes at the most competitive rates.
Contact an agent in your area to find out how you can protect your assets and future earning potential with an umbrella insurance policy.