In today's litigious society, it may be a wise idea to have umbrella insurance because you don't have to be a millionaire in order to face a lawsuit. In North Dakota, you can't drive down the highway or watch late night TV without seeing advertising from a civil litigation attorney promising to win thousands, if not millions, for you in damages if you use their services. But when you're on the other side of the courtroom, facing a lawsuit, you may have to turn to the protection of an umbrella insurance policy. Before you search for umbrella insurance, however, there are several factors to consider.
North Dakota Lawsuit Facts and Statistics
These are some facts and statistics, according to the Association of Trial Lawyers of America:
- The annual cost to the economy for civil litigation is $233 billion.
- The average compensation payout for an injury lawsuit is $66,000.
- The average award in punitive lawsuits is $50,000.
- Plaintiffs are successful in wining monetary damages in 84% of cases.
- More than 80% of umbrella insurance claims stem from automobile crashes.
What Is Umbrella Insurance?
Umbrella insurance is extra liability insurance that can help support your basic liability policies, such as your auto, home or renters insurance. As most of these basic policies have limits on liability claims, an umbrella policy can help pay for costs that exceed those ceilings.
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 responsible for damage or bodily injuries. When someone files a lawsuit against you, this extra insurance coverage will pay for the damage you're legally responsible for up to the policy limit.
Why Is Umbrella Insurance Important?
While lawsuits against the oil and gas companies make major headlines in ND, hundreds more lawsuits filed against private citizens each year go unmentioned by the media.
Many people assume that if they don't have $1 million to lose, they don't need an umbrella policy. Unfortunately, if someone sues you due to falling down the stairs in your home or due to sustaining injuries that you caused in a car accident, the person could sue you for more than just what you have in the bank. A lawsuit could threaten your future earnings, income and assets as well as your current finances. With many basic liability policies capped at $30,000, just one incident can quickly tap that compensation and leave your personal finances exposed.
What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?
ND insurance companies require specific levels of liability coverage on your auto and home insurance policies before they will approve an umbrella policy, as follows:
- $300,000 per occurrence for personal liability, bodily injury and property damage liability on your homeowners insurance policy
- $250,000 per person for bodily injury and $500,000 per accident on your car insurance policy
- $100,000 per accident for property damage on your car insurance policy
An umbrella policy can help protect you against injuries or property damage that may take place in your home; injuries or property damage resulting from operating your vehicle; libel; and slander. The latter may sound unreal, but lawsuits resulting from social media posts, even those made by teenagers, are becoming more and more common.
Who Should Carry Umbrella Insurance?
Anyone could benefit from an umbrella insurance policy. However, it is especially important for those who are at increased risk of lawsuits such as these individuals:
- Those with long, daily commutes to the office
- Business owners
- Commercial property owners
- Those facing professional liability concerns
- Public figures
The amount of umbrella insurance you should carry depends on the number of risks you face. It's a good idea to speak with a qualified insurance agent who can help identify your risks, suggest ways in which you can mitigate them and help you find an appropriate umbrella insurance policy to cover those risks.
How Much Does Umbrella Insurance Cost?
The quotes and rates you will see for umbrella insurance can vary significantly depending on which North Dakota provider is calculating the premiums. That's why it is important to shop around and compare quotes from different insurance companies.
Many people are surprised, however, to find how affordable an excess liability umbrella insurance policy can be. You could find $1 million in additional coverage for as little as $200 a year. That is an incredibly low price for the peace of mind and protection it offers. Also keep in mind that doubling your coverage by obtaining a $2 million umbrella policy may not double your premium quotes. Many North Dakota insurance providers offer umbrella policies in $1 million increments. Some of those policies can exceed $10 million in coverage.
Where To Find Umbrella Insurance
You have probably worked hard to build your savings and assets. So, you should get the protection of an umbrella insurance policy that allows you to keep what you've earned when the unthinkable happens. Knowledgeable, independent agents in the Trusted Choice® network are always available to help assess your risks, suggest coverage limits and even assist you in filing a claim on your umbrella insurance policy.
Contact a Trusted Choice member agent near you for the best umbrella insurance coverage available based on your budget and needs.