Worry Less When You Get Extra Protection From Cushman Insurance Group
It’s a surprisingly clear winter day - in terms of weather and the traffic - as you make your daily commute into Boston. The radio is on your favorite station, your cup of Dunks is beside you, and you’re thinking that you just may be early for work today. Your mind begins to drift to that pile of work on your desk that needs your attention…When out of nowhere the car in front of you slams on their brakes!
You, in turn, slam on your brakes as hard as you can and do your best to swerve into the breakdown lane, but your reaction time is just a moment too slow - you get a sharp jolt backward as the front of your car crunches into the rear end of the car in front of you. Forget about getting into work on time today, if at all.
If you are a driver who regularly uses any of the major routes in Southeastern Massachusetts, then you understand that vehicular crashes like these happen every day and can cause a lot of damage and injuries. In addition, if you’ve been through one of these situations yourself, you probably experienced how your standard auto insurance policy goes to work for you, covering the cost of repairs to your car (minus deductible of course) and any expenses related to injuries that you may have suffered. Plus, depending on how comprehensive your policy is, it may have also covered minor injuries suffered by the driver or passengers in the car that you hit.
But, what if the accident was more serious and the driver along with one or more of their passengers had to miss work for months with persistent back pain or other trauma that required surgery and physical therapy? Then, what if they decided to sue you for these injuries, their lost wages, the emotional distress of being rear-ended, and more? Are you certain your auto insurance would be enough to cover medical and rehab expenses, legal costs and any judgments against you?
As your local insurance agent, it is Cushman Insurance Group’s job to ask these tough questions and to help you uncover whether your current auto insurance would sufficiently safeguard you.
If you were sued and there was a judgment or settlement against you, your auto insurance [L1] liability coverage would cover you only to the extent of your policy limit. For example, if that limit were $250,000, and you were sued and found liable for $500,000, then you would be responsible for paying the remaining $250K out of your own pocket; which is why Cushman recommends that all our clients get an extra level of protection, like a personal umbrella insurance policy.
An umbrella policy also steps up when you have an unexpected injury or event happen at your home. Imagine you and your dog are playing a game of fetch in your front yard when your elderly neighbor walks by. She tentatively waves to you, which, of course, Fido misreads as a sign she wants him to say hello. Before you can grab hold of his collar, he sprints over to her, jumps to give her a big wet kiss, and then down she goes. Unfortunately, as sweet and understanding as she is, she is also clearly in pain. You call 911, and an ambulance arrives shortly to take her to the hospital where she finds out she’s broken her hip and is going to need surgery, followed by weeks of rehab. In addition, she is going to require at-home visits from an occupational therapist and overnight help when she finally moves home. Fido made a big mess, unintentionally of course, and you’re going to have to pay for all of it!
Just as we asked in the auto accident scenario above, we want to know if you think your home insurance policy has enough liability coverage to pay for your legal fees and your neighbor’s medical expenses?
A personal umbrella policy is an affordable way (policies cost as little as a couple hundred dollars a year for your first million in coverage) to protect you and your immediate family against additional expenses you incur due to legal fees, medical bills, settlements and more. This type of liability coverage fills in the gap that is left when you have hit the policy limits of your auto or home insurance. Umbrella insurance acts like a safety net and can be the difference between you losing or keeping your home, your car and much of your future earnings.
How Cushman evaluates your personal umbrella insurance coverage needs
Umbrella policy coverage options range from $1 million to $5 million, so it’s beneficial to work with a knowledgeable professional like Cushman Insurance to help you determine what level of coverage is right for you, your level of risk, and your budget. To evaluate your coverage needs, we will start by asking you a series of questions that will give us insight into your lifestyle and the risks that may come with it, including:
What does your commute to work look like?
Do you have teen drivers or kids involved in sports?
Do you own a dog?
Do you have a trampoline, swimming pool, or hot tub at your home?
Do you like to host large parties?
Are you a well-known public figure?
Do you own a motorcycle, boat, or other recreational vehicles?
Have you accumulated lots of assets?
Do you own rental property?
Does anyone other than you drive your car, such as a grandparent or nanny?
Once we know the answers to these questions and a few others, we will be better prepared to determine how much coverage is right for you to compliment your auto insurance or homeowners insurance policies. However, it’s not only drivers and homeowners who could use this extra level of protection. A personal umbrella policy is just as valuable for renters or small business owners to consider as well.
If you rent an apartment, you are responsible for what goes on inside your unit or, if you lease a home, you are actually accountable for what happens anywhere on the property. Here’s one more example to illustrate the power of an umbrella policy. Let’s say you rent a bouncy house for your four-year-old’s birthday party, which you are hosting in the backyard of the home you rent. All the kids are having a blast jumping around inside when your neighbor’s child gets jumped on by mistake and breaks his leg. The onus is likely on you to cover the cost of medical attention and other injury-related expenses.
Just like your auto and home policies, your renters insurance policy (which we sure hope you already have in place) will only cover you up to the limits of your bodily injury protection. This is where having a personal umbrella policy would once again benefit you. This valuable policy will kick in and safeguard your assets if your neighbor decides to sue you for their child’s medical expenses.
When you work with a local insurance agent like Cushman, you get a partner who will talk you through worst-case scenarios, like the ones mentioned above, that can happen to you as a driver, homeowner, or renter. We will also help you prepare you for these unexpected events and make sure that you have the proper liability coverage in place, including personal umbrella insurance, to protect your family and your assets.
If you are ready to partner with a local insurance agent, so you can worry less and live more, then please contact us today at 508-586-5310. A member of our team will gladly take the time to get to know you and better understand your insurance needs.