If the liability limits are exhausted on your home, auto, or other underlying insurance policy, your umbrella insurance policy takes over and provides you with additional protection. The cost is minimal compared to the comfort of knowing you’re covered.
Umbrella insurance is the most valuable coverage you’ve probably never heard of. Yet it’s highly likely you need it. And it isn’t just for high earners. It’s for everyone, especially if you:
- Own a car
- Have regular income, assets, or retirement savings to protect
- Have children, especially a teenage driver
- Use social media or allow your children to use social media
- Have pets
- Own a home
- Host parties or entertain guests in your home
- Carpool or host other people’s children at your house
- Serve on a board or perform volunteer service
- Travel abroad
- Own a watercraft, ATV, snowmobile, golf cart, motorhome, or other recreational vehicle
- Rent a boat, snowmobile, ATV or other recreational vehicle while on vacation
- Own rental properties
And these are just some of the reasons umbrella insurance is must-have protection.
Life is unpredictable
Consider these common scenarios. You’re driving a couple of children after a soccer game and have an accident that injures one of your guest passengers. Or your overly friendly dog frightens an elderly neighbor causing them to fall and break a hip. Or your teenager posts something offensive or potentially libelous online or in social media. Did you know you could be held liable for all these incidents, even if you didn’t do anything wrong personally?
These types of situations are why you have liability coverage on your homeowners, auto, and other insurance policies.
How much coverage is enough?
Having $500,000 of liability coverage sounds like a lot of protection, but when you think about the high cost of emergency care, surgical bills, post-surgery care, rehab, pain and suffering, lost income, and more the costs can rise rapidly. Multiply that by several individuals and it’s easy to exceed $500,000. You’ve likely seen in the news significant lawsuits in the millions of dollars being awarded by juries across the U.S. That’s why having quality liability coverage is so important.
What happens if you’re involved in an auto accident and we determine that it’s a covered claim under your auto policy with us and the overall damages exceed the amount of coverage your policy provides? It depends upon your state, but your home, checking and savings accounts, investment accounts, and income can be seized or garnished to pay the difference.
Extra layer of protection
A personal umbrella policy would kick in where damages for covered claims could exceed the underlying policy limits. It’s also a critical part of your overall risk management plan because it provides an additional layer of protection when you need it.
Without an umbrella policy, your assets, savings, and even future income could be in danger because you could be required to pay all costs over your policy’s liability limit. And umbrella covers much more than just auto accidents. That’s why it’s essential in helping protect your family. It’s also affordable. Quality coverage costs as little as a dollar a day. And the peace of mind is priceless.
Umbrella Insurance Coverage
An Umbrella Insurance policy protects you and your family anywhere in the world. Umbrella insurance is available in $1 million increments up to $5 million. We offer up to $10 million dollars in select states.
Why Your Family Needs an Umbrella Policy
Liability comes in many forms. If you’re held legally responsible, or even partially responsible, for an accident this may include having to pay damages beyond what your home and auto policies cover. And even if you can’t afford to pay, you’re still on the hook and can have your wages garnished. Don’t put your financial security at risk by being underinsured — especially since umbrella coverage is so affordable. Talk with your FirstMark agent about how umbrella insurance can help protect your home, cars, property, assets, investments, and even future income.
Umbrella Coverage Options
Umbrella coverage is an inexpensive hedge against a wide variety of liabilities including possible gaps in coverage. Umbrella policies can provide additional coverage for:
- Bodily injury and property damage in an accident that exceeds your auto liability limits.
- Bodily injury resulting from an accident on your property that exceeds your homeowners liability limits.
- Lawsuits and legal costs even if the suit is frivolous.
- Lawsuits relating to invasion of privacy, libel, slander, defamation of character, and other damages.
- Unforeseen situations such as an auto accident in another country.
- Claims arising from use of your boat, ATV, motorcycle, snowmobile, or other insured specialty vehicle, or rental of such vehicles while on vacation.
- Negligent supervision of a child or personal defense coverage.
- And more!
Your umbrella policy also provides the following benefits:
An Extra Layer of Liability Protection
To purchase FirstMark umbrella insurance, your personally owned vehicles must be insured with FirstMark with limits of $250,000/$500,000/$100,000 or higher. Your personal liability coverage, provided by your homeowners or renters policy, must be $300,000 or higher. Other assets, such as rental properties, watercraft, ATVs, or motorcycles also have underlying insurance requirements.
Protection Wherever You Go
An umbrella policy may also provide primary coverage for situations in which none of your other policies would provide coverage. For example, imagine you rent a boat or ATV while on vacation and have an accident with it. Unless you currently own a boat, you likely have no liability protection in this situation. With a FirstMark umbrella policy, however, you could have the full $1 million of protection.
Many homeowners policies no longer provide coverage for personal injury, which includes things like slander and libel. In today’s social media environment, it’s possible to be involved in a lawsuit for leaving a bad review of a business or even sharing gossip online. Your FirstMark umbrella may be able to provide coverage here, too.
An umbrella policy also covers you, your spouse, and all family members living in your household wherever you go, anywhere in the world. So while your auto policy may not cover you while driving outside of the U.S., your umbrella policy will. This gives you greater peace of mind and more freedom to travel.
Payment of Attorney Fees
Whether you win or lose a lawsuit, legal defense fees incurred in defense of an umbrella claim are paid outside your limit of liability. That means you retain your full limit of coverage to settle any claims. A good attorney starts at $250 an hour, but you can get umbrella insurance for as little as a dollar per day. That makes this protection alone well worth the cost of umbrella coverage.
Additional Coverage Options
Excess Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Select States
It is estimated that one in eight drivers carry no auto insurance at all. And many drivers that are insured only carry your state’s minimum required insurance, which can be as little as $10,000 per person and $20,000 total per accident.
If you or a family member are seriously injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, the medical bills can really add up! While your health insurance may pay for some of your medical bills, it won’t cover lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of income and earning potential, and more. This is why having uninsured motorist (UM) and/or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage on your auto policy is so important.
What if you don’t have enough coverage on your auto policy? In many states, FirstMark offers excess uninsured motorist coverage, which gives an extra $1 million of protection in case you, or a family member, are seriously injured in an auto accident. Please note this coverage is not available in all U.S. states, so talk with your FirstMark agent about UM/UIM coverage options in your area.
Other coverage options
FirstMark also provides protection for certain in-home businesses, some personal trusts, incidental farming, and family LLCs. Coverage options vary by state, so check with your FirstMark agent for details.
Umbrella Insurance Discounts & Savings
Qualify for a lower Homeowners Insurance rate in most states when you also have an Umbrella Insurance policy with FirstMark.
What is umbrella insurance?
To answer this question, let’s start with a scenario. Picture this: You’re driving on a rainy night when traffic stops abruptly ahead of you. Because of the conditions, you can’t stop fast enough and rear-end the car in front of you, seriously injuring the two occupants. The total cost of their medical care, including emergency transport to the hospital, rehabilitation, and in-home nursing care, is $720,000. Your auto policy pays $500,000 and repairs their vehicle, but that leaves $220,000 in unpaid bills for which you are legally responsible.
This is where umbrella insurance kicks in. A FirstMark umbrella policy provides an additional layer of protection when you don’t have enough primary insurance coverage. Without an umbrella policy, your savings and future income could be in danger. But, in this scenario, your umbrella policy will pay the $220,000 in outstanding bills, plus associated legal costs as well.
A FirstMark umbrella policy can be used with any other FirstMark policies you have, along with most policies purchased from other insurance companies. This includes policies covering your boat, motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile, or other toys.
What is a common scenario in which I’d need umbrella insurance?
There are countless such scenarios, but here are several common ones to consider:
- Your dog bites a neighbor’s child.
- You are threatened with a lawsuit for something you or your child posted online or in social media.
- A fire starts in your condo and spreads to and damages neighboring units.
- While driving, you or a family member strike and severely injure or kill a pedestrian.
If any of these things happen to you, there’s a good chance your current liability limits wouldn’t be adequate to protect your assets or even your future earnings. With umbrella insurance, you’re protected. Without it, you’re responsible for all damages above your liability limits, which could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
How much coverage do I need?
The amount of coverage you need depends on many factors including your financial assets, current income, lifestyle, and existing coverage, to name a few. Just remember that in liability lawsuits, a judgment could exceed your net worth, so talk with your local independent agent for advice on the amount of coverage that’s right for you.
What’s the difference between an umbrella policy and excess liability?
The quick answer is a true umbrella policy provides much better coverage than an excess policy. Here’s why: Excess liability policies provide coverage in addition to your existing policies, but they don’t provide any coverage if there is no underlying insurance. As an example, if you rent a boat on vacation (and you don’t own a boat, so have no boat insurance) neither your home nor your auto policy will protect you, so your excess liability policy wouldn’t protect you, either. A true umbrella policy, like the kind FirstMark provides, would give you liability coverage if someone were injured.
How much will my umbrella policy cost?
Each policy is different, so it depends on your needs. To start, umbrella policies have a standard cost for you and your household family members, the family home, and one automobile. Other exposures, such as additional cars, rental properties, boats, motorcycles, ATVs, and other assets, add to the premium since they are also covered by the policy.
In general, the higher the underlying liability coverage, the less expensive the umbrella policy will be. For example, increasing your auto liability from $250,000/$500,000 to $500,000 combined single limits can significantly reduce your umbrella premium.
Can I just get an umbrella policy with FirstMark?
Not exactly. To qualify for an umbrella insurance, you must also carry auto insurance. In general, other policies, like your homeowners insurance, motorcycle, watercraft, ATV, and rental policies may be insured with another carrier. All policies have required insurance limits, so talk with an agent for more information about adding the extra protection of umbrella insurance. They can offer you a quote in just minutes.
What does ‘household family member’ mean when it comes to umbrella coverage?
A household family member includes you and your spouse or domestic partner plus any members of your family who also live in the household. College students who live away from home, but who are supported by the family, are also considered household family members. Roommates, friends, or other guests who live in your home are not covered by your umbrella policy.
Are criminal charges covered by an umbrella policy?
An umbrella policy provides open perils coverage, which means it will cover causes of loss that aren’t specifically excluded. This includes providing legal defense coverage when the underlying cause of loss is one that would be covered by the umbrella.
Many criminal offenses, like murder, extortion, or rape, would not be covered by the umbrella, so legal defense coverage would not apply. If you think you have a claim that may be covered by the umbrella, report the claim by calling 1-206-462-3293 and we will evaluate it for coverage.