Rogers Insurance Services, Inc Blog
What you’ll discover in this report:
If insurance is for a rainy day, umbrella insurance is for a storm! A day when someone hits you with a lawsuit for hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars.
Think it can’t happen to you? Do you know how lawsuit-crazy this country is?
You can’t pick up a newspaper these days without reading about somebody suing somebody else for . . . what? You read the article and say, “That’s crazy. There’s no way somebody should be able to sue for that.”
Well, guess what? The courts are clogged with these “crazy” lawsuits, and sometimes the person bringing the lawsuit wins. Do you really need coverage for these crazy lawsuits? Maybe not.
But remember that a lot of lawsuits aren’t crazy at all. Some get settled. Actually, most get settled. Often, the person being sued winds up paying something to the person who brought the lawsuit. And that doesn’t even include the fees the defendant in the lawsuit has to pay to his or her attorney.
Example: Say you’re at fault in an auto accident that causes serious injuries to the driver and/or passenger(s) in the car you hit. Your auto insurance has liability limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. (Which are pretty common limits, by the way, even for people with a lot of assets.)
How far do you think $100,000 will go, particularly if the person or persons involved suffer injuries that keep he/she/them from working for months, even years? The accident victim(s) could sue you for his/her/their medical bills, lost income, even pain and suffering. In this scenario, $100,000 is not nearly enough coverage.
Guess what happens if, say, you are hit with a judgment in the case of $250,000 for one person involved in the accident? Your auto liability insurance will cover the first $100,000 -- and you’re stuck for the rest. And that doesn’t even include the legal fees you have to pay to your attorney. In addition, in some cases, you might have to pay all or part of the legal fees the other party or parties incur. Ouch.
Umbrella insurance is for these very rainy days. While it may seem unnecessary, it really isn’t, particularly for people with homes and other significant assets to protect. Do you really want to hand over your house and/or gains in the stock market to someone you injure in an auto accident? It could happen. But it doesn’t have to.
1. Flood Insurance is only for high risk areas
Flood maps change. Just because you weren’t on a flood plain when you bought your home, does not mean you are not in one now. New construction and urban developments can increase the chance of flooding. As land is converted into roads and parking lots, it loses its ability to absorb rainfall and water can begin moving down streets and into basements (weather.gov).
Low risk doesn’t mean there is no risk. People outside of high-risk flood zones file more than 20% of all NFIP claims and receive one-third of federal disaster assistance for flooding (FEMA). Flooding can occur anywhere. In fact, it is the number one natural disaster in the United States.
2. My Homeowner’s Policy covers flood
When it comes to homeowners insurance, not all water damage is the same. Think about water damage from the top down versus from the bottom up.
Top down may be covered by homeowners:
If your roof if damaged in a storm causing water to come in that would most likely be covered under your homeowners insurance.
Bottom up may not be covered:
If a riverbank overflows onto your street, you most likely would not be covered
3. I only need Flood Insurance if my mortgage company requires it
4. If my property has flooded in the past, I can’t get coverage now
People tend to associate floods with a total loss, but the average flood claim for U.S. homeowners is about $39,000, according to the flood insurance program (bankrate.com).
Tell your customers: you can purchase flood insurance at any time, as long as your community participates in the NFIP. However, there is usually a 30-day waiting period after the premium payment before the policy becomes effective.
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