What is a Personal Umbrella Policy…and Why Would You Need or Want One? 

Winter drivingPost written by Marcy Parks, Stockman Insurance Office Manager

One day I was driving to Billings and the roads were slushy and there were patches of ice on the interstate.

While passing a semi truck hauling cars, I thought about just how far my $100,000 property damage limit on my auto policy would go if I were to slide into him and cause an accident.

The answer? Not very far.

I went back to the office and immediately issued myself a personal umbrella policy.

Since then I’ve done the same for my adult children and my mother, and I highly recommend the same to my clients.

What is a Personal Umbrella Policy, and why would you need or want one?

A Personal Umbrella Policy provides higher limits of liability coverage over and above your other policies, such as Homeowners, Auto, Motorcycle, Boat, etc. If an accident happens, once the liability limits of the underlying policy are reached, the umbrella policy kicks in.

None of us want to imagine that we would be the cause of an accident that might hurt someone else or damage their property. We all want to know that if the unimaginable happens, our insurance policy will pay for the damage we cause.

I had a person tell me recently that she has her adult children carry minimum limits of liability because they don’t own anything of value that they could lose in a lawsuit. What about their future earnings?

Just because a person doesn’t have insurance doesn’t mean they aren’t responsible to pay for the damages they cause.

In Montana, the state requires minimum liability limits of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $20,000 for property damage.

Think about how many vehicles are on the road today that cost more than $20,000. Think about the cost of an ambulance ride, emergency room visit, or hospital stay.  How far would $25,000 go?

Take a look at your insurance policies. What are your liability limits? Ask your agent to quote higher limits and a personal umbrella for you. You just might be surprised how affordable the extra coverage is.

To reach a Stockman Insurance agent near you, call our toll-free number 1-866-441-8485. We have offices in Miles City, Conrad, Glendive, Richey, Worden, Great Falls, Billings, Helena, Stanford, and Missoula.

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