As 2018 comes to a close, many people are thinking about the New Year and the resolutions they plan to make. Others don’t necessarily make resolutions but rather map out the goals they want to accomplish. Regardless of the verbiage people use, items people focus on in the New Year typically include health, fitness, family and their work. Rarely does insurance tie into anyone’s resolutions or goals.
But, maybe it should. Or, at least the resolution or goal to review what you have and adjust accordingly.
The end of one year, the beginning of another or before your renewal date is a great time to sit down with your insurance agent and do an annual review. If your agent doesn’t offer this to you, it’s something you can easily request.
I like to do annual reviews with my clients for a number of reasons. For example, it gives us an opportunity to:
For my clients that do not already have one, I also take this opportunity to introduce and discuss the benefits of an umbrella policy, as it provides an extra layer of coverage that goes beyond home, auto, recreational vehicles or your business.
An umbrella policy protects those who might be at risk for being sued for damages to other people’s property or injuries caused by an accident. In addition, it protects against vandalism, slander and invasion of privacy.
While anyone really can benefit from an umbrella policy, those who are active drivers, dog owners, own recreational vehicles and people who have a swimming pool and/or a trampoline in the backyard should definitely consider one.
For instance, if a guest in your home gets injured playing on your trampoline, or gets bitten by the family dog, and that guest sues, the umbrella policy will kick in if damages exceed the limit on your insurance.
Same thing if you are involved in an automobile accident with another driver and that driver suffers extensive injuries. For example, let’s say a driver skids on an icy street and can’t stop at a stop sign. As a result, the driver slams into another car in the intersection and the driver of that car is injured and taken to a hospital in an ambulance.
Now, let’s say the medical costs for the other driver is close to $500,000. The driver at fault – the one who couldn’t stop on the ice – may be liable for the expenses that go beyond what his or her underlying limit of insurance covers. The umbrella policy will cover the additional liability costs beyond the limits of the auto insurance.
In another scenario, let’s suppose you are on the other side of this situation and someone slams their car into yours. Your injuries result in a long hospital stay and months of physical therapy, and the driver who hit you has no insurance. In this case, you would rely on Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM).
UM/UIM is coverage that pays for your medical expenses caused by the owner or operator of an uninsured or underinsured vehicle. This is important because, according to the Insurance Research Council, 1 in 7 people are uninsured. Plus, there are many people on the road who carry just the state minimum auto limits, and are underinsured.
Finally, business owners also can benefit from a commercial umbrella policy to protect assets of the business if it’s the target of a lawsuit. Without this insurance, a business owner could be obligated to pay out of their own pocket for any legal fees, medical bills and damages that exceed the limits of their primary business insurance.
I would be happy to review your insurance policies to make sure you have the appropriate coverage, even if I’m not your agent. You can then take this information to your agent and request adjustments be made, if necessary.
And, if I am your agent, please consider adding and umbrella policy to your insurance portfolio if you haven’t already so we can ensure you have the insurance you need.
If you’d rather, please feel free to contact me to discuss any of this if you have questions or if you’d like more information on umbrella policies. I’m always happy to help. You can go to www.CaveoInsuranceAgency.com and Schedule a Conversation.
Finally, I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!