Peace of Mind: Excess Liability Insurance

Peace of Mind: Excess Liability Insurance

When we think of risk-takers, we conjure up images of tight-rope walkers, skydivers or gamblers willing to stake everything they have on a hand. We don’t think of the average homeowner, parent or community member.

Nowadays, the average person is leading a far riskier life than you’d think—that is, it is likely most people are not adequately protecting their assets. Excess Liability Insurance helps protect what you have spent a lifetime building when an unexpected occurrence turns into a liability judgment against you. Suddenly, your exposure can threaten the security of your prized possessions and hard-earned lifestyle.

Excess liability insurance is a critical, but often overlooked, component of your personal risk management portfolio. We have worked in conjunction with our partners at Chubb Insurance to provide you with some thoughtful questions that may have you re-evaluating how you’ve been protecting your financial assets.

How can excess liability insurance help protect you? We live in an increasingly litigious society and legal disputes are more prevalent today than ever. Costs of new liabilities and exorbitant jury verdicts can run in the millions. Even minor damages, such as a fender bender, can end up being costly over time if a dispute necessitates legal fees.

Often called an umbrella policy, excess liability insurance offers higher limits you may need to cover damages for which you or someone in your household may be legally responsible. When the amount you must pay for a covered loss exceeds the limits of liability under your other individual insurance policies, an excess liability policy is triggered to provide much higher limits.

How much excess liability insurance do you need? Your personal financial situation will determine the correct amount of excess liability insurance for your family. Lawsuits may evolve into much more costly disputes than originally anticipated or your assets could be targeted if you do not have adequate liability coverage for legal damages. To determine an appropriate limit, work with your agent or broker to review all of your assets such as your house, other properties, vehicles, personal belongings and valuable collections, 401(k) investments and college funds for your children.

Be mindful of your risk factors such as the length of your work commute, the number of residences owned, domestic employees, vehicles and watercraft owned and the online activities of household family members. In other words, consider the unforeseen.

In most states, there is no cap on legal expenses incurred for a covered loss, as such expenses are outside of the liability limit.

Did you know catastrophic financial loss could occur in seconds? The more you have acquired, the higher your risk for litigious encounters. Your financial security could become severely compromised due to accidental events you may have thought were adequately covered. Excess liability insurance responds when the underlying liability limits of your various other policies have been exhausted.

Establish peace of mind and protect your financial security. Contact Penny Insurance today to evaluate your existing policy or build a new program that is right for you. Your protection is our priority.

Protecting Yourself During Hurricane Season

Protecting Yourself During Hurricane Season

Our hearts and prayers are with our neighbors in Florida, Texas and so many more places in light of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Now that time has passed since the devastation, many families have been able to return to their homes to inspect the damage. These can be some of the most trying times after a natural disaster—when the initial shock and emergency situations resulting from a hurricane have subsided, and families and business owners are faced with the reality of rebuilding, sometimes from nothing. On the small Caribbean island of Barbuda, there is over 90 percent total devastation. This hurricane season served as an eye- opener to us for how important it is to take precautionary steps against natural disasters like hurricanes or flooding. Here are our recommendations on how to protect your family, businesses and assets during hurricane season.

Have a Plan in Place—If you live in an area that could be affected by a hurricane, discuss with your family and employees what the proper course of action is in order to reduce stress and chaos if a natural disaster were to hit. Determine what precautions you would need to take in order to secure your home and what irreplaceable items you would want to take with you should you need to evacuate. Make copies of important documents and choose a few locations to which you could evacuate. For your business, make sure you establish a clear line of communication with employees about the circumstances under which your business would close/reopen and what their specific concerns might be in the event of a hurricane.

Consider Windstorm Insurance—While most people think about flood damage as the most obvious damage their home would incur from a hurricane, we often forget about the effects wind damage could have. Most home owner’s insurance policies cover wind damage, however, if you live in a coastal state, you may need to invest in windstorm insurance. Windstorms bring an entirely separate division of issues including downed powerlines and trees, and high wind speeds can create dangerous projectiles.

Review Your Policies—Make sure you fully understand what is covered if your property were to be damaged. Comprehensive car insurance will cover flood damage. Flood insurance needs to be purchased separately from home owner’s insurance as most home owner’s policies do not cover flood damage. Discuss your options for protecting your business against hurricane damage with your insurance agent. If your business is located on a beachfront or near the water, you may face higher premiums, so you’ll want to compare quotes in order to receive your best value. If you live in or have a business in an area with a high chance of hurricane impact, remember to invest in a policy well before hurricane season. Flood insurance typically takes about 30 days to go into effect, so do not wait until it is too late.

Tragedies like this remind us at Penny Insurance Agency why we do what we do: help our clients protect their families, businesses and assets. For some of you, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma may be cautionary tales and you may be reevaluating how you’re protected for a natural disaster. For others, you may be rebuilding your homes, businesses and lives. If you are interested in helping hurricane victims, please consider donating to The Red Cross.

Contact us today if you are interested in discussing your insurance policies and determining what your options are in protecting what’s valuable to you. Your families, businesses and assets are your priorities and here at Penny Insurance Agency, they are our priorities too.