What Keeps You Up at Night?
The answer to that question for me is, “A whole lot!” I have two young kids, so as you can imagine, there are a lot of things that worry me. In general, the whole “am I doing this parenting thing right?” is clearly the winner of my thoughts. But, there’s a lot more to it than that. After all, I’m in the insurance industry…and not just any part of the industry, but the Personal Lines specialization. This means I see and hear it all when it comes to families and unfortunate circumstances.
Think about this…what happens if my daughter were to have one of her friends over to the house, they find a tree to climb (you know, because kids always find the most dangerous thing to do when your eyes are turned away), and her friend falls and breaks her leg? Who would be liable?
Or, as much as I don’t want to think about him growing up and getting his driver’s license, what happens if my son were to text, drive, and get into a fender bender? Who would be liable?
Let’s take this a step further. What happens if my family were to install a pool (therefore adding extra risk on my property), have people over, and someone got seriously injured while in the water? Who would be liable?
The answer to all of those “liability” questions is me. I would be liable.
While injuries or catastrophic events aren’t something you want to think about, it’s important you do. You can’t control what your children do, and you certainly can’t prevent injuries from happening on your property. So what “can” you do?
- For starters, you need the right insurance in the right amount to protect your assets. The insurance I’m talking about is a personal umbrella policy. This type of insurance is designed to go over your home and auto policies and anything you own personally. It would create an additional layer of liability protection. Just like a real umbrella can protect you from numerous types of elements (think rain, snow, sleet, etc.), a personal umbrella policy can protect you from numerous types of financial hardship. The tricky part is getting the right amount of coverage. That’s where you play a big role. While an agent can sell you what he/she thinks is right, only you know your net worth. Often times, financial advisors will recommend carrying a limit equal to your net worth to add a protective barrier for your assets.
- It’s also important you take part in annual policy reviews. If I asked you today what your policy covers, could you tell me? If your answer is “yes,” that’s great. If your answer is “no,” you’re not alone. That’s why it’s critical to do an annual review. Insurance isn’t one-size-fits all. The insurance you needed when you were 16 is far different than what you need today. Said another way…one year, your child may not be old enough to drive. The next year, your child may have gotten his or her learner’s permit. That change is enough to warrant some changes to your policy.
- Knowing and understanding what your liability limits are is also critical. Your exposures to risk change so often, and so does your net worth. Staying on top of this will ensure you are protected.
Our Personal Lines team has a lot of experience when it comes to personal umbrella policies. We work day in and day out to ensure our clients have what they need to protect themselves and their assets. There’s likely not a question we haven’t answered. So if you have questions on your coverage, what you need, how much you need, how to conduct a review…or even where to start…reach out to us! Trust me, we know everyone has something that keeps them up at night.
Published on: 02.20.17