With all the rain falling in NH this spring, you may think that everyone needs an umbrella. We here at HPM Insurance Agency could not agree more. The reason we agree is not so you don't get a little wet, but because umbrella insurance can prevent you from losing everything you have worked so hard to earn over your lifetime.
As HPM Insurance Agency has been writing umbrella insurance for the citizens of New Hampshire for decades, we have seen many situations where an umbrella did save, or could have saved, the financial future of our insureds. Consider the following real-life scenarios:
- Teenage driver has three of his best friends in the car. In an effort to show-off, he drives well above the speed limit and collides with a telephone pole and kills two of the teens. The third teen will require a life-time of extra services and never work. Unfortunately there was not an umbrella in place so client lost home and savings.
- At a house party with a small pond, a guest slips on the droppings of a goose. The ankle injury is so severe that the guest will never fully recover and can no longer work in his current career. Approximately $5 million awarded.
- Major car accident occurs on Rte. 3 in Nashua. Med-flight required to Boston for mother and her two children with extended care in the intensive care unit of Mass General. Average cost of medical flight is $18,500 each person. Final claim pay-out reached more than $2 million.
"I am not rich - so I don't need an umbrella."
You do not have to be "rich" to need an umbrella. What you need to consider are your assets and your exposure. Does the value of your home, car, possessions and retirement accounts add up to more than what you have for coverage on your home or auto insurance policies? In New Hampshire, your auto liability limit can be as low as $25,000, and the home liability can be written for $100,000. Would these limits cover your net worth?
"I am a careful person - I would never put myself in a position where I could be sued."
We all like to think this, but in today's day and age, you can get sued for almost anything. You are at an even greater risk if you have any of the following:
- dog or other pet
- boat or other recreational vehicle
- rental property
An umbrella policy provides peace-of-mind as it can cover the large court judgments being awarded these days as well as the legal defense. You may get hit with an unjustifiable lawsuit you feel is frivolous. Regardless of what you think, you will still need to defend yourself in court. Defense costs alone can make the cost of an umbrella policy worth it.
There is also another way to think about umbrella insurance. What if your car slipped on black ice and you severely injured someone who could never work again. Wouldn't you want to know that there is enough coverage for something you caused?
If you need more convincing about why you need an umbrella policy, link to The New York Times article called Umbrella Coverage for Preventing Your Ruin.
How much does umbrella insurance cost?
The premium for a NH umbrella insurance policy does vary by company, but the rate is typically determined by the number of cars you own, as well as homes, and recreational vehicles. If you own one house and two cars, the premium will be approximately $200. However, not everyone who wants an umbrella can get one as they are subject to company approval with driving history or any prior liability claims taken into consideration.
Call your local insurance agent to get an exact quote or if you have any questions. Don't wait to grab your umbrella after it has rained. Be prepared and get one today.