The general concept of insurance that protects our property – our homes and our vehicles – is easy for most people to understand. It’s straightforward and, frankly, is often mandatory.
But what about coverage that protects against legal action?
When you think of court battles, or the threat of being sued, it might start to feel more like a TV drama than something you’re concerned about personally. In many people’s minds, their ‘boring lives’ are enough to protect them.
The reality is that most of us are potential targets for legal recourse, even when going about our everyday activities. This is where personal umbrella coverage comes in.
Here are five common scenarios where personal umbrella coverage could protect you:
1. Posting on social media
Sites like Facebook and Twitter make it effortless for us to broadcast messages to hundreds or thousands of people. It can feel anonymous and victimless. However, all it takes to get into legal hot water is for one person to retaliate; whether it’s the owner of a restaurant who receives a bad review, or a parent whose child’s photos are used without permission.
2. Teenagers in the home
They’re maturing and finding independence, which is an exciting journey for parents. What can be a concern is that they don’t always grasp the scope and potential impact of their actions. And if a child is responsible for damage, personal harm or a breach of privacy, the parent may be found responsible.
Mandatory or not, accidents are so common that it’s undeniably wise to have auto coverage. And when you consider the modern hazards (e.g. texting while driving), it’s hard not to appreciate how unpredictable a routine road errand can be. But if you are at fault for a collision involving multiple vehicles – especially if any victims experience loss of income or need long-term care – your standard coverage will get eaten up quickly.
4. Hosting events
Small get-togethers with close friends and family seem low risk. After all, who would sue someone they know and love? However, if an accident takes place at your home and somebody you know needs to repair personal property or seek medical attention, the decision to take legal action may become more about necessity than personal retaliation.
5. Traveling frequently
Being on the road – especially out of the country – can be daunting at the best of times due to sheer lack of familiarity with the region. If you need to file a liability claim while traveling, personal umbrella insurance covers your legal fees and loss of income – even if the incident takes place outside of Canada.
The bottom line? The world is evolving. As sensibly as we might go about our lives, we are all subject to the unpredictability of other people’s actions.
Personal umbrella policies provide liability coverage over and above your home and auto insurance by increasing the limit of insurance, or providing coverage for specific risks which are not covered by your home and auto policy. Speak to your broker today to find out how personal umbrella coverage can help to protect you and your family.