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Old 11-02-2007, 12:52 PM   #61
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Just had a business chat with my lawyer and I asked him his opinion if I should keep my 1m umbrella policy. He said keep it until you retire...
Why would he say that? The way I look at it, a liability policy is primarily to cover your owned assets, and as such you should keep the policy until your assets are no longer worth covering (or your lifestyle no longer presents significant risk to the public). On the other hand, a life insurance policy is primarily to cover your future earned income, and as such can be dropped (or greatly reduced) when you retire.
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:53 PM   #62
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Problem with umbrella coverage was not increasing other coverage ... they won't cover people with 6+ rentals. Sooo it's an S corp, trust and commercial liability for us.

Been sued plenty ... 4 times. Never hit personally. They want to settle with the liability policy holder. Some were deflected because the home address - and phone - is not publicly available (this will deter the lazy lawyers). Would take the palintif lawyers letters and fax them the liability company and forget about it. Never contacted again ... expect most suits were dropped. Was never summoned to court.
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:57 PM   #63
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Why would he say that?
The advice doesn't make sense to me, either, unless he was just looking at it from the standpoint of exposure ("when you are retired from your job as an independent consultant certifying safety devices for nuclear power plants, you can drop the policy because you won't be working and your exposure will be reduced"). Regardless, probably not good advice.
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:58 PM   #64
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I just upped mine, 2 cars + motor cycle. Cost me $369/yr for $2M coverage. Thanks for bring this up.
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:36 PM   #65
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I just got quotes - $1M $136/yr and $2M $204/yr.
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:38 PM   #66
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I've started to up my umbrella $1MM every year or two until I get to my carrier's limit. My net worth keeps rising and my auto insurance keeps dropping, so I figure its a wash. Bumping to $2MM this month. We'll see at the next renewal.
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The Umbrella Policy - A good thing!
Old 11-02-2007, 03:28 PM   #67
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The Umbrella Policy - A good thing!

Umbrella insurance is definitely a good thing to include in your budget. Most people can get by with a $1MM policy and ratchet up from there depending on your asset base and potential risks. Even if you only have $500k in assets, a $1MM policy would be the minimum you would want.

Typically, you get the best deal from your auto or home owner’s insurance company but Umbrella’s are available from Independent Insurance agents that may not be the same insurance company that issued your auto or home owner’s policy. I would always start with your regular insurance agent in pursuing an Umbrella policy. Do some research on the internet to learn more about the Umbrella policy so you can ask your agent pertinent questions.

Others have pointed out that you do have to raise the liability limits of your regular auto and home owner’s insurance policies to the levels specified by the level required by the insurance company issuing the Umbrella policy. This is true!

The other item to consider is the number of risks you will have to cover in addition to your home and auto. You should put every auto and motorcycle that you have insured on the Umbrella policy, any vacation properties you own, and any underage drivers that are still in your household. Each of these items when added to your Umbrella will raise the premium without raising the policy limits (i.e. $1MM of coverage) – you are simply covering more risks under the Umbrella policy limits.

This insurance is very cheap in relation to the coverage, protection, and peace of mind such a policy will give you. As always, READ THE POLICY and understand what you are covered for and what you aren’t.


Another insurance item to consider is that many of you have family collections of stamps, art, jewelry, furs, coins, baseball cards, guns, figurines, etc., that ARE NOT covered by your regular home owner’s policy above a certain amount. You need an ‘inland marine’ policy or rider to cover such items. So don’t be afraid to ask your insurance agent questions about your coverage, that’s what you are paying them for in addition to risk coverage – make them earn their commission!

Great discussion on this subject by the respondents on this board! RJS
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Old 11-03-2007, 08:55 PM   #68
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I'm still not convinced that umbrella insurance is worth the price.

Umbrella insurance can be relatively costly. Imagine someone living on $40k/year. Paying $200/year for umbrella insurance is a full 0.5% of the annual budget. It's not quite the same level of spending as the latte-a-day that we love to make fun of, but it's getting into that ballpark.

Doing some experiments with Firecalc for someone spending $40k/yr of a 1m portfolio, it looks like adding $200 of umbrella insurance expenses per year decreases the lifetime survivability by about 0.1%.

That's a chance of about 1 in 1000 that you could get wiped out because your lifetime umbrella insurance premiums lowered your portfolio value enough that it couldn't survive a bear market. That's a real risk that's clearly worth protecting against. One way of protecting against it is not to buy umbrella insurance but rather keep that money in your portfolio.

I can't find any concrete numbers on how often umbrella coverage saves people, but my gut guess is that a lot less than 1 in 1000 umbrella policy holders are saved from financial ruin by their umbrella policies.
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:01 PM   #69
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I can get up to a million on my homeowners policy, but have just $300k now. Since one of my foster dogs bit a random child at an adoption event 2 weeks ago, I'm thinking that I have more exposure than I originally thought. Sigh.
Thank god the parents weren't the litigious sort and wouldn't take my name, any money, or the rescue group's information (a 501c3). Still scary, though.
I'm going to bump it up, but probably just to the $500k mark. Interesting to see how other folks feel about it.
Sarah
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:17 PM   #70
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Doing some experiments with Firecalc for someone spending $40k/yr of a 1m portfolio, it looks like adding $200 of umbrella insurance expenses per year decreases the lifetime survivability by about 0.1%.

That's a chance of about 1 in 1000 that you could get wiped out because your lifetime umbrella insurance premiums lowered your portfolio value enough that it couldn't survive a bear market. That's a real risk that's clearly worth protecting against. One way of protecting against it is not to buy umbrella insurance but rather keep that money in your portfolio.
FIRECALC is great . It is a wonderful tool. But does anybody believe it (and the underlying assumptions and data sets) is precise enough to be useful in this context? That the projected portfolio survival rates are accurate to within .1 percent? To what confidence level? I think we are in the "measuring jello with a micrometer" mode at this point.

Moreover, the person buying the umbrella policy can choose to cut expenditures somewhere else and keep withdrawal rates the same. To me, that's the more useful way of considering these options: "If I keep my withdrawals the same, this umbrella policy will cost us 6 dinners at Outback per year (or X rounds of golf, etc)." Does the increased peace of mind and protection of the nestegg make up for the decrease in "fun to do" expenditures?
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:02 AM   #71
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I have a $1M Umbrella Policy that costs $155 per year. I have the umbrella, auto, house, and 'personal articles' policies all with the same insurer. I had to raise (slightly) my coverages on the auto policy. However, when I consolidated all of these policies under one insurer, I received multi-policy discounts which more than made up for the increased coverages AND the premium for the Umbrella policy.

Even if discounts hadn't covered it, I still would have bought the Umbrella. Heck, $1M worth of peace of mind for only 42˘ a day.......for my money, that's a pretty reasonable deal!
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:12 AM   #72
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Heck, $1M worth of peace of mind for only 42˘ a day.......for my money, that's a pretty reasonable deal!
Even though I have retired from my dangerous hobbies and have a lot less exposure to getting sued the main value we get from our umbrella policy is peace of mind. That's sort of subjective but it sure makes us feel more secure, which is very valuable to us.

Mike D.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:24 AM   #73
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Even though I have retired from my dangerous hobbies and have a lot less exposure to getting sued the main value we get from our umbrella policy is peace of mind.
Mike D.
If you talk to an agent or broker she will explain that by the far the biggest liability exposure that most of us have is driving a car. The consumer type umbrellas that I am aware of don't cover professional exposures. I added an extra dwelling to my policy and the premium went up 2% or so. I subtracted an extra car and adult driver and the premium was reduced by a third.

Ha
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:27 AM   #74
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My $1MM umbrella policy is $258 per year. I think it is money well spent. My home and auto policies are with the same insurer. As I recall, there was some tradeoff between the rates for various combinations of underlying insurance and the umbrella (i.e. - if I upped the limits on the auto policy, the umbrella would be less). I kept asking for the various combinations and chose the lowest total cost.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:56 AM   #75
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Hmm, a long shot at having an extremely small portfolio shortfall that you could control and mitigate, or a long shot at being completely wiped out and having no control over the loss.

Raising your deductibles will offset the additional liability. In fact I think in the long run my insurance with a 1000 deductible on the cars and 5000 on the house plus $2m in liability was cheaper than 500/1000 and 250/500 liability on the house and cars.

Self insure a little at the low end, let the insurer take on the big risk at the upper end. Same cost.
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:20 PM   #76
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Also just bumped my umbrella to 2mm--cost 245/yr. Suddenly kicked-in that with assets to ER, needed more to protect against the possibility of someone else enjoying their ER on my nickel.
In terms of expense, I look at the price compared to an hour of an attorney fee--assuming you can find someone at that price who will only charge you an hour!
Like other postings, your rate is very subject to your risk. While my daughter lived in the home, our rate was closer to 775 and that was just for 1MM. Agent said it had to do with a driver under 25 living in the home.
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Old 11-05-2007, 12:13 PM   #77
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Could it be also a hyped up insurance created to get more money out of people who would be willing to pay more and marketed by introducing fear into those individuals?
Is there real examples out there where home and auto insurance hasn't been enough? Is it by fear of damaging property or insuring someone out of home/auto?
Since I don't know I am only asking a question here not introducing my opinion.



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Garden State ("Most corrupt politicians in the union"), I am seriously thinking about bumping my umbrella up from 1MM.
Kind of bad here in NJ but there is plenty of curruption in other states as well. I am thinking of RI (I lived there) and LA (heard of it as the worst before)...
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:25 PM   #78
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......Is there real examples out there where home and auto insurance hasn't been enough? ....
Clinton protected by umbrella cover.(President Bill Clinton's personal umbrella liability insurance policy) National Underwriter Property & Casualty-Risk & Benefits Management - Find Articles

I believe umbrella insurance helped this guy.
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