No one wants to deal with liability lawsuits, but as a homeowner, they can happen at any time. Though your homeowners’ and car insurance policies will help cover the cost of the lawsuit and any settlement amounts you have to pay, it’s not always enough to cover the damages. Personal umbrella coverage can help fill in the gaps.
What Is Personal Umbrella Insurance
Personal umbrella insurance is a supplemental insurance policy that’s designed to fill in the gaps left by the liability coverage in your home and auto insurance policies. During a lawsuit, your insurance will only cover your liability fees up to your policy’s coverage limits. If the legal fees or settlement fees exceed that amount, you’ll have to pay the remainder some other way.
With personal umbrella insurance, the supplemental policy will kick in to cover the difference. This means your out-of-pocket expenses will be lower and you’ll be able to keep your savings intact to cover life’s other expenses.
How To Get Coverage
The best place to start looking for personal umbrella insurance is to speak with your insurance agent. Let them know that you’re interested in the policy and ask for their recommendations based on the coverage that your current home or auto insurance policies provide.
Investing in personal umbrella coverage is a simple way to protect your savings for the long term. Look for a policy that complements your existing insurance and fills in the gaps completely.
This may come as a surprise but volunteer work comes with some potential risk. Whether you are a volunteer for a local organization or are a volunteer board member, you run the risk of having a claim filed against you. This can be for an injury that occurs to someone as a result of your service or for fraud or negligence. This is where volunteer liability insurance comes in.
Why do You Need Volunteer Insurance?
Volunteer insurance provides you with the protection you need in case the unthinkable happens. If you are negligent and accidentally cause harm to someone while providing your volunteer services, you could have a claim filed against you. If this happens, you could have to pay thousands of dollars yourself. Volunteer liability insurance covers these costs and protects your assets should the worst case scenario take place.
What is Covered by Volunteer Insurance?
If you volunteer as a director of a nonprofit organization, volunteer insurance can protect you from a variety of claims including:
- Wrongful termination
- Emotional distress
- Copyright infringement
If you volunteer as an individual, you need to make sure that you are covered by the organization you are volunteering for. If you are not insured, you need to invest in your own volunteer liability insurance to ensure you are covered.
Volunteer work comes with a certain amount of inherent risk. Whether you are a director of a nonprofit organization or volunteering as an individual, having volunteer insurance can make all the difference.
Law enforcement officers have high-risk jobs with unique insurance needs. An officer may assume their department protects costs associated with lawsuits, but this is not always the case.
The number of lawsuits against law enforcement and criminal personnel has increased substantially in recent years. Even if these claims ultimately do not result in settlements or judgments, the legal defense costs can be rather costly.
Some common claims against law enforcement individuals and agencies include:
- False arrest
- Failure to protect
- Excessive force
- Civil rights violations
These policies cover departments, municipalities and officers, including:
- Police departments
- Sheriff’s departments
- Security companies
- Airport authorities
- College or university police
Working in this profession comes with many stressors. Concerns about adequate insurance coverage don’t have to be one of them. Police officer liability policies typically cover property damage claims, bodily injury, slander or libel committed on behalf of a public entity during official law enforcement job duties.
Coverage is dependent on many factors that consider the unique needs of your agency. The best way to determine if this type of policy is right for an individual officer is to evaluate his situation together with the department and a qualified insurance agency.
New business owners often find themselves at a loss when it comes time to shop for insurance. That’s because most new business owners don’t have enough experience to anticipate every possible avenue of risk they’re likely to encounter. Even seasoned professionals who have opened several companies in an industry often need the help of insurance professionals to figure it out, because slightly different businesses within an industry could have profoundly different insurance needs depending on their size, location, and other factors.
Comprehensive Coverage Packages by Business Model
One of the easiest ways to make sure you have complete coverage is to look for a comprehensive provider who makes a point of understanding the range of needs that companies in an industry have. This puts them in a position to adequately interview you about your operation in order to build a coverage plan. As a result, providers of tailored insurance for breweries and other industries make it easy to find the right insurance package and to perform simple evaluations of your coverage needs each year. Bundling worker’s compensation, general liability, equipment, and property coverage with specific professional insurance provisions like additional public liability and dram shop coverage often saves you money on a coverage when compared to individual policies. On top of that, the fast review process and lack of coverage redundancies also help you save. Check out the options for your industry today.
Liability policies are divided into two categories. They are either an occurrence or claims made policy. When you have an occurrence policy, the claim stems from an event that had occurred during the contract period of the policy term. Eligibility for coverage depends on when the event occurred. However, with a claims-made filing, eligibility depends on the time period when the claim was made, regardless of when the event took place.
Underwriting With Business Policies
Commercial general liability policies are where you will most often find underwriting that includes claims made. General liability covers the damages that the named insured face when property damage or bodily injury occurs on the insured’s property or during business operations. The coverage areas are identified before the policy begins, but for an incident to be covered under a traditional occurrence policy, it cannot already be known about. In a claims-made scenario, the occurrence must have happened within the coverage territory.
For a claim to be addressed, it must be filed during the policy period. It is common for the claim to be made as soon as the insured becomes aware of it. However, these policies may contain a retroactive date, which excludes claims that might be filed for an incident that occurred prior to a specified date. The retroactive date is often established according to the date the claims made policy become effective.
While you do everything you can to make sure your business premises and operations are safe for clients, customers and members of the general public, accidents and mistakes can easily occur. These can lead to costly lawsuits. Public liability insurance is designed to protect your company from third party claims of injury, loss and property damage that occurs on your organization’s property or as a result of the work it carries out.
Who Needs It?
Public liability insurance is essential for businesses that work with members of the public, or who have customers and clients that frequent their premises. This includes companies in the following industries:
- Home repair and construction
- Real estate
- Nongovernmental organizations
Even businesses that organize off-site events, like conferences and concerts, should consider acquiring this type of plan.
What Does It Cover?
The policy covers all expenses incurred by litigation. This includes legal defense costs and settlements or awards. Plans can also offer coverage for the medical costs associated with any third party injuries.
You and your employees work hard to make your business a success. Expensive lawsuits brought by third parties can put your organization in jeopardy. Public liability insurance will mitigate this risk and ensure that your company can continue to serve the community for years to come.
Sometimes clients don’t understand that a type of insurance is meant for their business. One big example in the marine industry is boat rental insurance. It’s obvious to most companies that rent out vessels like fishing boats, speed boats, fishing boats, canoes, and kayaks that they are boat rental services and need some form of rental liability that is specifically tailored to watercraft. What’s less obvious is that other watercraft is also usually covered by boat insurance. That means rental companies that offer jet skis, water bikes, and other personal watercraft that are not commonly thought of as boats probably need the same coverage as those renting out jet boats, just not necessarily with all the same coverage choices.
Rental Equipment Liability vs. Boat Rental Liability
What about existing equipment policies for rental companies? Can they be used to cover personal watercraft instead of boat rental coverage options? Often, the answer is no. Many jurisdictions place additional insurance requirements on boats and watercraft that rental equipment liability policies, in general, do not cover. To make sure you have insurance that truly reflects the liabilities your business needs to manage, you have to work with people who provide the insurance that most specifically reflects the work you do. For watercraft of all kinds, that generally means boat rental insurance.
As with anyone who drives, volunteers that operate vehicles for nonprofit organizations should have some form of auto insurance in accordance with state law and regulations. Such coverage may be sufficient for personal driving, but it is generally inadequate to cover volunteer work. Most personal auto insurance policies don’t offer enough coverage for either property damage liability or body injury liability, especially since an accident on company business may result in significantly more damage than your typical accident. Organizations need to have policies that protect their organization and its helpers.
It’s incumbent on your organization to consider volunteer driver risk. Consider these following best practices in determining an organizational policy and approach to managing volunteer driving:
- Staff a position to oversee drivers and assign and/or terminate as necessary.
- Require volunteers to submit a copy of their motor vehicle records annually.
- Document proof of personal auto insurance policies for each driver and require proof of renewal after coverage expires.
- Clearly define responsibilities and requirements for everyone driving on behalf of the nonprofit.
- Require proof of passage of annual vehicle safety inspections when personal vehicles are involved.
Having a formal plan that covers vehicle operation better equips your nonprofit to handle accidents and issues.
Covering Your Volunteers
Your organization was established to help people. It also provides an opportunity for others to contribute to the benefit of others. While nobody plans to be involved in an accident, you owe it the community you serve as well as those that support you to have adequate insurance for vehicular accidents.
Operations within the gas and oil industry are fraught with risks, regardless of whether your company is a provider of supporting services, a transportation provider, or in the midst of the drilling fields. The expert advice coming from Daniels Insurance cautions that there are both highly-noticeable and subtle liabilities lurking in each company. To help protect against the financial costs of the exposures, an insurance policy tailored to address oil and gas industry liability is strongly advised.
Common Coverages for Loss
There are dangers unique to the industry, with the most common claims filed after incidents that included fire, explosion, machinery breakdown or failure, CBI loss, and blowouts. Because these incidents cover significant areas of operation within the industry, any of the following areas of coverage are applicable.
- General Liability
- Professional Liability
- Well Control
- Inland Marine
- Commercial Auto
- Cyber Liability
- Directors and Officers Liability
- Surety Bonding
- Group Health Benefits
- Workers Compensation
The Potential Risks
Any business in the oil and gas industry faces risks with employee injury, property damage due to fire, or commercial automobile accidents. These aren`t that different from the risks that other businesses operating in other industries experience, but there are additional risks with hazardous waste, environmental spills, theft, regulatory compliance, and cybersecurity. Meeting with the right insurance agent can make sure a plan is tailored to each area of risk.