What’s Covered Under Umbrella Insurance

Homeowners insurance protects you if, say, a fire burns your house to the ground. That’s a start. But you also need to think about protecting your home against something equally dangerous: a lawsuit. If a houseguest slips in the bathtub, you could get sued. Lose the lawsuit and you could lose all of your assets, including your home.

Umbrella insurance is designed to take over when your homeowners insurance reaches its liability limits. The key to making a decision about whether to purchase an umbrella policy is understanding what’s covered by umbrella insurance and, equally importantly, what isn’t.

Increasing the liability limits on your homeowners insurance can help, but homeowner liability extends beyond the property line. An idle remark can get you sued for slander. A car accident can land you in court. Umbrella insurance offers the advantage of extending the liability protection on your home and auto policies.

Umbrella insurance is in effect protecting your home, probably your biggest asset, from an unfavorable lawsuit stemming from just about anything. Among what’s commonly covered by an umbrella policy:

  • Personal injury or property damage caused by you, members of your family, or hazards on your property for which you are legally liable. This includes what are called “attractive nuisances” such as swimming pools and trampolines.
  • Personal liability coverage for occurrences that take place off your premises. For example, if your dog bites a neighbor.
  • An additional layer of protection for your vehicles, beyond your auto insurance.
  • Protection against slander, libel, wrongful eviction, or false arrest.
  • Lawyer fees when you have to defend yourself.