8 Situations Requiring Umbrella Insurance: Protecting Your Assets

Having an umbrella insurance policy can provide valuable protection in various scenarios that exceed the limits of your standard coverage. Here, we highlight eight examples where an umbrella policy proves useful:

Babysitting Mishap:

Imagine your teenage daughter is babysitting the neighbor’s children. She briefly leaves the house to run an errand, and unfortunately, one of the kids gets seriously injured and requires expensive surgery. The parents of the child sue you for the medical bills, which exceed $300,000.

Defamatory Social Media Posts:

Your son expresses his discontent with his gym teacher on social media, making derogatory comments that result in a defamation lawsuit. The court awards the teacher $500,000 in damages.

Reckless Driving:

Your 17-year-old child takes friends for a joyride in your car, losing control and causing severe injuries to all occupants. Your umbrella policy helps cover the substantial medical expenses resulting from the accident.

Alcohol-Related Liability:

Hosting a 4th of July celebration, you provide alcohol to your guests. One friend, who consumes excessively, causes a fatal car accident. The victim’s family sues you for serving alcohol irresponsibly, and you are found liable. The consequences include significant legal expenses and potential damages.

Rental Property Accident:

A rotting deck on your rental property collapses, causing a tenant to suffer a severe leg injury requiring extensive surgery. A jury awards the tenant $750,000 in damages.

Negligence with Rental Equipment:

Renting a bouncy house for a wedding held on your property, you fail to secure it properly, leading to the house blowing away with children inside. Although the children are unharmed, the families sue you for negligence, resulting in a $100,000 award for each family due to mental and post-traumatic stress.

Dog Attack:

Your dog escapes and attacks a neighbor’s show dog, causing permanent scars and a limp, rendering it unable to participate in shows. The dog owner sues you for loss of income, resulting in a jury awarding $450,000.

Social Host Liability:

As the “cool parent,” you agree to provide alcohol to your kids and their friends as long as they stay at your house. Unfortunately, one of the friends leaves and is involved in a fatal accident while intoxicated. The parents of the deceased child sue you for providing alcohol to minors, leading to a jury awarding $2 million in damages.

These situations highlight the importance of umbrella insurance coverage when your existing liability limits on home or auto policies are exceeded. The good news is that umbrella policies are relatively affordable. To determine the best options for your needs, contact our office and request a personalized umbrella insurance quote today.

Ensure you have the necessary protection in place by considering an umbrella insurance policy. These examples illustrate the potential risks and the need for additional coverage. Reach out to us to explore our competitive rates for umbrella insurance and secure your financial well-being.

Safeguard Your Home And Guests From Hidden Hazards Associated With Fireplaces

Safeguard your home and guests from hidden hazards associated with fireplacesA fireplace is often considered one of the most enchanting features of a home, capable of creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere on cold evenings. However, it is essential to prioritize the proper maintenance of your fireplace to ensure the safety of your household and visitors.

Fireplace Safety and Maintenance Guidelines

Wood Burning Fireplaces:

Check the flue for obstructions: Before lighting a fire, inspect your chimney to ensure it is clear and free from any blockages. Sometimes, birds or other animals may take shelter in the chimney during the off-season, so it’s crucial to check if you haven’t used your fireplace for an extended period.

Keep glass doors open: If you have a traditional wood burning fireplace with glass doors, it is recommended to keep the doors open while using the fireplace. The doors are designed to insulate the room when the fireplace is not in use, rather than containing the fire. By keeping the doors open, you allow proper airflow for the fire while using a screen to prevent sparks and debris from causing damage.

Install a chimney cap: Chimney caps serve multiple purposes, such as protecting the chimney from rain and preventing birds and other creatures from entering. Additionally, installing a screen across the chimney helps prevent sparks from flying out, reducing the risk of fires on roofs or lawns.

Schedule a chimney sweep inspection: If you have burned 70-100 fires, it is advisable to contact a chimney sweep. They will clean any buildup in the chimney and conduct a visual inspection to ensure the chimney is structurally sound and free from potential hazards.

Gas Burning Fireplaces:

Install an oxygen-depletion sensor (safety pilot): Consider installing an oxygen-depletion sensor that acts as a safety mechanism. It can detect any malfunctions in the fireplace or excessive carbon monoxide levels, automatically shutting off the gas supply.

Place carbon monoxide detectors: Install carbon monoxide detectors near the fireplace and on every floor of your home. Ideally, position a couple of detectors per floor to provide comprehensive coverage.

Maintain a safe distance: Keep flammable objects, such as curtains and fabrics, at least three feet away from the outer edge of the fireplace. This precautionary measure minimizes the risk of fires or smoke damage.

Respond to gas odor promptly: If you detect a gas odor in your home, contact your gas company or call 911 immediately. Gas leaks can pose serious safety hazards and should be addressed promptly.

Keep the fireplace damper open: To prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home, ensure that the fireplace damper remains clamped open while the fireplace is in use.

Regardless of the type of fireplace, it is crucial to keep children and pets at a safe distance. Burning fireplaces consume oxygen and produce carbon monoxide, so maintaining functional carbon monoxide alarms is essential to ensure the safety of your family.

Regularly maintaining your fireplaces is just one critical step toward ensuring the safety of your home and guests. It also serves as an effective means of avoiding costly homeowner’s insurance claims and the emotional distress associated with fire-related incidents. By implementing these fireplace safety measures, you can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of your fireplace while keeping your loved ones protected.

Do you know what to do in a driving emergency?

Driving Hazards and what to do in an emergencyDriving hazards are a daily occurrence, and they can happen at any time of the year, regardless of the state you’re in. It’s crucial to know how to handle these hazards if they arise while you’re on the road.

Let’s explore some common driving hazards and the actions you can take to mitigate their impact.

Here’s what you can do to prepare:

Wildlife encounters: Colliding with a deer or other wildlife on the road can be a frightening and potentially dangerous situation. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are approximately 2 million collisions with animals each year in the United States.

  • Stay alert: When driving in rural areas, be mindful that wildlife is often present near roadways. Keep a vigilant eye on the sides of the road to spot any potential animals.
  • Avoid swerving: Swerving to avoid hitting an animal can lead to more severe accidents and injuries. Additionally, your insurance company might deem you at fault if you swerve and end up colliding with a tree or guardrail. Instead, maintain your course and brake firmly to reduce the impact.
  • Exercise caution at night: Animals tend to be more active during the evening, and some travel in groups. If you spot one animal, there’s a good chance there are more nearby. If there are two lanes, drive in the lane farthest away from the road’s edge.

Blown tires: Experiencing a blown tire can be startling, but knowing how to react can prevent accidents.

Consider the following steps:

  • Avoid slamming on the brakes: Abruptly hitting the brakes when a tire blows can worsen the situation, causing your vehicle to pull in the direction of the flat tire. Instead, gradually decelerate and safely move to the side of the road, as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Maintain steering control: A blown front tire can cause your vehicle to veer off course. Try to resist overreacting to the sudden jolt and swerving in the opposite direction, as this can lead to a loss of control.
  • Use a safety precaution when changing a tire: When replacing a tire, place the blown tire and wheel under the car slightly. This step can provide protection in case the jack fails, preventing the car from falling directly onto you.

Bugs in the car: Dealing with unexpected insects or spiders inside your vehicle can be unnerving.

Follow these tips to handle the situation safely:

  • Pull over safely: If you encounter a spider or bee in the car, it’s important to remain calm. Pull over to the side of the road carefully and allow the unwanted passenger to exit the vehicle.
  • Focus on the road: Avoid the temptation to swat at the insect while driving, as it can divert your attention from the road and increase the risk of a more serious accident.

Black ice: During the colder months, black ice can form on road surfaces, posing a significant hazard.

If you find yourself sliding on ice, remember the following:

  • Ease off the gas pedal: Many vehicles are equipped with stability control systems that can help correct sliding. Release the accelerator and allow your car to regain stability.
  • Lightly apply the brakes: Applying brakes on icy surfaces can worsen the situation. Instead, gently and progressively apply the brakes to slow down. Avoid slamming the brakes, as it can cause a loss of control.
  • Drive at a reduced speed: When temperatures start to drop, it’s advisable to drive more slowly. Keeping your speed under 45 mph during icy conditions can significantly reduce the chances of accidents.

While we cannot be physically present in your car to prevent hazards, we are here to assist you with any questions you may have about auto and home insurance. Your safety is our priority, and we want to ensure you have the protection you need in case of emergency. If you’d like to review your insurance coverage if the unavoidable happens, please reach out to our team.