VanMeveren Law Group September 2019

Foundations 970

SOUTH 2038 Caribou Drive, Suite 101 Fort Collins, CO 80525

OLD TOWN 123 North College Ave., Suite 112 Fort Collins, CO 80524

SEPTEMBER 2019

When It Rains, Open Your Umbrella WHAT UMBRELLA INSURANCE CAN DO FOR YOU

Vehicles: Umbrella insurance will also extend beyond your home to your listed vehicles as well. In many circumstances, it also applies not only to your cars but also to your motorcycles and recreational vehicles, including boats. Assets and Future Earnings: In the event you are found liable in an auto collision or any personal injury litigation, umbrella insurance policies step in and cover your finances. For example, if you are found at fault for $1 million in an automobile collision, and your auto insurance covers $250,000, your umbrella policy would step in to fill the remaining $750,000.

If you’ve watched any local news coverage on television or listened to the radio, you’re probably sick and tired of all of the ads for personal injury attorneys. “I called _______ Law and they got me $1 million dollars!” Sadly, there are apparently many folks out there looking for a quick payday for their accident claim. What these ads fail to mention is that Colorado only requires that you are insured for the minimum liability limits of $25,000. This means that if your liability limits are exhausted and your insurer has paid out the maximum available under your policy, an individual could come after you personally to pay the rest. While liability insurance can prevent many lawsuits from causing you large financial losses by covering damages, court costs, and legal fees, there are situations where you may not have enough coverage to avoid personal exposure. Here are some real-life examples we’ve seen at VanMeveren Law Group: • You have a dinner party and a guest causes a serious accident after drinking too much at your home. • You take your dog to the dog park and it bites a child in the face, causing permanent and disfiguring damage. • A repairman trips over an uneven step on your property, falls, and sustains debilitating injuries, preventing him from returning to work. • A reckless snowboarder cuts you off, forcing you to collide with another skier who sustains serious injuries. In order to protect yourself from personal exposure, you can invest in what’s known as umbrella insurance . This extra liability coverage goes above and beyond the limits of your other insurance policies, providing you with an extra layer of protection. Policies typically offer at least $1 million in additional coverage above what your home, auto, or business insurance can provide. Umbrella policies kick in where your other policies leave off so that you don’t need to worry about liability costs that exceed your insurance coverage limits. Coverage at Home: If a guest slips in your home and breaks an arm, your personal umbrella liability insurance will cover beyond what your homeowner’s policy limit would cover. This means you would be covered for legal and medical expenses if you are at fault in the accident.

Though you might think that only a wealthy person would need that much insurance coverage, if you have assets like a home, investments, or savings, you risk losing them all if a judgment against you is higher than what your standard insurance policies will cover. While it is possible to be overinsured, it’s much more likely that you’re underinsured for liability purposes. Don’t learn the hard way that you need more liability insurance. Accidents and injuries don’t happen on a schedule, and once you’re the target of a liability suit, it’s too late to increase your coverage. Unfortunately, Colorado has become overly litigious, due in part to the daily onslaught of personal injury attorney ads. Undoubtedly, our airways are saturated with misleading claims of big paydays. While most of these commercials are exaggerated, catastrophic lawsuits can and do happen. Your best defense is to make sure you have coverage in place to protect your family from personal exposure.

Please be sure to review your liability and umbrella coverages with your insurance agent on a regular basis or stop by one of our offices and bring a copy of your policy and insurance declarations pages. We are happy to review your coverages anytime.

–Bryan VanMeveren

970-495-9741 • 1

www.vanmeverenlaw.com

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