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Let me paint the back drop first. You are more than successful financially. You have the house, cars, maybe even a boat and of course you insure it all. Your agent or insurer has even pointed out that an umbrella is a great backstop to your liability for all the havoc you might unintentionally cause. This could include an auto accident you or a family member causes that does substantial injury to another motorist. Or you might have too many folks on the back deck during a party when it collapses. An umbrella is an essential insurance ingredient in protecting your assets, future income and your peace of mind for the things that can and do happen that people often do not simply expect. Obviously driving an automobile at 75 MPH on a freeway can lead to split second outcomes, some of which could cause someone else injury. On the terrific advice of your agent you bought that umbrella policy for a better level of protection. He or she was quick to point out the needs for someone like yourself.

But amazingly, no one ever suggested Excess UM or Excess Uninsured Motorist Protection. This part really is not too surprising to insurance professionals. The reason is simple. Many if not most Personal Insurers refuse to write the coverage. The basic concept is comparable to the basic concept in personal umbrella policies, an additional layer of protection for people who have a lot to lose. But the circumstances are different and now even a bit threatening. You might be an excellent driver, but what about that person behind you. Just as an Umbrella policy protects you for the actions/accidents you might cause, Excess UM protects you when the adverse consequences of another driver injure you, disable you, and affect your future income or for that matter your son, daughter or passenger in your car. In about 14 % of all accidents, the at fault driver will have no insurance. Ok, that still leaves lots of folks with insurance. But while you have been looking to protect your assets, they have been moving over to the lowest coverage and rate possible. So they may have the statutory minimum or even a little more, but do you realistically think that is going to pay for your severe injuries and no more income for the rest of your life.

Your umbrella purchase was essentially defensive. You know you could be sued for damages and that substantial injuries need to be compensated. What you have not really considered is it could be your college age kid who has those injuries and no longer has near the bright future they were expecting. Obviously, insurance is not the answer to all that can happen in life. Yet it is better to be prepared than not. Usually an excess layer of UM coverage equal to your umbrella will cost a few hundred dollars more. Remember you buy insurance for catastrophic loss not the small stuff. Move those deductibles up to the most you can stand on the physical damage on your cars. Then take the savings there and be sure to add an umbrella and Excess UM to your coverage. If your agent does not sell it perhaps you should find one who does. You will not always find the advice you want to hear, but search our web site for more articles on the insurance you need to know about.

©Copy right Jack Heller, CPCU 2012. All rights reserved.

Jack Heller, CPCU is an Entrepreneur and knowledgeable in Personal Insurance with over 30 years in Insurance Company and Agency Management. Formerly he was President and CEO of Sothern Heritage Insurance Company and principal founder of two other insurers.  He is President and CEO of Insurance Browser Inc. an on line insurance agency with offices in Atlanta GA and Austin TX, doing business in AZ, CA, GA, and TX .See www.insurancebrowser.com 

Let me paint the back drop first. You are more than successful financially. You have the house, cars, maybe even a boat and of course you insure it all. Your agent or insurer has even pointed out that an umbrella is a great backstop to your liability for all the havoc you might unintentionally cause. This could include an auto accident you or a family member causes that does substantial injury to another motorist. Or you might have too many folks on the back deck during a party when it collapses. An umbrella is an essential insurance ingredient in protecting your assets, future income and your peace of mind for the things that can and do happen that people often do not simply expect. Obviously driving an automobile at 75 MPH on a freeway can lead to split second outcomes, some of which could cause someone else injury. On the terrific advice of your agent you bought that umbrella policy for a better level of protection. He or she was quick to point out the needs for someone like yourself.

But amazingly, no one ever suggested Excess UM or Excess Uninsured Motorist Protection. This part really is not too surprising to insurance professionals. The reason is simple. Many if not most Personal Insurers refuse to write the coverage. The basic concept is comparable to the basic concept in personal umbrella policies, an additional layer of protection for people who have a lot to lose. But the circumstances are different and now even a bit threatening. You might be an excellent driver, but what about that person behind you. Just as an Umbrella policy protects you for the actions/accidents you might cause, Excess UM protects you when the adverse consequences of another driver injure you, disable you, and affect your future income or for that matter your son, daughter or passenger in your car. In about 14 % of all accidents, the at fault driver will have no insurance. Ok, that still leaves lots of folks with insurance. But while you have been looking to protect your assets, they have been moving over to the lowest coverage and rate possible. So they may have the statutory minimum or even a little more, but do you realistically think that is going to pay for your severe injuries and no more income for the rest of your life.

Your umbrella purchase was essentially defensive. You know you could be sued for damages and that substantial injuries need to be compensated. What you have not really considered is it could be your college age kid who has those injuries and no longer has near the bright future they were expecting. Obviously, insurance is not the answer to all that can happen in life. Yet it is better to be prepared than not. Usually an excess layer of UM coverage equal to your umbrella will cost a few hundred dollars more. Remember you buy insurance for catastrophic loss not the small stuff. Move those deductibles up to the most you can stand on the physical damage on your cars. Then take the savings there and be sure to add an umbrella and Excess UM to your coverage. If your agent does not sell it perhaps you should find one who does. You will not always find the advice you want to hear, but search our web site for more articles on the insurance you need to know about.

©Copy right Jack Heller, CPCU 2012. All rights reserved.

Jack Heller, CPCU is an Entrepreneur and knowledgeable in Personal Insurance with over 30 years in Insurance Company and Agency Management. Formerly he was President and CEO of Sothern Heritage Insurance Company and principal founder of two other insurers.  He is President and CEO of Insurance Browser Inc. an on line insurance agency with offices in Atlanta GA and Austin TX, doing business in AZ, CA, GA, TX and MO.See www.insurancebrowser.com 

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