Business Perspective: West Bend Mutual Insurance Company

Does your umbrella provide the coverage you need?

| May 2018 Footnote

I'm not talking about a rain umbrella; even though with spring here, you'll need one of those, too! I'm talking about a personal umbrella for liability protection. While you may think an umbrella liability policy is necessary only to protect your assets, you don't have to be a millionaire to be sued like one!

We all have liability risks that are a part of our everyday life. Consider these exposures:

  • Do you have hunting equipment? Are the guns stored unloaded and in a locked cabinet, case or closet?
  • How about a boat, snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle? Do you let friends ride or drive it?
  • Is there a swimming pool or trampoline in your yard? Is there a fence around it?
  • What about pets? More than 60 percent of all U.S. households own a dog.  
  • How about that loose handrail you haven't gotten around to fixing or that dead tree that needs to come down?
  • Do you serve alcohol to your guests when you entertain?

OK, so maybe those don't apply to you, but almost everyone has access to the following:

  • The internet and cell phones. These present growing exposures to libel, slander and invasion of privacy when used recklessly to spread inappropriate comments and pictures via blogs, chatrooms, social networks, email, text, etc.
  • An automobile. More than 90 percent of all large losses stem from auto "accidents." Think about that risk when combining the use of handheld devices while driving. Then put a teenager behind the wheel. The risk of a crash increases more than 10 times!

While these possessions and activities can provide great entertainment, all of them have led to lawsuits with damages that ranged from $500,000 to $2 million.

A personal umbrella provides excess liability over and above the limits provided by your automobile or homeowners insurance. Personal umbrella insurance is designed to cover catastrophic claims and provide both asset and risk protection.

You may think all that protection would be expensive, but it's not. A $1 million personal umbrella policy can cost as little as $125 annually, depending on your specific risks. That's much more affordable than a six- or seven-figure verdict.

Compare the price of an umbrella policy to the cost of a pair of name brand tennis shoes, a designer bag, dinner for a family of four at your favorite restaurant, tickets to a football game or Broadway show. Now doesn't it seem worth the price to protect you, your family and your assets?

It's important to enjoy the good things in life. After all, you've earned it. But make sure you have umbrella protection first -- just in case you need it for a rainy day!


West Bend Mutual Insurance Company

Contact: Scott Stueber
Address: 1900 S. 18th Ave., West Bend, WI 53095  
Phone: 262-334-6588

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