Dog Lover? Think About Umbrella Coverage

In today’s economy, everyone is pinching pennies. So why worry about umbrella coverage? Shouldn’t a home and auto policy leave you adequately covered? 

Unfortunately, we live in a world of lawsuits. Substantial damages can be awarded, be extremely expensive, and have a long-term financial impact. Those lawsuits can come from unlikely sources, such as our furry friends.

Take Charlie, for instance. Charlie is a much-loved, rather timid labradoodle who enjoys taking naps on the driveway while his owner mows the lawn. 

Charlie watched from eight feet away as his neighbor, a 39-year-old man, rollerbladed with his kids. The man wiped out on the sidewalk in front of Charlie’s house and broke his leg. He required surgery, costing around $35,000 in medical costs and $18,000 in lost wages.

Fair or not, the man brought a lawsuit against Charlie’s owner, suing for $220,000 in damages. He alleged that Charlie had caused the accident by getting in his way, despite multiple witnesses to the contrary. 

Charlie’s owner was lucky — a jury vindicated Charlie. However, lawsuits like this can easily exceed the limits on a homeowner’s policy, leaving the insured responsible for the remainder. An umbrella policy would prevent that, giving you an extra $1 million to $5 million in coverage.

Our furry friends can put our assets at risk in other ways as well. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year, with half of those occurring on the owner’s property. Dog bites, according to the Insurance Information Institute, account for about a third of all homeowner’s insurance claims, which only cover limited damages.

Protect what you love. Call us to talk about your umbrella options. The Wurzel Insurance Agency is here for you! Give us a call at (407) 977-5700 to speak with one of our experienced agents, or email us: hello@wurzelagency.com.

3 Tips for Buying Umbrella Insurance in Florida

Umbrella insurance is added on the insurance that kicks in when your traditional policy runs out. It’s a vitally important piece of insurance to have since it gives you the peace of mind by knowing that whatever happens, you’re covered. If you’re considering purchasing an umbrella insurance policy in Oviedo, FL, here are three ways to get the best policy for your needs and save money in the process.

1. Work with a Reputable Agent

Your first step should be to connect with a reputable, friendly agent. Trying to navigate the maze of insurance policies can prove challenging when you’re doing it on your own. However, with the help of an insurance agent, you will better understand what each policy has to offer and at what price.

2. Compare Several Quotes

You and your agent will compare several umbrella insurance quotes to find the best one for your needs. This is the perfect time to ask questions and get clarification and guidance. An insurance agent from The Wurzel Agency can help you with this.

3. Bundle Your Policies

Your insurance agent will also assist you in bundling all your policies under one insurance carrier to save money on your premiums. You can stay with your existing carrier or switch to a new one for added savings and excellent coverage. This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to save money on insurance.

To learn more about umbrella insurance, why you need it, and the best approach to purchasing a policy, contact The Wurzel Agency today. We serve the Oviedo, FL area and are standing by to help you get maximum coverage with the right umbrella insurance policy at the right price.

 

In Today’s Social Media World, Are You Protected From Libel?

It is widely thought that a homeowner’s insurance policy covers only incidents that physically occur in the home. This is only partially correct — in fact, with the right conditions in place, coverage can go beyond the home and can insure you for a personal injury claim. You might think of the term “personal injury” as meaning a physical injury suffered by another party. But while a liability policy will likely apply to an incident of physical injury, personal injury is a broader concept.

In the insurance world, personal injury can include harm caused by false arrest, detention, or imprisonment; malicious prosecution; wrongful eviction; slander; libel; and invasion of privacy. A personal injury policy can protect a homeowner and others covered under the policy against a claim for almost every injury that someone can experience without suffering any actual physical harm.

Given this broader definition of personal injury, would your policy cover a claim, for example, for accidentally saying something personally harmful on social media? It depends on the scenario. Here are a few examples:

Scenario 1: Your homeowner’s policy covers liability, but does not cover personal injury liability. In this case, you would not be covered.

Scenario 2: Your homeowner’s policy specifically includes personal injury, but the coverage was added in as an endorsement. If a liability coverage amount appears on your policy, it might cover only physical injury and property damage; it might not cover personal injury. To cover personal injury, the added endorsement must specifically state the words “Personal Injury.”

Scenario 3: You have a deluxe type of homeowner’s policy that automatically covers personal injury. These policies are typically designed for large homes that are over a certain square footage and for homeowners with more sophisticated needs. The cost of these policies is slightly higher than a regular homeowner’s policy, and the policy often includes a number of additional endorsements.

Scenario 4: You have an umbrella policy. Many umbrella policies automatically include personal injury coverage and drop down to first dollar coverage. However, it’s never safe to presume this — be sure to confirm with your agent.

What’s the Bottom Line?

If you are active on social media or even in your community, you are more prone to being sued. What you say might be perfectly fine, but if someone feels your statement has injured them, as innocent as you might have thought it was, that person can file suit against you (with or without an attorney). The good news is that if you have personal injury coverage, your insurance company will defend you against such a suit at no cost to you.

In this case, you will be represented by one of the best attorneys to fend off false allegations, and you’ll save thousands in legal fees. If it turns out that something you said or the way that you said it leaves you liable for personal injury to another party, your insurance company will also pay the amount of the judgment, up to your policy coverage limits.

Ask Your Agent for a Free Policy Review

Call your insurance agent to find out if your homeowner’s or renter’s policy has personal injury coverage. If it does not, this important coverage can be added for an additional minimal cost. Be sure this coverage is listed on the declarations page of your policy and that the appropriate provision is in the policy. Many policies are sent via an electronic PDF file, and it’s easy to run a keyword search in the document for the words “Personal Injury” to see if it is included and whether you are covered.

Don’t wait until after you’ve been served with a lawsuit and it’s too late — call your agent today!