A Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP) is a necessary addition to insurance protection for most insureds. Are you aware of the importance of this valuable coverage? One of the best ways to understand the need for a personal umbrella is to review actual claims examples. It is very clear that an incident arising from just normal daily activities can expose all of us to the potential for a large claims suit.
Listed below are actual RLI PUP claims. These claims show the very real consequences of situations that quickly exhaust underlying liability limits and threaten the net worth of the people involved.
Claim Scenario #1
The Insured’s 18 year old son was driving the Insured’s car on a short trip to the store with his girlfriend, the Claimant. The car left the roadway and struck a tree. The Insured’s son told the police that a vehicle cut him off, but there were no witnesses and no evidence of any impact with another car. The Claimant has no recollection of the accident.
The Claimant, a 19 year old college student, was hospitalized for over a month with multiple fractures and internal injuries. She was in a wheelchair but is now able to walk with crutches and continues with physical therapy. She has a right drop foot as a result of the injuries. The Insured’s personal umbrella policy limit was paid.
Claim Scenario #2
Claimant, age 2, was on the Insureds’ property with his grandparents who were there to care for 2 horses owned by the Insureds. The Insureds were out of town on vacation. The Claimant was kicked by one of the horses, taken to the emergency room, and then life flighted to a larger hospital.
The Claimant was given a 5% chance of survival and underwent surgery for a cracked skull (a piece of which was missing) with 30% damage to the right side of his brain. He survived and is residing in a neighboring state at a rehabilitation center. A large payment was made under the personal umbrella policy.
Claim Scenario #3
The Claimant and Insured have been longtime friends, live on the same street, and the Claimant had been to the Insured’s home on many occasions. The Insured lives in a home with a brick patio which had been constructed in the 1960s. Bricks were replaced one year before the incident. An area of the patio is bordered by an 18 inch retaining wall with a flower bed between the wall and the brick patio.
Andrew McElhannon is the Member Services Coordinator for the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia www.iiag.org, and can be contacted at: email@example.com or b y phone at 770-458-0093, x.110, or 800-878-6487.