Umbrellas…Protection when your business has a rainy day, By Mike Shumate

Many people invest a few extra dollars for an umbrella to keep them safe and protected from the elements.  They help to keep you warm, dry and protect your clothing.  Umbrellas are also available in insurance and can potentially protect you from much more than the elements – they can protect and even save your business. 

In the event a catastrophe strikes your business, Umbrellas provide extra protection on your liability exposures such as premises hazards, completed products and auto liability.  With respects to your business insurance, your Commercial General Liability and Auto policies typically give you a $1 million limit for coverage.  An Umbrella policy can be purchased for a single premium, which can go over multiple liability policies, and are often relatively inexpensive in comparison to the potential payout of a serious claim which can cripple your business. 

Consider the following scenario: one of your drivers is excessively speeding down the road and has to slam on the breaks to avoid the sudden change in traffic ahead.  The tires skid on the wet pavement and the truck slams into the back of stopped traffic and causes a multi-car accident.  A car with a mother and three kids are critically injured and rushed to the hospital where they incur multiple surgeries and long term rehab.  The total cost of all bodily injury and property damage from the accident is $1.7 million.  If you only have $1 million you will face the daunting reality of having to cover payments out of pocket or even watch the doors of your business close.  If an Umbrella policy is in place, the extra $700,000 on the claim will be paid, thus keeping money in your business and the doors open.  Many businesses realize the benefit of having extra protection outweighs the cost of purchasing an Umbrella. 

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