[Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

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[Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby covepatrol » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:39 pm

Do I need it?
403b = 300k
Pension = 120k (Cal STRS)
rental = 230k (paid off)
Primary = 275k (owe 135k)
salary = 80k
Age 45
retirement age = 57

No pool/trampolines/zip lines etc
one car two drivers = 7500k miles a year (not married)

Quote from current agent = 268 for one million in coverage
Thanks
P.S been lurking for years. This site has been a huge benefit to my financial well being.
Last edited by covepatrol on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Call_Me_Op » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:12 pm

Main reason in your case would be to protect future salary.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Gleevec » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:08 pm

I think umbrella insurance is extremely underrated. Its relatively cheap for what is provides (mover slips and falls in house-- you are better protected).

You can get a discount sometimes if you get your home/auto insurance from the same company you get your umbrella insurance from as well
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Jack » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:38 pm

Gleevec wrote:I think umbrella insurance is extremely underrated. Its relatively cheap for what is provides (mover slips and falls in house-- you are better protected).

The fact that umbrella insurance is so cheap, even for a million dollars in coverage, tells you that the probability of your ever needing is extremely low -- many times less than the probability of your house burning down. It's sort of like insuring for a meteor strike.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby neurosphere » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:43 pm

covepatrol wrote:Do I need it?


For me, it's worth $500/year for $2M in coverage so that I don't ever have to ask myself "do I need it?" again. :D

But everyone is different in terms of how they deal with the thought of harm from very low probability events.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby TomatoTomahto » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:49 pm

Jack wrote:
Gleevec wrote:I think umbrella insurance is extremely underrated. Its relatively cheap for what is provides (mover slips and falls in house-- you are better protected).

The fact that umbrella insurance is so cheap, even for a million dollars in coverage, tells you that the probability of your ever needing is extremely low -- many times less than the probability of your house burning down. It's sort of like insuring for a meteor strike.


In today's litigious society, I think it is silly not to have it at the price. Some people think that falling down on my sidewalk is almost as good as winning the lottery.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Toons » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:57 pm

I would estimate 90% of Bogleheads have umbrella insurance ,if not more :happy
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby BolderBoy » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:58 pm

Lawyers are exquisitely good at thinking up reasons why you should be milked for all you are worth (and then some, if possible). A friend was hit by a non-drunk guy who lost control of his auto, crossed the median and... At the bankruptcy hearing the judge refused to discharge the $500/month the guy has to pay my friend, forever.

You just never know - it is cheap for what you get.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby frugaltype » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:06 pm

There was a thread on this just recently.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Jack » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:15 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:In today's litigious society, I think it is silly not to have it at the price. Some people think that falling down on my sidewalk is almost as good as winning the lottery.

It is clear that insurance companies disagree with your anecdotal characterization. They have the real data, they calculate the risks and they set the prices for coverage accordingly. Umbrella insurance is many times cheaper than fire insurance for your house.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby mhc » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:26 pm

It's all a matter of risk mitigation against catastrophic events. Umbrella insurance is one part of that. For me, I have $2 million in coverage for $279/yr. It protects my current assets and future income.

Obviously, the rate is low because the odds are small of ever using it.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby covepatrol » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:40 pm

The agent told me a potential
Lawsuit could "only" go after my future earnings and
The equity in my primary residence.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby BestWishes » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:42 pm

It seems to me this question is very personal similar to how much risk tolerance do you have for investment. Everyone is different.

For medical insurance, you know you will use it some day as everyone gets sick. For umbrella insurance, probably most of us will never use it (hopefully).

As for me, I have a lot of risk tolerance for investment. But I have $5M umbrella insurance and still worry about it. :oops:

So if you ask me, it would be worth the $200 something a year. But then you are not me.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Quasimodo » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:59 pm

I'd buy an umbrella liability policy. The cost is trivial compared to what you spend on gas for your car. The umbrella liability insurer will defend you if you get sued (instead of you having to hire and pay for an attorney), and the possibility of your future salary going to pay a judgement becomes much less likely.

I'm retired, not an insurance salesperson, and this is a personal opinion.

According to this website, your income puts you in the top 0.09% of the wealthiest people in the world:

http://www.globalrichlist.com

Good luck whatever you decide!

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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby BW1985 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:02 pm

I have renters insruance with $1M liability coverage in case my dog were to injure someone. Does an umbrella policy offer any additional coverage? I'm not really sure what it is.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Quasimodo » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:00 am

http://www.geico.com/information/abouti ... /umbrella/

Umbrella policies are not standardized, so coverages may differ from insurer to insurer, but GEICO has a fair explanation of what's usually covered.

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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby abuss368 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:46 am

It is so cheap for the coverage provided that there should be no question or debate.

Best.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:58 am

A couple of reasons why you should buy umbrella insurance:

1) You live in California. Enough said.

2) You have significant assets and minimal liabilities. In legalese that is defined as "hitting the jackpot".

3) You want to enjoy your retirement. I know of no one who enjoys retirement while having to make payments to a third-party (related or unrelated) for the rest of their natural lives.

4) It's cheap. For 73 cents per day, you could pass potential headaches onto someone else. It costs 3X as much just to put gas in your car annually (7500 miles worth).
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Confused » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:10 pm

Toons wrote:I would estimate 90% of Bogleheads have umbrella insurance ,if not more :happy


I am the 10%. Don't really have any assets to protect.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby orlandoman » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:25 pm

- Think of everyone you know or work with ... how many people have you ever heard about who had a liability claim ... and I'll guess that 99.99% are for auto accidents ... so, check the rates on raising your auto liability insurance instead of getting an umbrella policy.
- Okay, you decide that an umbrella policy or increased auto limits makes sense ... what limit should you get ... are you going to have an auto accident that severely injures/kills 1 person or are you going to hit a school bus and injury/kill 23 children?
- If a loss should occur, through the discovery process, your policy limits are available to both parties. If you have higher limits do you think there is a tendency to sue for a higher amount?
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Savvy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:25 pm

Yes if you truly are driving 7.5 million miles per year
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Gleevec » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:45 pm

Jack wrote:
Gleevec wrote:I think umbrella insurance is extremely underrated. Its relatively cheap for what is provides (mover slips and falls in house-- you are better protected).

The fact that umbrella insurance is so cheap, even for a million dollars in coverage, tells you that the probability of your ever needing is extremely low -- many times less than the probability of your house burning down. It's sort of like insuring for a meteor strike.


Its catastrophic insurance. Its not like medical or auto insurance which is much more likely to be used and thus way more expensive (plus those are mandated).

To me all insurance is for the rare unexpected event, and as umbrella insurance is very reasonably priced the cost/benefit for me is highly favorable. In fact, I think its a much better deal than my other insurances.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Ozonewanderer » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:25 pm

Gleevec wrote:
Jack wrote:
Gleevec wrote:I think umbrella insurance is extremely underrated. Its relatively cheap for what is provides (mover slips and falls in house-- you are better protected).

The fact that umbrella insurance is so cheap, even for a million dollars in coverage, tells you that the probability of your ever needing is extremely low -- many times less than the probability of your house burning down. It's sort of like insuring for a meteor strike.


Its catastrophic insurance. Its not like medical or auto insurance which is much more likely to be used and thus way more expensive (plus those are mandated).

To me all insurance is for the rare unexpected event, and as umbrella insurance is very reasonably priced the cost/benefit for me is highly favorable. In fact, I think its a much better deal than my other insurances.

+1

For $268/year you protect all your assets. To put it another way, you could save $268/year, but you could accidentally hurt someone (accidents do happen) and lose everything you have including future salary. Just fighting the lawsuit could cost you $100,000's.

You have enough assets that you should protect them.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby arthurdawg » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:09 pm

I keep 3 million of umbrella coverage. I may never need it, but it is pretty cheap to carry, and if I do get sued when the burglar trips and hurts his back I'll be very happy!
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Steelersfan » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:50 pm

I'm not inclined to buy insurance for things I don't think I need.

For many years I didn't think I didn't need it.

I'm still not sure i do.

But the consensus among bogleheads (based on several polls of who have it and who don't) convinced me it's a wise expenditure. This is not a group who spend money easily for unnecessary purchases. There's considerable wisdom in this group.

I bought a $1mm policy a few months ago, combining my auto, home and umbrella with one company to minimize the expense.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby lostInFinance » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:41 pm

A search would show this topic has been debated endlessly. I think for the typical boglehead with a net worth, excluding 401k and equivalents, above a million dollars an umbrella makes sense. For the large numbers of bogleheads who are or will be in the top 2-3% of income earners, umbrella policies make sense. For the OP, getting an umbrella on top of a $500k auto/home policy probably is a lot like insuring for a meteor strike. Maybe, the OP would be justified in getting an umbrella if he decided to get a pit bull, who had a habit of escaping the yard.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby penumbra » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:20 am

I look at insurance not as for the unlikely or unexpected event, but for the type of event you can't easily self-insure for. Life insurance is for a very likely event. You can be sure you'll die. But you may not be able to cover for all your needs without it (I'm not talking about shorter term, term life). Disability insurance, earthquake insurance, umbrella insurance: these all deal with admittedly unlikely events which might be intolerable to handle out of existing assets. As to its cost: the insurance companies know the relative risks, and price it accordingly. Umbrella is not necessarily a "better deal" than other types; it's just priced according to likelihood and size of potential claim.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby bmelikia » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:24 am

Jack wrote:
Gleevec wrote:I think umbrella insurance is extremely underrated. Its relatively cheap for what is provides (mover slips and falls in house-- you are better protected).

The fact that umbrella insurance is so cheap, even for a million dollars in coverage, tells you that the probability of your ever needing is extremely low -- many times less than the probability of your house burning down. It's sort of like insuring for a meteor strike.


And since it is soooo cheap. . .get it! After all, it didn't cost you very much money, right?
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby SnapShots » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:56 am

Houses burn down. Meteors strike the earth. I had a car accident a few months ago that totaled both cars. My first accident. Fortunately, no one was killed, disabled or injured. A few weeks after the accident the lady stopped answering my insurance company's phone calls, was going to a doctor and we were told she probably had hired an attorney.

We were glad we had umbrella insurance. And, like fire insurance we hope we never have to use either one. It will give you peace of mind when the unexpected happens.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Gleevec » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:23 pm

To me, umbrella insurance is the "truest" form of insurance. You are insuring for a massive liability unknown type event that is likely very rare.

In my view, the spectrum of "insurance" from low to high utility based on my needs:
Apple "insurance" where dropping your $500 iphone is likely, covered, but that if you were to lose all $500 you would not have your livelihood in risk.

In between are dental insurance (generally not helpful since I have not heard of dental work leading to bankruptcy), same with eye insurance.

Car insurance where you could theoretically afford to repair yourself or carpool, but the important aspect being the injury component (which is the part of car insurance I think is valuable, which is the EXACT same logic behind why I think umbrella insurance is so important).

Homeowners insurance for natural disasters

Medical insurance where a serious illness could jeopardize everything. On this level is term life and individual disability insurance.

And then umbrella insurance for the truly unexpected catastrophic event.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby grabiner » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:21 pm

Gleevec wrote:Medical insurance where a serious illness could jeopardize everything. On this level is term life and individual disability insurance.


Medical insurance has an advantage beyond the catastrophic protection; it has an expected positive value because of insurance-negotiated prices. (And you get the benefit of the negotiated prices even if the insurance itself pays nothing because it is a high-deductible plan in which you didn't meet your deductible.)
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Gleevec » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:37 pm

grabiner wrote:
Gleevec wrote:Medical insurance where a serious illness could jeopardize everything. On this level is term life and individual disability insurance.


Medical insurance has an advantage beyond the catastrophic protection; it has an expected positive value because of insurance-negotiated prices. (And you get the benefit of the negotiated prices even if the insurance itself pays nothing because it is a high-deductible plan in which you didn't meet your deductible.)


Actually I would say that is a disadvantage. The utilization of dental and optical "insurance" basically leads to the dentist and optometrist maxing out the arbitrary insurance plan instead of having free market pricing.

If you look at medicine, the only procedures that have gotten cheaper over time are cosmetic and Lasik-- because they are not insured there is price pressure.

So individually you are right medical insurance gets you a better "deal," but systemically leads to higher fixed and obfuscated prices for all of us who use it
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Call_Me_Op » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:10 am

Confused wrote:
Toons wrote:I would estimate 90% of Bogleheads have umbrella insurance ,if not more :happy


I am the 10%. Don't really have any assets to protect.


And no future salary???
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Steelersfan » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:45 am

Toons wrote:I would estimate 90% of Bogleheads have umbrella insurance ,if not more :happy


It's not 90% but it's more than 80% based on this poll of earlier this year, with 190 respondents.

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=112847&p=1642134
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby covepatrol » Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:31 am

Thanks for all the replies. I plan to buy the policy. When I called for the quote I was able to reduce my car insurance by 20 dollars a month. (we used to drive 20k miles a year and now drive 7500k)
Almost a "free" umbrella!
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Default User BR » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:23 pm

Steelersfan wrote:It's not 90% but it's more than 80% based on this poll of earlier this year, with 190 respondents.

Eh, 80% of Bogleheads who read that thread and chose to answer the poll. With self-selected polling, it's generally the case that people with an interest in the subject will be over-represented.

Then there are people like me that read the thread and didn't answer the poll. I feel that most Boglehead polls are deeply flawed both for the self-selection problem and because they are usually poorly described or constructed. And there are too many, and frequently pointless, being cases where polling provides little information over discussion.


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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby Steelersfan » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:41 pm

Default User BR wrote:
Steelersfan wrote:It's not 90% but it's more than 80% based on this poll of earlier this year, with 190 respondents.

Eh, 80% of Bogleheads who read that thread and chose to answer the poll. With self-selected polling, it's generally the case that people with an interest in the subject will be over-represented.

Then there are people like me that read the thread and didn't answer the poll. I feel that most Boglehead polls are deeply flawed both for the self-selection problem and because they are usually poorly described or constructed. And there are too many, and frequently pointless, being cases where polling provides little information over discussion.


Brian (bah, humbug)


I agree, which means 80% is probably a high estimate.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby afan » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:59 pm

If you were to be sued without umbrella insurance, and it was not something that would at least bring in your auto policy, then you would be on your own for finding a good attorney. You could "ask around" but unless you are in the field, you would have no idea even what to look for, let alone who to hire, what are reasonable fees...

If you have umbrella insurance, the company will find an attorney. Since this is their business, and they are paying for both the attorney and any settlement that may arise, they know much more than you do about who is good. Think of it as $267 a year to find you good representation, and $1 to cover you in the event you are found liable for something.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby lostInFinance » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:15 pm

Call_Me_Op wrote:
Confused wrote:
Toons wrote:I would estimate 90% of Bogleheads have umbrella insurance ,if not more :happy


I am the 10%. Don't really have any assets to protect.


And no future salary???


I think the counter-argument is that litigating an auto accident end to end could cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think wage garnishments are limited to 25% of your income. Thus, if you're like the OP and only make $80k, it could take decades just to recoup the litigation costs, so no firm wants to litigate the case end to end that's on contingency. Of course, it would be great if there were some actual litigators who could contribute to this topic.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby obgraham » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:04 am

afan wrote:If you have umbrella insurance, the company will find an attorney.
I agree with this completely. It happened to me. I ran up the back of some kid's car some years ago. Automatically my fault since I was the following vehicle. So my insurance pays for his car. (And mine, too.) Fair enough, that's why we have insurance. Couple months later comes the knock on the door with the papers. He found out my profession and decided I was an easy hit, and I'd prevented him from becoming the world's #1 skateboarder -- gimme some money.

Called umbrella insurance carrier. They handled it all. Hired the lawyers. Hired a PI who soon found out via a neighbor there was nothing wrong with him. Case suddenly went away. Defense costs were over 10k just to get to that point.

To me the cost of umbrella coverage is trivial.
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby senhati » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:53 am

This is my first post. I have been reading the forum for the past 6-8 months. Changed most of my investment towards bogleheads philosophy.

My earning is around 200K/ yr
Total asset value around 240K
No loan
No house, I rent.

After reading Bogleheads for many months, I decided to buy umbrella insurance today. I had to buy renters insurance to buy umbrella insurance. For 1 mil, I am paying 116 renters + 169 umbrella. So total 285/yr.

I don't really believe that I need umbrella insurance. ( Also I was not believer of Total index !!)
There are so many really smart investors in Bogleheads and they think it is wise to buy umbrella insurance. So I bought it. I hope that is a right decision. :happy
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Re: [Do I need] Umbrella Insurance

Postby arthurdawg » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:10 am

I think obgraham's account is why everyone should hold a million or so of umbrella coverage. It generally costs ~250$ per year, often can be dovetailed with car / house policies, and even though a catastrophic suit is unlikely... well, why risk it?
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