Personal Excess Liability: What If?

Publisher Rosen & Company, Inc.
Author Sara Rosen
PDF Version PDF Version
Personal Excess Liability: What If?
April 10, 2013

Someone slips and falls in your driveway. You look away for one moment and rear end the car in front of you. Your teenager posts something offensive online. Your dog nips a child.

What happens when one of these everyday occurrences turns into a lawsuit?

Excess Liability insurance is designed to protect your hard-earned assets in the event that you are sued. And make no mistake – in today’s world, these types of suits are all too common.

Personal Excess Liability, also known as Umbrella Liability, provides an additional layer of protection above the basic liability limits on your home or automobile policies. Extended liability protection, though widely overlooked, is a critically important component to asset protection.

Understanding your exposure to loss or other risk factors can help you determine if Excess Liability is right for you. Do you:

  • Drive a car?
  • Have a teenage driver?
  • Own a boat or other recreational vehicle?
  • Have a dog?
  • Have a swimming pool?
  • Throw parties?
  • Blog, tweet or post photos online?

If you said “yes” to any of the above, Extended Liability protection is an important consideration.

Determining what’s at risk is easy:

  • Your home
  • Your personal possessions (jewelry, artwork and the like)
  • Investments
  • Savings and checking balances
  • Future earnings

Tally the value of these assets to determine your Net Worth. If you’re sued, this total is what’s at risk of being lost.

The purpose of an Excess Liability policy is to safeguard your worth. In a worst case scenario, you want the lawsuit – and the attorney’s fees – to be paid by an insurance policy, not by liquidating your assets.

Excess limits between $1,000,000 and $3,000,000 typically cost between $200 and $600 annually. Don’t let a few hundred dollars of additional insurance costs stand in the way of an invaluable trade for peace of mind and financial security. Should you need them, higher limits are readily available.

If you aren’t yet convinced, read a bit further. These are just a few examples of recent U.S. jury verdicts involving common lawsuits that could be covered by a standard Excess Liability policy:

$21,000,000 Automobile Accident
The defendant was held liable after striking a 21-year old head-on while texting; the victim died.

$11,300,000 Internet Defamation
A suit was brought by a consultant against a woman posting defamatory statements about the plaintiff on the internet, calling the plaintiff a “crook” and a “fraud.”

$5,900,000 Dog Bite
A family was held liable after their friend’s 16-month old child was attacked and killed by the family’s dog.

$2,500,000 Host Liquor Liability/Negligent Supervision
After hosting friends of their teenage daughters, a vehicle accident left one teenager paralyzed; the driver was cited with a DWI and the parents were held liable for negligent supervision.

$2,300,000 Horseback Riding Accident
An 11-year old boy was kicked in the face by a privately-owned horse. The homeowners were found responsible due to negligent supervision.

$1,500,000 Swimming Pool Drowning
A 3-year old boy drowned in his family’s pool while under the supervision of a 17-year old female defendant, who was found guilty of failing to properly supervise the minor entrusted in her care.

Despite our best intentions, these unfortunate situations could happen to any us. With Excess Liability coverage, you’ll have little worry about finding yourself – or your assets – unprotected in the event it happens to you.

Rosen & Company, Inc. is an Armonk-based independent insurance brokerage firm representing clients in Armonk and around the world. Our staff has been protecting the needs of families and businesses for 46 years, and as an independent agent, we have access to the best products from the leading insurance providers, offering custom coverage plans tailored to the unique needs of your family. Rosen & Company promises guidance, choice and service beyond your
expectations. We welcome inquiries and look forward to assisting with managing the financial security of your family.

Sara Rosen is the Executive Vice President of Rosen & Company, Inc. For more information about Excess Liability and other insurance, please contact Rosen & Company at (914) 939-1200,, or visit us on the web at

Save a Life – Please Don’t Text and Drive