Jennifer Johnson, Personal Lines Client Executive

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Flood Insurance:  Don’t Let El Niño Get the Best of You

Posted by Jennifer Johnson, Personal Lines Client Executive on January 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Flood Insurance:  Don’t Let El Niño Get the Best of You

With the effects of El Niño in full swing, homeowners are becoming increasingly aware of the potential damage flooding can do to a home. Recent news clips feature homeowners standing in their living rooms up to their ankles in muddy water. So, it’s no wonder people are asking me what they need to do to protect themselves from a huge flood loss.

Homeowners Insurance

The first thing to note: A typical homeowners policy does not include flood coverage. While they cover water damage from a broken pipe, it does not cover damage caused by “an overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, or mudflow” (1). Essentially, any flooding from the outside is not covered by homeowners insurance, unless it’s caused by a covered loss, such as wind. The only sure way to safeguard your home from a flood caused by El Niño is to purchase flood insurance.

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Topics: Individuals

Why You Need a Personal Umbrella/Excess Liability Policy

Posted by Jennifer Johnson, Personal Lines Client Executive on July 27, 2015 at 10:45 AM
Why You Need a Personal Umbrella/Excess Liability Policy

Successful people often share a common trait: Optimism. I meet with people daily who dreamed the impossible dream, and though there were some bumps along the journey, their unwavering positivity made dreams come true.  

I’ve also noticed that when it comes to protecting their hard-earned assets, this eternal optimism can leave them vulnerable. Unfortunately, we live in a litigious society where one personal lawsuit can undo years of hard work and cause significant financial damage to even the wealthiest individuals. Without proper coverage, they can potentially leave themselves unprotected.

How Much of Your Net Worth is Exposed?

One way to assess whether you have enough protection is to consider your net worth. For example, a client has a net worth of $10M, yet their current plan only provides $500,000 underlying liability for their personal home and auto coverage. This leaves $9.5M of their personal net worth exposed.

In a lawsuit, a limit of $500,000 is almost worthless if the claim is over their covered limits. Therefore, it is wise to consider an umbrella/excess liability policy which gives you added protection if you are sued.

  • An excess liability policy kicks in when the underlying limits on your home or auto policy have been exhausted. 
  • An umbrella policy fills in the gaps in coverage.

If you are ever involved in a lawsuit, you need to be prepared. More often than not, people are sued and don’t have extra protection to block the plaintiff from going after personal assets. While it may be difficult to think of a situation where you may not be covered, consider the following real life scenarios.

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Topics: Individuals

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