It Could Happen to Anyone…

insurance with hands protect a house. Home insurance or house insuranceToday, anyone could be sued. A terrible accident, moment of negligence or honest mistake could quickly turn into a life- changing lawsuit.  Individuals choose Personal Umbrella Insurance to back up the limits contained in basic insurance plans, such as auto, home or renters insurance. Don’t let the possibility of harmful unexpected events hang over your head.

Here are actual personal umbrella policy claims examples below. Are you prepared in the case of a lawsuit? Would you be covered if these events happened to you? Or would you have to pay out-of-pocket for settlements and legal costs?

Do you or your children babysit?

A babysitter left a 5 month old infant unattended in a walker. The infant toppled the walker, struck her head on the floor and suffered brain damage. The parents of the infant sued the teenage babysitter and her parents. The court awarded the infants parents $11,000,000.

Do you or your kids post on social media?

A couple’s daughter hated math class as well as the teacher. The daughter made several “disparaging” and false remarks about her teacher online. The teacher sued the parents for personal injury and $750,000 was paid.

Do you let your child borrow your car?

An 18 year old was driving his parent’s car on a short trip to the store with his girlfriend. He lost control of the car 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. His girlfriend, 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.

Could something on your property cause an injury?

  • A 28-year old engineer dove into a friend’s above ground swimming pool struck his head on the bottom and, as a result became a quadriplegic. He sued both the homeowner and the pool manufacturer. The court found the homeowner to be 60 percent responsible and the pool manufacturer to be 40 percent responsible, and awarded $10,000,000.
  • A hillside on the insured’s property was covered with concrete to prevent erosion. The concrete had been installed before the insured purchased the property. Approximately 5 feet of the concrete fell to the neighboring property knocking the claimants home from its foundation. The resulting claim was settled for $970,000.

Are you a landlord?

The insured’s tenant claims she became ill from carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from a faulty furnace. The tenant claimed permanent brain damage and demanded $750,000.

Do you volunteer, teach, or coach?

A teenager, who was destined for greatness as a softball player, filed a $700,000 lawsuit against her former coach, alleging his “incorrect’ teaching style ruined her chances for an athletic scholarship.

Do you host guests at your home?

  • A parent permitted several of her children and their friends to play paintball in her large back yard. The children were experienced and advised of all the safety rules including the use of headgear at all times. A participant removed her headgear as she was leaving the field in order to better hear someone calling her name. The minor claimant was hit in the eye resulting in a $475,000 settlement.
  • A couple hosted a beach party for their daughter. One of the attendees found what was believed to be an empty and discarded propane tank. The tank was thrown into a beach bonfire and subsequently exploded resulting in severe injuries to several guests. A $20,000,000 claim was filed alleging the insured failed to properly supervise the party.
  • A family hosted a party for their teenage children. They did not provide any alcohol, but it was brought by some of the guests and was available. After leaving the party, one of the guests was severely injured in an auto accident, and the injury was attributed to his consumption of alcohol. This case went to the State Supreme Court which decided that anyone who sells or furnishes alcohol to a minor is responsible for the minor’s injuries as well as any injuries caused by the minor. The opinion of the court was that the homeowners should have prevented the consumption of alcohol by minors on their premises. Both the homeowners and personal umbrella policies responded to this claim.


The above examples show the consequences of situations that can quickly exhaust the liability limits of the underlying policies.

While each family has to determine for themselves how much insurance is appropriate, Anderson Insurance Agency is always available to discuss your situation and find the right policy at the right price. To review your protection, call us at (609) 597-08507.