What is Personal Liability Insurance?

Personal liability insurance is protection beyond your primary homeowner's insurance, auto, or renters policy. You should obtain a personal liability insurance policy to safeguard your family finances, especially if you live a very full and active lifestyle, have many assets, or have household employees. Personal liability insurance rates are relatively cheap, so enter your ZIP code below to find cheap coverage from local companies near you.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020

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Personal liability insurance is insurance protection beyond a basic homeowners, auto or renters policy. This protection acts as an “umbrella” over the basic coverage; hence another name for personal liability insurance is umbrella insurance.

If you injure other people or if someone is injured on your property the basic types of car insurance coverage you have may not be enough.  For example, if the damages exceed your current homeowners or auto insurance policy then you could be personally liable for the rest. Personal liability insurance kicks in by providing another layer of insurance coverage up to the limits purchased. This type of coverage can be obtained quite easily and at an affordable price.

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Why would I need Personal Liability Insurance?

A personal liability insurance policy should be obtained for many reasons, but most importantly to safeguard your family finances especially if you lives a very full and active lifestyle, have many assets and/or have household employees. Personal liability insurance does not cover businesses, but business owners could have their own personal policy to protect their assets. Umbrella insurance is not tied to your home or car but a general policy tied to you, as an individual, and also often extends to family members. If you have children (especially teenagers) then this type of insurance could be even potentially more valuable. Young people in your home who are very active can also be dangerous and impulsive and accidents can happen when you least expect it.

What Kind of Accidents can happen?

Accidents happen every day and many of them are unforeseeable. Everyone has heard of stories like mowing the lawn and a rock flies from under the mower hitting a bystander in the eye. While these occurrences may not be common, they do happen and we live a very litigious society. Many times the only stipulation to sue someone is that damages happened while on your property and that the person injured was invited over by you. You cannot depend on friendship or even family members not to sue you. The lure of an easy buck can be very tempting. Even trespassers may have the right to sue especially if the trespasser is a child and you have a pool or other fixture that is attractive. This is known as an “attractive nuisance.” There are a myriad of accidents that could happen in your household and having a personal insurance policy in place can provide to be very valuable.

How much is Umbrella Insurance?

This really depends on your profile including your credit score but a personal insurance policy is very affordable and sold by many of the main insurance companies such as Allstate, Geico and more. Regardless of whether you think its fair that you should be responsible for the negligence, lack of maturity, or bad luck of others, the fact is you can be held responsible by law in many cases where someone was injured due to no fault of your own, and if you are not prepared and covered by insurance you could pay a hefty price.

When does Umbrella Insurance Kick in?

A personal liability insurance policy usually works as supplemental insurance. This means that your other existing policies would first cover any valid claims and then those costs which exceed your main insurance policies coverage would then be covered by your personal liability insurance policy (up to its limits and assuming the claim is from an insured event). A personal liability insurance is a very affordable way to provide you with significant financial protection.

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