Friday, August 14, 2015

Umbrella insurance questions, following up on a potential Catch-22


I just got a second opinion, by phone, on the apparent “Catch 22” in the umbrella insurance world, by talking to an independent insurance agency in northern Virginia not connected to either my auto or property insurance coverage. This follows up on a post June 4, 2015.

It does seem that the property and insurance world is aware of potential underwriting traps, so here is what is happening.

Some companies have upped the normal limits on auto to $500,000/$500,000 or even more.  That would offer improved coverage on conventional auto without umbrella.

Also, companies exclude incidental intellectual property liability (especially defamation) on writing or social media activity that is directly connected to a business, even self-owned or in retirement.  If the “business activity” is excluded upfront, then it need not be underwritten for (unpredictable anti-selection) risk.

The defamation coverage would only apply to incidental, personal or household situations totally unrelated to any business efforts.
  
Most agencies that sell property and coverage do sell small business coverage, and most sell media perils. I’ve written before (as on the “BillBoushka” blog, Sept. 28, 2008).  I still wonder if some day it could become mandatory. 

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