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Typically, insurance policies (e.g., homeowners, automobile, and watercraft) include initial limits of “primary” liability that responds to legally based judgments against you or your family members. However, these are commonly limited to $300,000 or $500,000, making them inadequate in today’s litigious society where multi-million dollar judgments are all too common: these judgments are based on current and future earnings. In that event, an Excess Liability or “Umbrella” policy kicks in when a lawsuit judgment exceeds the limit on your homeowner’s and auto policies.

A key strategy in wealth preservation is the maintenance of comprehensive personal liability protection. That’s why we urge our clients to consider the maximum net worth they are willing to risk should such lawsuits occur. Our agency has the ability to place up to $100,000,000 in personal umbrella policies, and our recommendation is to maintain Excess/Umbrella Liability protection at a minimum limit of $5,000,000.

We believe there are two key components that, whenever possible, be included in a comprehensive Excess/Umbrella policy:

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – This important protection is provided under most primary Automobile policies. It ensures that a household member will be covered for injuries he/she receives from a negligent driver. In the event of a qualifying accident, the insurance company will pay the difference between what the uninsured/underinsured driver can pay and what the injured driver would be entitled to as if the uninsured motorist had proper insurance in effect (covered also applies in “hit-and-run” accidents). We encourage every client to purchase additional limits of protection, which are available as an endorsement to the Excess/Umbrella policy. This additional protection covers the bodily injury damages they cause you or a family member.

Ensuring a Proper Defense – Most clients are unaware of how their defense would be managed by their insurance company in the event of a lawsuit brought against them or a family member. Three specific items to request include:

  • Outside the Limits – All covered defense costs are “outside” the limit of Excess/Umbrella coverage, thus preserving the full Excess/Umbrella coverage limit for judgments against you.
  • Expanded Defense – A sub-limit of coverage will apply to the reasonable expenses for your preferred law firm to review and consult on the defense offered by the policy.
  • Reputational Damage – Some policies will also provide a sub-limit to cover the fees of a public relations firm to protect your reputation within your community.

 

Our clients’ needs evolve over time so we want to reinforce the following coverage options that could be critical to maintaining a proper Personal Liability Program. Please make your insurance advisor aware of any related exposures that you or a family member may have to any of the following:

  • Trusts, Estates, & LLC’s – If your properties, vehicles, watercraft, or aircraft are owned in the name of an entity created for tax or liability purposes, be sure the entity is named on your Primary and Excess/Umbrella policies as an Additional Insured.
  • Non-Profit Director’s & Officer’s Liability – Protects unpaid board members or trustees of charitable organizations against lawsuits involving a variety of wrongful acts such as sexual harassment, discrimination, libel, slander, invasion of privacy, wrongful termination, and plagiarism.
  • Family Trust Liability – Covers damages resulting from a negligent act, error/omission, or breach of duty while serving as a trustee of a family trust.

 

 

 

NAPLES, FL (November 20, 2018) – Gulfshore Insurance, a Florida-based insurance agency, is pleased to announce Jeffrey Sanders has been certified as a Transportation Risk and Insurance Professional (TRIP™). This insurance designation recognizes specialized expertise in transportation insurance and establishes one’s commitment to the transportation industry through an on-going continuing education component focusing on transportation risk and insurance.

“The TRIP program has helped us show our transportation clients and prospects that we understand their most important insurance needs,” said Brad Havemeier, President and CEO of Gulfshore Insurance. “Jeffrey has further strengthened our agency with the specialized knowledge necessary to provide superior risk management and insurance advice and service to our transportation clients.

The TRIP continuing education program is a specialized curriculum consisting of five, self-paced courses presented entirely online. Only those who complete these courses and maintain their knowledge with an ongoing continuing education program are entitled to display the TRIP designation to certify their knowledge of transportation insurance. For more information about the TRIP continuing education program and designation, visit www.TRIP-CE.com.

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Introduction

In the 1980’s, Congress amended the Social Security Act to include the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP), which effectively enacted Medicare liens.  In 2003, the Government clarified its position that self-insured entities were also included in the MSP in passing the Medicare Act of 2003.  Prior to the Act, Medicare did not have an efficient mechanism to identify or evaluate instances where Medicare’s liability should have been secondary.  In 2003, the government took no steps to actively pursue settling Medicare eligible plaintiffs.  Medicare lacked efficient mechanisms to pursue cases where its liability should have been second to the responsible party.

On December 29, 2007, the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA) was signed into law.  MMSEA amended the MSP to impose new reporting duties on liability insurance plans, private self-insured entities, Group Health Plans, no fault insurance plans and Workers’ Compensation plans. Read more

Every five seconds there is a vehicle crash in the United States. Wouldn’t you like to know if your drivers are at a greater risk of being involved in an accident? The Driver Performance Analysis System (DPAS) is a tool that can help. DPAS is a two-phase driver performance measurement and analysis program which, when completed, is a valid and reliable measure of a driver’s traffic related knowledge and skills.

The DPAS system evaluates a driver’s capability in four critical dimensions:

  1. Traffic Knowledge
  2. Perceptual Skills
  3. Traffic Risk and
  4. Traffic Procedures

The system produces results in terms of:

  1. Score (relative to the universe)
  2. Likelihood of being involved in a crash
  3. Probability that training will improve abilities in each of the four areas.

This interactive, web-based tool can help:

  • Identify high-risk drivers
  • Improve driver abilities
  • Reduce crashes
  • Enhance hiring decisions
  • Minimize claims
  • Reduce liability
  • Instill professionalism
  • Reward low-risk drivers
  • Enhance profitability



For more information on DPAS, contact us today.