If your firm is looking to hire, keep, or just looking to financially protect your highly paid partners, employees or members, a group personal liability umbrella is something to seriously consider. This is no different than having each individual get his/her own personal liability insurance, but it is for groups and is paid for by the business. The group personal liability umbrella may also be purchased by non-profits for their members as well as by a group of family members.
Sophisticated and highly paid individuals know the value of this coverage. They need to protect themselves from serious auto accidents where they were at fault and may be liable for millions of dollars due to injuries not covered by their auto policies that are subject to coverage limits. Of course, this also covers serious injuries an individual may be liable for regarding an incident that happens at home, in amateur sports or in other recreational activities.
Coverage of up to 50 million dollars per insured individual is typically the maximum and can cover a specific class group, such as executives only, family members or a number of other arrangements as worked out with your agent and the carrier’s underwriter. Since it is underwritten as a group, individual histories and eligibility may be less stringent. For example, if one employee has a DUI conviction, this might be overlooked, depending on the carrier and the number of members participating in the policy.
The group personal liability policy can be set up as either mandatory or voluntary. Mandatory coverage automatically includes all partners, employees or members in the defined class. Furthermore under a mandatory program, a new hire in the defined class is automatically covered without any further paperwork, except perhaps when the policy renews. Voluntary coverage lists only those who choose to participate in the program. They must be individually listed on the policy and additional forms must be completed for new hires who want to participate in the program.
What is the major benefit to your firm? In addition to providing a valuable benefit to those people who need this coverage, if a serious incident does happen, it keeps your team members productive instead of having to spend time trying to figure a way to protect themselves. The reason is the insurance company is handling the serious problems, and it also has the expertise and legal counsel that know the best way to legally resolve issues. If someone were to do this on their own, they would need to find an attorney and meet on a regular basis, which would certainly cause mental distraction as well as productivity and performance lapses. Also, any settlement or judgment in an individual action could result in garnished wages, and perhaps further ongoing problems and issues.
This is a flexible benefit that does not break the bank and does not go up every year to the extent that health insurance policies do. Including a group personal liability umbrella in your benefits package for the key individuals in your firm can really go a long way. It gives peace of mind as each partner is protected and won’t be overly distracted if they are unfortunate to be involved and responsible for a personal catastrophe that causes serious injury or death to another party.