Why Buy an Umbrella

Peggy Wilson

Area Vice President – Member Services

As a member of MUSIC, you are provided with liability limits up to the statutory state caps that apply when your sovereign immunity defense is waived. Those limits are a little less than $3,000,000. However, in today’s legal environment that isn’t always enough. Plaintiff attorneys will also name individual employees, administrators and board members to circumvent those same caps and immunities available to governmental entities which also triggers large settlement demands. Umbrella policies offer that “extra” protection from the unexpected.

Many contracts that members have with vendors require more than the $3,000,000 that MUSIC provides.  Be sure you know what limits you have before signing a contract that could require more than what you currently have through MUSIC.

MUSIC staff members receive questions about the need for umbrellas and the reality of the current legal climate and exposure for Missouri schools and colleges. Unfortunately, there have been several suits against our members in recent years with requests for damages in excess of $5 million dollars. Claims such as automobile accidents that may involve multiple injured parties can result in large sums of damages being claimed. Rising medical costs with long hospitalizations can lead to hospital and doctor liens well over seven figures. In some of our current cases, we have multiple claimants with combined medical expenses over $1,000,000 for a single accident. This does not include the same plaintiffs’ claims for wage loss and permanency. In those situations it is easy to anticipate demands in excess of our policy limits. Fortunately, our members involved have had umbrella policies.

One request we get most often regarding umbrellas is, “What are other members purchasing?” Below is the breakdown of what MUSIC members purchased last year.

 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if you are interested in purchasing this coverage. We will provide all members with quotes in your 2020 MUSIC Invoice Assessment Packet at the beginning of November.