July 2012 Bonus Issue - Page 33

BEWARE OF DOG Protect Yourself—and Your Assets Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability. Most policies provide $100,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage. If the claim exceeds the limit, the dog owner is personally responsible for all damages above that amount, including legal expenses. Most insurance companies will insure homeowners with dogs. However, once a dog has bitten someone, it poses an increased risk. In such a case, the insurance company may charge a higher premium or exclude the dog from coverage altogether. Some companies will require dog owners to sign liability waivers for dog bites. Some will cover a pet if the owner takes the dog to classes aimed at modifying its behavior. A single lawsuit—even if won—can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. And the greater a person’s assets, the more potentially is at risk. The personal liability coverage available through a standard homeowners or automobile policy simply may not be enough, so you may want to consider purchasing a personal excess liability policy. Also known as an umbrella liability policy, it protects you against personal liabilities—such as dog bites—that could impact a substantial portion of your assets. The amount of umbrella liability coverage usually ranges from $1 million to $10 million, and covers broad types of liability. Most insurance companies have required minimum amounts of underlying coverage—typically at least $250,000 of protection from your auto policy and $300,000 of protection from your homeowners policy. If you own a boat, then you must also have boat insurance with a specified minimum am [وݙ\YK\ۘ[^\XX[]H[\[H\[]][H[^[]KH\ HZ[[ۈوݙ\YHX] ML \YX\HXۙZ[[ۈX] K[X\]Y[[ܙ[Y[و HZ[[ۈX] L\YX\HH\ۜXHۙ\[[X][KH\ۜX[]H܈\HZ[[[۝[H\]Hۙ\H[[\\\HH][X[\[X[ܝZ[X\܈Z[[\\ۜXHۙ\\[YY[XX\]\X[\ۙ\܈YX[X\KT[H[[[ܙHX]\X\[\]H\و^\YXHH[\و[\][Y[ۙH]ZZKܙ˂H]X\\[H L B