Monday, November 14, 2011

At your Age, How Much Exposure is Acceptable?


Nope, not talking about swimwear coverage here.  The topic is insurance.  Last evening, Patti Clement was one of the featured speakers at a Salon Talk that I hosted along with Steve Lerangis of Northern Trust.  Patti is one of the top producers at HUB International, one of the largest insurance brokerage firms in the United States.  She captivated a room full of professionals and local Greenwich residents that left saying, “Wow, I better go check my policy!”  So here’s three questions that are just the tip of the iceberg:

1.    When is the last time you updated any insurance appraisals (home, jewelry, wine, art, specialty collections)?
2.    Did you know that if you don’t let your insurance carrier know that you are undergoing renovation work that they can actually financially penalize you later, for not adjusting your coverage during the work period?
3.    Do you have liability coverage for household staff to protect you against sexual harassment, wrongful termination and discrimination?

These are all questions that your insurance broker should be asking as part of an extensive analysis of your personal risk and exposure to small or catastrophic personal or property events.  The kind and amount of insurance that you carry always feels just fine until “something happens”—and then it does not.

“The question you need to ask yourself is if the amount of liability coverage you have is consistent with your net worth,” says Patti, who is known for her ability to craft unique insurance programs for high net worth individuals.  Personal liability is just one of her areas of focus for client protection.  “Many affluent clients that I work with think that $1million of personal liability insurance is sufficient, but it’s not”, she adds.

In just a few minutes of 34 years worth of stories, Patti can make you rethink that number.  Imagine that you, your teenage child, nanny or housekeeper is responsible for a car accident that involves bodily injury to another person.  “A lawsuit for a horrific car accident is a 3 to 5 year minimum to settle”, Patti notes.  “Coverage is from the time of the loss – settlement from the judge is from the date of the courtcase plus interest.  before you can blink.”  - That $1million will be gone.”

Besides personal liability insurance there are a host of other exposures that may exist in your life from personal directors & officers liability to proper flood insurance.  Hope I didn’t ruin your night’s sleep!

Patti Clement is Vice President & Managing Director of HUB International Northeast, and specializes in developing customized insurance programs for high net worth individuals and families throughout North America. You can find out more about her services at www.hubclement.com



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