Below are the insurance add-ons that we at the Murrick Group highly recommend. Extra home liability insurance, loss of use auto insurance, cyber insurance, and reduced earthquake deductible insurance are all add-ons that are more than worth considering.
Personal Umbrella Insurance
Your home insurance typically includes $1,000,000 liability coverage, but in today’s world, that’s not enough to protect your savings and assets against lawsuits and large liability claims. We recommend a “personal umbrella liability policy” to increase your liability coverage to $5,000,000 or more to protect all your personal assets, including your savings; home, townhouse, or condominium; seasonal home; vehicles; and recreation vehicles. This type of insurance covers you for legal actions or claims for compensatory damages for personal injury or property damage, including libel or slander claims, even if the allegations are fraudulent or groundless. A personal umbrella liability policy will also cover premiums on bail or appeal bonds you might be required to pay and all court costs owed by you or any person insured under the policy.
The need for additional liability insurance becomes clear when you consider how quickly and easily a scenario like the following could occur: an accidental kitchen fire spreads to the rest of your home, then jumps to your neighbour’s home, another neighbour’s home, and another. One of the fires spreads to trees behind the home and winds fan the flames to ignite dry ground cover, shrubs, and then trees in the adjacent woods. A power pole burns, leaving the area with no power for days. This is not a far-fetched chain of events.
Talk to your Murrick Group insurance agent about a personal umbrella insurance policy to protect your hard-earned savings and assets from disastrous lawsuits and liability claims.
Additional Loss of Use Auto Insurance
Loss of use auto insurance pays for costs such as car rental and storage for your damaged vehicle after an accident. ICBC’s RoadStar’s loss-of-use limit is $500 and Roadside Plus’ limit is $750. Neither of those coverages is adequate if the collision repair shop isn’t able to schedule your vehicle for assessment and repairs for two weeks, the parts required to repair the damage takes weeks to be delivered, and/or your vehicle must be towed to a storage facility until the shop can repair the damage. The high cost of vehicle rentals and storage would quickly exceed your RoadStar and Roadside Plus coverage. Without additional insurance, you pay the additional costs.
Additional Loss of Use auto insurance is inexpensive, so we urge you to call your Murrick Group insurance agent to purchase additional coverage.
As electronic technology increasingly pervades our lives, so too does the risk of cyber, ransomware, and identity theft attacks. According to a market research firm, nearly half of Canadians have been victims of cyber fraud or scams in their lifetime, with credit card fraud, debit card fraud, and online phishing scams being the most commonly reported.
Cyber crime differs from identity theft. For example, if you turn on your computer and your entire system is shut down from a ransomware attack, you’re a victim of a cyber crime. Some home insurance policies automatically offer identity theft coverage, but that does not provide protection against cyber or ransomware attacks and can be very restrictive. We recommend that you purchase additional coverage that includes cyber and ransomware insurance and 24/7 assistance from people who can guide you through what you need to do when you discover such an attack. Additional stand-alone cyber insurance is surprisingly inexpensive and, in some cases, can be added onto your current insurance policy for a minimal premium.
Extra cyber insurance can include:
- 24/7 access to an incident response helpline and website
- Coverage against cyber and ransomware attacks and crimes, and identity theft involving all your electronic devices, including your smart phone and wearables
- Optional coverage for cyber bullying
Cyber coverage typically includes costs for forensic investigations, data recovery, legal services, and public relations efforts to manage any reputation damage. For ransomware attacks, cyber coverage specifically addresses the costs of dealing with ransom demands and potential ransom payments. Talk to your Murrick Group insurance agent about the additional cyber coverage that is appropriate for you.
Additional Earthquake Insurance to Reduce Deductibles
If you have earthquake coverage added onto your home insurance policy, you will have noticed that the deductible is higher than last year. In most cases, the minimum earthquake deductibles have increased from 15 percent to as high as 25 percent. While paying that deductible in the event of an earthquake claim would be difficult, the alternative of having no earthquake coverage would be even more devastating. However, you can buy a separate policy to reduce your earthquake deductible to as low as 3 percent.
Here’s how that separate policy would help:
- Value of your home: $1,000,000
- 20% earthquake deductible: $200,000
- Additional policy that reduces deductible to 5%: $50,000
- Difference paid by the additional policy: $150,000
The additional cost to reduce your earthquake deductible can be costly, depending on how low you would like your deductible to be. To discuss the potential benefits versus the costs, please talk to your Murrick Group insurance agent.