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Umbrella Insurance Policies?

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Nell-e:
What do people think about Umbrella Insurance Policies?  Here's an interesting article.

https://www.financialsamurai.com/how-does-an-umbrella-policy-work-and-how-much-does-it-cost/

Something I'm unclear about is how lawyers evaluate the defendant's net worth.  I can understand how they might be able to guess someone's net worth based on looking at property records but not sure if it's possible for them to guess a defendant's stock portfolio value.

Anyone who can chime in here?




Jurgis:
LMSTFY:

https://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/personal-finance/umbrella-insurance/

Nell-e:
Thanks for the link @Jurgis.  I read through the entire thread but I'm still curious about my 2nd question.

Let's say there's an auto accident and a greedy lawyer who wants to sue a defendant.  The lawyer is going to sue for either the higher of the insurance coverage or the defendant's net worth.  Does anyone know how lawyers evaluate defendants' net worth?  For example, I'm guessing it's pretty easy to research if the defendant has property and also to determine the property's market value.  What other resources does the lawyer have?  Are there resources that allow the lawyer to get info on the defendant's stock portfolio or bank accounts or taxes?

I'm wondering because I got 2nd hand information from a relative that they had an acquaintance who lost a home due to an auto accident.  I don't have very many details about the incident.






DooDiligence:

--- Quote from: Nell-e on December 17, 2019, 04:37:58 PM ---Thanks for the link @Jurgis.  I read through the entire thread but I'm still curious about my 2nd question.

Let's say there's an auto accident and a greedy lawyer who wants to sue a defendant.  The lawyer is going to sue for either the higher of the insurance coverage or the defendant's net worth.  Does anyone know how lawyers evaluate defendants' net worth?  For example, I'm guessing it's pretty easy to research if the defendant has property and also to determine the property's market value.  What other resources does the lawyer have?  Are there resources that allow the lawyer to get info on the defendant's stock portfolio or bank accounts or taxes?

I'm wondering because I got 2nd hand information from a relative that they had an acquaintance who lost a home due to an auto accident.  I don't have very many details about the incident.

--- End quote ---

It's my understanding that after a settlement or judgement is made,
and the insurer pays out to policy limits, any shortfall will trigger discovery of a defendants assets.

It seems logical that many attorneys would have investigators who may be able to dig past public records,
BEFORE judgement or settlement, by interviewing friends & coworkers of the defendant (unbeknownst to them).

A quick web search will turn up a plethora of articles, some of which describe how attorneys decide whether to take a case or not.
This decision has very little to do with actually helping an injured individual & is usually made based on what can be reliably collected.

These people are predatory scum.

An umbrella policy seems like a cheap way to get a team of free defense attorneys.
Coincidentally, I got a marketing email from GEICO recently for umbrella policies.

www.geico.com/information/aboutinsurance/umbrella/

I'm calling them tomorrow to try & plug any gaps in my coverage.

Cigarbutt:
^It appears reasonable to conclude that the plaintiff will (with the help of vested interests) invest in forming an overall evaluation about net worth based on the perceived damage (which comes with a mean and a large standard deviation) and on an initial educated guess about ability to pay. You can assume that people can come up with a reasonable idea during the 'discovery' phase.

So it seems that your decision to 'buy' an umbrella policy should not be based on what others can evaluate but on what you perceive to be a quantifiable number (net asset value and present value of earning power) in terms of a potential liability that you would prefer to transer in exchange for a flow of premiums. It's the same as the decision to buy an excess of loss layer for an insurance business, ie a cost-benefit decision.

A nice side effect of buying a policy like the one DooDiligence refers to is that you can obtain coverage against retaliation from injurious written statements. ☂  :)

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