Rethinking Umbrella Insurance – For High Earners and High Net Worth Individuals

Umbrella insurance is a hard sell for most people. Why? Because the concept of a catastrophic event that can be a game changer for your life and comfort is not something most people dwell on. Plus the concept is more abstract than say, covering a specific asset such as home and your car or boat.

Nevertheless, if you have assets worth protecting or substantial income, you must seriously consider buying a decent amount of umbrella coverage. Many people go around thinking it is a waste of money, others think like all things too good to be true, it is not going to be there if you really need it. Yet other believe that nothing catastrophic is ever going to happen to them.

In fact, a very smart and successful entrepreneur told me, “Listen, if I cannot even calculate my umbrella risk, how the heck can I insure against it?”

He is partly right. In all other cases of insurance you have a method to calculate your ultimate loss. Car damage, loss of life (yes you can monetize the risk of income through actuarial tables), home, personal articles… all can be quantified. And so it makes sense to insure against it.

But how do you quantify a catastrophe?

And yet, I have seen people’s lives turned upside down by a catastrophic event. So here is how you insure for that type of risk.

First, let us make something clear. An umbrella risk does not insure against such things like medical bills, unemployment, loss of life, tax liability or penalties or disability. It does cover you for the following types of liability:

  1. Personal injury
  2. Legal defense costs
  3. Auto related liability
  4. Property damage
  5. Personal liability such as libel or slander charge

In other words, Umbrella insurance layers itself on top of your other specific risk insurance policies. So a dog bites someone while they are on your property and they sue, those damages are covered.

So how to assess amount of risk. Well, a general rule of thumb is 10 years income and market value of your assets plus normal rate of inflation. If you have $5,000,000 and expect to earn $2,000,000, you would insurance for about $10 million.

Most Umbrella policies have certain exclusions. Go over them very carefully. Common exclusions are: damage to your own property (covered by Homeowners insurance), self-inflicted and intended damage and damage arising out of certain exotic vehicles.

As I said, go over exclusions very carefully and also over reasons why policy may be cancelled.

A Focus on Quality Series: A Spotlight on the Virtual Office Concept

This article is a product review of the Opus Virtual Offices business services.

The virtual office concept provides office space and meeting or conference facilities in the USA.

Here are six main features of the concept:

1. A mailing address, phone and fax number.

2. Access to office locations throughout the USA.

3. Access to premium office locations which include conference center facilities.

4. Excellent customer support and online billing services.

5. Cost-effective business services.

6. Live receptionist services.

The process to obtain my virtual office included:

1. I filled out the online form.

2. I chose a location and a phone number.

3. I paid by credit card.

4. I received an email confirmation of my purchase.

5. I received a mail service agreement form and form 1583 in the mail.

The contract I signed was for a 3 month contract with renewable 3 month terms. The contract can be cancelled in writing with 30 days notice and a follow up email confirmation.

The mail service agreement and optional mail forwarding form can be sent back in the mail. Form 1583 must be filled out and signed by a notary and sent back in the mail.

The virtual office concept is interesting. Imagine being able to have satellite office locations throughout the USA to do business. The multistate virtual office business plan is great. The possibility to have many premium locations is a positive feature too.

Some areas of improvement I found necessary include a better privacy policy. A better privacy policy would increase online safety and increase consumer confidence. Other areas for improvement include more options for online billing and a better online notary service. The possibility of more premium locations with conference centers throughout the USA would also greatly improve this already innovative business concept known as the virtual office.

What a wonderful concept which helps take the liability for the home office and helps businesses increase the reach of their business product or services. The concept is worth considering for any business professional looking to expand their business reach. I rated the virtual concept 3. 5 of 5 stars with improvement needed to make this a 5 star concept.

Think of the possibilities for new and innovative networking opportunities. The concept of having premium conferencing centers available is also a winner. Here is to the future of the virtual office concept. This article is for future academic thought and writing.

Benefits of Vehicle Signage!

Apart from the obvious benefits vehicle signage will enhance your business in many ways:

  • Vehicle graphics turn your vehicles into valuable assets. Wherever they go your name goes with them – through the suburban and city streets or out on the highway – people are everywhere.
  • Vehicle signage is cost-effective. Though the upfront costs may be higher, think of it as a long-term investment in your business. Then there are the tax benefits; and, not to mention, the advertising benefits.
  • Any branding increases community awareness and your business will have an increase in enquiries that you can turn into sales.
  • On-car signs lasts for a long time (so make sure it looks good) and is visible 365 days of the year with no ongoing costs if the vehicles you use belong to you.
  • Vehicle signage has a huge range of options from small magnetic signs to full body vehicle wraps.

How to Choose a Vehicle Sign Maker.

When you decide to turn your vehicles into moving billboards, make sure you go to a sign maker that specializes in the type of sign you want. Most sign makers are good at making particular types of signs but do not advertise the fact. So ask questions about what they specialize in; and what type of signs will best suit the message and vehicle you want to use. Quite often choosing a company that specializes in vehicle wraps, for example, will be cheaper and faster because it is their specialty. Quotes for vehicle signs are usually based on the materials, lettering and the complexity of the sign’s installation.

Cost will vary and will depend on the durability you require from the sign; and the complexity of the design for your business. If you do not have someone to design your vehicle branding or advertising, most sign companies have their own graphic designers. These designers are experienced and worth considering for your advertising copy if you do not already have your own. If you already know what you want and have it professionally designed, you can send a good quality file through to the company to use.

Types of Vehicle Signs.

There are different options for graphics and advertising on your vehicles. What you use depends on your needs and whether you want to update your advertising from time to time.

Window Advertising. Window advertisements provide maximum exposure when you are driving around town. When stopped at traffic lights or in a traffic jam, just imagine how many people read your sign, even if it is out of boredom. The best type of advertising on your windows is short and to the point. Make sure good quality materials are used for the best long-term effect.