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Umbrella for high risk spouse

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  • Umbrella for high risk spouse

    In short: I need umbrella insurance up to 2million to fulfill a contract obligation. My husband is considered 'high risk' and so I can't find anyone to give it to me. Looking for advice/suggestions.

    I am joining a private practice in the next few months from a hospital employed position. My new contract states that I am 'obligated to maintain and use an automobile to carry out Employees duties of employment, including travel to hospitals, and in connection therewith, maintain and provide evidence to employer upon request by employer of automobile liability insurance with an aggregate coverage in an amount equal to the maximum that the employees auto policy allows. The employer will then pay for the cost of excess liability coverage secured by employee to bring the total aggregate coverage to 2 million dollars'

    My questions pertain to the excess liability coverage (which I understand to be umbrella insurance). I do not currently have umbrella insurance and am unfortunately running into problems trying to secure some. My husband has a significant driving history that is consistently disqualifying me from getting it. And I've been told I can't just get it for myself (I have no concerning history) since he is a part of my 'household exposure'.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Companies you know of who will insure who they would consider to be a very high risk person? I realize if we can find some it will be pricey, but I can't even find any at all. Do you read this as i need to have max auto insurance on all of our vehicles? Or just the one I drive for work?

    My husband has had several DUIs (a few in college and then one in the past 2.5 years ago that was charged as a felony because of his prior history). He has successfully been through rehab and has had zero alcohol in 2+ years. He is required to have an ignition interlock on any vehicle he drives, and so does not drive my vehicle at all, so is no risk to get in an accident with my car. We are in a great place with our life/marriage and thought we had moved past most of the stress this felony has caused. This new job is an amazing opportunity for me/us, but the umbrella insurance issue is one I wasn't anticipating ... I didn't realize he would automatically disqualify me, since I am personally very low risk and easily insurable.

    I'm really hoping to be able to figure this out and not to have to disclose any of my husbands history to my new employer, as it will be a small town and is irrelevant to our current life.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  • #2
    I have never heard of a $2M umbrella policy as a requirement in any PP. Can this be negotiated to the base coverage you have.

    I am sorry you are going through this. I have never heard of ignition interlock until your post and had to google to see what it was..



    • #3
      Sorry you have to go through this. Maybe the insurance people can offer some help.

      I too have not heard of this kind of requirement before in private practice. I know some practices pay the leases of cars and for home office space and other stuff but this a new one for me.

      Good luck.


      • #4
        This is certainly not my area of expertise but have you looked at the possibility of getting an auto policy for your car that you are the only insured on then potentially get the umbrella from that direction?  In addition, I would not only discuss this with the typical Farmers, Liberty Mutual, and Allstate type agencies but I would find a true 'independent' agent that is authorized to do business in your state (does not have to be in the small town) and tell them what you are dealing with.  Most of the time when you get a No it is from the bigger companies that lack creativity in product design and options, sometimes a very experienced agent will be able to turn that no into a yes with a specialty carrier.  Be ready for him to be excluded or maybe just his actions to not be covered but I would think that this could be solved.  Here is a possible start.....

        I hope that helps.
        Scott Nelson-Archer, CLU, ChFC
        281-770-8080 Direct / [email protected]


        • #5
          +1 for finding an independent broker who can shop this.  With enough underwriting an insurer should be able to exclude just about anything they want, and tailor an umbrella to fit your needs.  After all, the employer is paying for it, so cost shouldn't be a concern.


          • #6
            It was explained to me as that way when someone slips on my driveway and she's they can't/won't go after the practice since I'll have a large umbrella. I signed the contract several months ago. We thought we had the umbrella figured out finally, but again it's getting held up in underwriting. And of course we just signed papers for a house in the new town a few days ago. So this needs to get figured out asap.

            The ignition interlock is essentially a breathalyzer that has to be passed in order to start the vehicle, and blown into periodically to keep the vehicle running. Basically it ensures no drunk driving.


            • #7
              I got off the phone with our State Farm agent just a bit ago and laid it all out for her. Wondered if a letter of explanation might be helpful for underwriting? She didn't think so but she also brought up the possibility of just me being insured on my car with max limits and do a driver exclusion policy that says my husband will not drive my car under any circumstances ever. We can definitely say that, as he doesn't drive my car under any circumstances. So maybe that will work out.
              RLI excluded excluded us when we had to check 'yes' in the felony box.


              • #8
                We went thru a similar situation with my son. Our premiums for a 2M umbrella policy significantly increased ( ie 4x) once he obtained a driver's license. He was considered high risk as he was a 17 yo male. I spoke to the director of the underwriting department of our insurance company. He offered some advice. If you separate your car insurance, ie you are covered on a separate policy from your husband, and you document that he will not drive your car for any reason, the underwriting department was willing to retain our original rates. Maybe you can try to have a conversation with the director of underwriting for State Farm?


                • #9
                  Yes I have never heard of a requirement for an umbrella to join a practice.  Malpractice insurance should be the practice's only concern.  If you had several DUIs that might be an issue.  Plenty of docs who have a past history of drug or alcohol abuse practice successfully as well. In cases I know about as long as people admit the problem and stay clean they do not get fired.  Certainly a spouse should be no issue.