THE SAFE HARBOR ASSET MANAGEMENT BLOG

Submitted by Safe Harbor Asset Management Huntington, NY on October 2nd, 2018

FLASH REPORT: The Importance of Personal Umbrella Policies

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What would happen if you or your child caused a car accident that resulted in serious injuries or the deaths of others?
How would you pay for the treatment and damages of someone who was hurt in your home and claimed negligence? What happens when they claim to have suffered greatly because of the injury?
What if your dog was attacked by a stranger on your property and bit the person in self-defense, but you were still sued?
These are questions that anyone could face. However, one component of a wealth protection plan that is often overlooked or underused, even by the affluent, is the umbrella policy.
Here's why an umbrella policy can make sense if you have significant assets.

The Benefits of Umbrellas
You have insurance policies on your house and vehicles. You might also insure other types of property you own (boats, airplanes, etc.). But do you have enough coverage, considering your personal wealth?
If you're financially successful, the answer may be a resounding no.
The reason is that most insurance policies top out at around $500,000 of liability coverage. That may not be enough if you find yourself involved in a serious accident. For example, people who get hurt on your property may seek much more than $500,000 in damages.
That's where an umbrella policy (also called an excess liability policy) can make a big difference. An umbrella policy kicks in when your other liability policies (such as your car insurance) hit their limit. For instance, let's say you are involved in an accident and are being sued for $1 Million, but your car insurance covers only $300,000. In that case, your umbrella policy could cover the difference so you don't have to use personal assets.
Clearly, then, an umbrella policy can be useful in helping to protect your assets from larger claims and lawsuits.
To have an umbrella policy, you need to have the other insurance policies, such as car or homeowner's insurance, already in place.
Make sure there isn't a gap between your other policies and your umbrella policy. Where your car insurance ends, for example, the umbrella should take over, otherwise you're on the hook for that gap. And if the underlying car insurance policy is not addressing certain risks, then the umbrella policy can also miss covering these risks.

A Big Enough Umbrella?
We find that most wealthy individuals and families don't have large enough umbrella policies to adequately protect their assets. If a legal judgment is greater than your liability coverage, you are going to have to come up with the difference, which may mean selling assets, possibly at fire-sale prices because of the bind you're in.
A general rule of thumb is that if your net-worth is $20 Million or less, make sure your umbrella policy covers what you're worth. If you are worth more than $20 Million, it becomes a question of how much risk you're comfortable taking on.
Many ultra-wealthy individuals, for instance, will get as large and comprehensive an umbrella policy as possible. While the odds of having to use it are in their favor and it's even more unlikely that they will reach the limits of the policy, the possible financial downside from a serious accident and substantial lawsuit is something they prefer not to even consider. As one person with a $10 Million umbrella policy told us, "it costs less than putting an attorney on retainer to defend you in the event of a suit."
That said, it can be challenging to insure up to the amount you wish. That's because some insurance companies cap the size of the policies they offer, usually at $5 Million. If you require more than $5 Million in coverage, you may need to enlist a specialty insurance company, which might be able to offer policies of up to $100 Million.

Coverage Above and Beyond
An umbrella policy usually covers bodily and psychological injuries, and can even include slander, libel and defamation. It can also cover damage caused by someone else for whom you're responsible, such as a child.

The Cost of Coverage
How much will a hefty umbrella policy set you back? A number of factors determine the cost of coverage, including:

  • Number of homes and where they are located
  • Number of cars and the number of people being covered (including their driving histories)
  • Number of boats and planes
  • Amount of existing liability coverage you have before adding the umbrella policy
  • The good news is that umbrella policies tend to be relatively inexpensive, because the severe occurrences that trigger them are uncommon.

  • The upshot? If you don't have an umbrella policy, run don't walk and get one. If you do have an umbrella policy, make sure you're sufficiently covered, and boost that coverage amount if you're not.

    ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This article was published by the BSW Inner Circle, a global financial concierge group working with affluent individuals and families and is distributed with its permission. Copyright 2018 by AES Nation, LLC


    Submitted by Safe Harbor Asset Management Huntington, NY on September 10th, 2018

    FLASH REPORT: Common Sense Guide to Heart Health

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    It's been said that a man with health has a thousand dreams, while a man with no health has but one. Don't you owe it to yourself, your family, your career and your community to have not only a thousand dreams, but also the energy and engagement to make them happen?
    Few would argue that, to live our best lives, we need to be healthy enough to be fully engaged with our jobs, our loved ones and that world around us. And yet, how many of us regularly forsake lifestyle choices that could help us achieve great things? We may be proactive in other parts of our lives, but we wait until there is a problem to pay attention to our own health.
    To understand the specific steps we all could be taking to be as healthy and active as possible, for as long as possible, we spoke with Joel Kahn, clinical professor of cardiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and the author of Dead Execs Don't Get Bonuses: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Your Career With a Healthy Heart. One of the nation's top experts in the growing field of holistic cardiology, Kahn helps patients become and stay healthier by empowering them to eat clean, sweat clean and apply cutting-edge science to their lifestyle.
    Coronary heart disease, or hardening of the arteries, kills nearly 400,000 people annually. One heart attack occurs roughly every 40 seconds. And every year, about 785,000 Americans suffer their first heart attack.
    The good news is that it's easy to take the right steps to achieve a level of health that will help you be effective in your work and in your life. Kahn highlights six things you can do right away to help stave off heart disease, diabetes, dementia and other major health issues that can knock you down, our out.

    Five Unexpected Signs You May Have Heart Disease:
    In his book, Dead Execs Don't Get Bonuses, Kahn points out five "silent" signs that could potentially indicate you have heart disease. None of these signs by itself means you absolutely have artery problems but, says Kahn, they're predictive enough that you should get yourself checked out if you have one or more:

  • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Cramping in the thighs or calves during or immediately after exertion
  • A diagonal deep crease in the earlobe
  • Worrisome sleep habits, excessive snoring, sleep apnea, etc.
  • Baldness, especially on the top of the head
  • Six Steps to a Healthier Heart
    Step #1: Don't Smoke
    An obvious one, of course, but crucial. If you currently smoke, tackle it just as you would any important goal, with a thoughtful plan that includes specific steps, deadlines and the desire to succeed. Do whatever works. For example, Kahn has had patients who weaned themselves by putting ten cigarettes in a lunch ag for a week, then nine, then eight, and so on. Patches, gum, acupuncture and hypnosis are all good options.
    Step #2: Move Around
    Sitting is the new smoking, says Kahn. "Twenty-two chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, dementia, diabetes, arthritis and obesity, have been linked to how many hours a day you sit," he notes.
    This is another problem that has obvious solutions most of us simply don't implement:

  • Stand up when taking phone calls
  • Work at a standing desk
  • Organize physical activities to do at lunch
  • Set a timer at your desk to stand up every 30 minutes
  • Walk for 30 to 40 minutes per day
  • Step #3: Revamp Your Diet
    Multiple studies show that the simple habit of eating more than five servings of fruits and vegetable a day, especially so-called super foods like broccoli, kale, bok choy and cauliflower, reduces cancer, diabetes and heart disease risk.
    Not a veggie fan? Kahn has an argument that will show you the light: Vegetables taste a whole lot better than chemotherapy or surgery. "Whether as part of a Paleo diet, a Mediterranean diet, or a vegetarian or vegan diet, fruits and vegetables should make up 50 percent of your plate," he says.
    Step #4: Watch That Waist
    Doctors used to think fat was just a yellow, globby inert material. Now, says Kahn, they understand it makes hormones. In particular, the fat around the abdomen called visceral abdominal tissue actually makes about 35 for a woman is just fine, says Kahn. "Being what's called pear shaped, or thin in the waist and bigger on the bottom, is actually healthier for you long-term than the so-called apple belly body form,' he says.
    Step #5: Raise Your Glass, A Little Bit
    Multiple studies show that a few alcoholic drinks per week may reduce your risk of a heart attack. This is a sensitive issue, of course, as not everyone can or should drink alcohol. If you can, however, one to two alcohol drinks per day can promote heart health. What's more, the benefits seem to occur whether you're drinking hard alcohol, wine or beer.
    Step #6: Get Your Z's
    Overall, people who average four or five hours a night will not be as healthy in the long run as people who average about seven to seven and a half. That amount appears to be optimal to repair your body and prime it for the day to come. And as with exercise, too much sleep might not be a good thing. Studies suggest that nine or ten hours of sleep per night might actually create some health problems.

    ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This article was published by the BSW Inner Circle, a global financial concierge group working with affluent individuals and families, and is distributed with its permission.