Umbrella Insurance and Social Hosts

wineI originally wrote this post a few years ago and it was a tough one to write because I remember not wanting to be to “insurance – salesy” and I had some personal feelings on the topic. But I thought it was a good one to revisit after a few claims we’ve seen lately.

In 2014 a 23-year old man, Mr. Craig Snow, was ordered to pay $2 million dollars in damages under the Massachusetts “Social Host Laws” to the parents of a teenage girl killed in a drunken driving crash. The young woman and her boyfriend, both 19 at the time of the accident, went to a party at Mr. Snow’s house where they proceeded to drink. When they left Mr. Snow’s home, the young boyfriend was driving and he proceeded to drive through 2 stops signs and roll his SUV – killing his girlfriend.

Where my personal opinion came into play was that I felt pretty strongly that personal responsibility should factor in here. On all fronts – from the homeowner, the driver and also this young woman, it’s a tragic case all around. But do the parents of that girl deserve $2 million dollars when she had the ability to not get in the car with him and her boyfriend was the one who chose to drink and drive?

Mr. Snow is now in a position where the rest of his life, he will basically work to pay that judgment (or worse, not work and never pay it?)  Had he been more established, he likely would have lost his home, retirement etc…

So here’s where my insurance – salesy piece comes in. Do you ever host a party at your home? I know I do and in many, cases there is alcohol there. That’s why I also have an Umbrella Insurance policy … specifically for this reason. I have a $1million dollar umbrella and it costs me about $150 extra per year.

But let me tell you, I sleep like my husband. (was going to say baby…but babies really are terrible sleepers)

No, I can’t imagine one of my friends ever suing me or ever being in the situation that the Social Host law would come into affect.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s out of the question.  I hope I never, ever need to use my Umbrella Insurance, but I’m sure glad it’s there in case I need it.

Asset protection is important and I firmly believe that if you own a home, have children or pets, or have any savings, an Umbrella policy is the best peace of mind you’ll get.

If you’d like some more info on Umbrella information – complete the below or call us at 877-504-7192.

Lynn Mason-Small About Lynn Mason-Small

Lynn is the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Rogers & Gray. She likes to write, is a social media junky, networks with the best of them and is crazy about her hubby, 2 boys and black lab, Jellybean. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and is active in her Cape Cod Community, sitting on a number of boards and committees. You can connect with Lynn on LinkedIn or by email.

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