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Protect Your Money From Lawsuits

The following is a transcript of "Money Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life," a podcast from QuickAndDirtyTips.com. The audio program is available via RSS feed here and at TheStreet.com's podcast home page.

Hello and welcome to Money Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life. Today's topic: Protecting your money from lawsuits.

I wish it weren't so, but we live in a world where a person can sue and win for tripping over a crack in the sidewalk, falling off a roof, burning themselves with hot coffee, and countless other things. Given this reality, it's wise to take precautions to protect your money from lawsuits.

One easy-to-overlook but relatively inexpensive precaution is umbrella insurance.

When It Rains, You'll Be Glad You Have an Umbrella

You likely already have some level of liability protection through your auto and homeowners insurance policies. Auto and homeowners policies typically include $100,000 to $500,000 in liability protection. Although it may seem like a lot, the liability coverage you get through your home or auto policy isn't enough because (1) you can be sued for reasons unrelated to your house and your car, and (2) you can be sued for amounts that are much greater than the liability limits of your home and auto policies.

Let's say, for example, that a worker falls off the roof of your house while cleaning out the rain gutters and breaks her leg. And let's say your homeowners liability coverage is $300,000. To your surprise and dismay, the worker sues you for $400,000, which means you're on your own when it comes to that $100,000 difference.

Unless, of course, you have an umbrella policy.

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