From the April 2012 issue of American Agent & Broker •Subscribe!

IQ: Wealthy Fear Liability Lawsuits

Wealthy American families fear that the economic slump makes them a prime target for high-stakes lawsuits but lack proper insurance. This information comes from a recent survey of 168 households with more than $5 million of investable assets conducted by ACE Private Risk Services.

Notable survey findings include:

  • More than 80 percent of the nation’s wealthiest families fear their wealth alone makes them a target for liability lawsuits
  • About 40 percent believe they are more likely to be sued in the aftermath of an economic slump
  • Nearly two out of three respondents said they believe public perceptions of the wealthy have grown more negative over the past 4 years
  • 21 percent of respondents have liability insurance policy at all.

But of these fearful families, the survey reported, only half had adequate liability insurance, and about 21 percent of respondents had no liability insurance policy at all. “Half of the people we’ve surveyed thought the worst-case lawsuit would be less than $5 million,” ACE Vice President of Claims Jim Hageman said. “But our experience is that awards for lawsuits involving serious injury can equal many times that amount.”

 
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