Personal Insurance Planning for the Family

“How can I involve my entire family in our personal insurance plan?” by Joseph Gendelman, President and CEO

We all know that affluent clients have special needs when it comes to insuring their properties and belongings. On top of this, insuring an extended multi-generational family with the need for significant asset protection can take the insurance conversation to a whole other level.

Affluent families must not only ponder critical financial issues, but also face the complicated challenges of preparing the next generation to meet their responsibilities.

With affluent clients the family’s insurance profile inherently becomes more complex. It is imperative that all members of the family understand their insurance protection (and its limitations) because whether they like it or not, they will be considered “deep pockets.” Proper personal insurance is one of the easiest ways to protect the tangible assets you currently possess.

Understanding insurance at a young age will help your family members keep their responsibilities in mind as they grow. In the course of parenting, you should explain the purpose and meaning of your family wealth, what “work” means, why philanthropy is important and what family members’ generational responsibilities are. Insurance (and the ability to preserve and protect the family assets) can, and should, be a part of the discussion. Look to your family to recognize insurance “red flags”:


  • Well known in the community?
  • Experiencing a liquidity or life event (marriage, divorce, children, transfer of wealth, etc.)?
  • A collector of jewelry, art, wine or valuable items?


  • Employ personal employees such as a nanny or assistant?
  • Conduct personal business using wireless technology?
  • Travel overseas?
  • Serve on the board of a public, private or not-for-profit organization?
  • Have personal assets held in a trust, LLC or limited partnership?
  • Have high-valued homes (primary, secondary, third, etc.)?

Once you identify areas of vulnerability, you can engage in lively discussions with your family and your insurance advisor, who should help you with:

  • An estate and trust focus, with an emphasis on tax transfer solutions and funding alternatives.
  • Personal property and liability risk policies for luxury markets, including personal real estate, yachts, planes, cars, jewelry, fine art, wine and other collections.
  • Other protection needs, such as: directors and officers coverage, kidnap and ransom coverage, travel and accident coverage, personal security, domestic employee assistance, etc.
  • Integrated family office insurance solutions.
  • Family legacy through collections management lending/gifting to cultural venues.
  • Strategies for successful philanthropic efforts.
  • Transition management when a new generation is on the horizon.

All of the above items can and should be addressed from an insurance perspective in order to best protect you, your children and their children.

Your Lifestyle Isn’t Something to Change – But Your Insurance May Be
For more than 30 years, the sole focus of The Bruce Gendelman Company has been helping individuals, families, their organizations and interests protect their wealth. Based on that experience, our highly educated team understands the importance of developing risk- management strategies that can succeed in both hard and soft insurance markets. As a privately owned and operated company, we provide clients with stability and sophisticated risk management advice uncompromised by the demands of a public company. Our personal approach is distinctive and backed by a thorough knowledge of the ultra high net worth insurance market. Additionally, our carrier partners utilize their management teams to provide valuable advice on loss prevention services, your exposures and mitigating claims- offering the very best experience and advice available in the personal insurance world.

Article originally appeared in Worth magazine.