The Nuclear Verdict: Risk Management Strategies for High Net-Worth Clients


“It is hereby ordered that the defendant is liable to the plaintiff in the amount of $50,000,000.”


Receiving an adverse decision like this could be a person’s worst nightmare. If a successful family or individual faces a lawsuit, an unforeseen nuclear verdict could wipe out their assets. No one enjoys considering this scenario, but it allows us to highlight the importance of proactive risk management and adequate insurance coverage.


According to a recent Chubb report, nine out of 10 successful families and individuals are concerned about the potential for a big jury verdict in litigation. For insurance agents serving in this private client space, staying current on the growing trends, including the threat of nuclear verdicts, is important. These verdicts, which involve exceptionally large jury awards, can have devastating financial implications for successful families and individuals.


Consider These Risk Management Strategies

To protect high net-worth clients against the risk of a nuclear verdict, consider the following strategies:

  1. Protect the assets: How much liability protection is enough? Successful individuals and families often own substantial assets that they need to protect. Consider asset value, risk exposure, and the potential for a nuclear verdict when determining the appropriate liability coverage limits. In the unfortunate event of a nuclear verdict, this can help ensure that clients are covered sufficiently.
  2. Assess risk exposure: Agents should help clients consider the level of risk exposure associated with their lifestyle and activities. Engaging in high-risk activities, owning multiple properties, or having substantial business interests can increase the potential for a liability claim. Evaluating these factors can help determine the level of coverage they may need.
  3. Consider umbrella/excess insurance: Recommend an umbrella or excess insurance policy to provide additional protection beyond the limits of a primary policy. These policies can offer an extra layer of security against the nuclear verdict.
  4. Seek professional advice: Clients should work closely with experienced insurance brokers who serve successful families and individual clients. These brokers can provide valuable guidance and help tailor insurance solutions to meet their clients' unique needs and circumstances.
  5. Explore asset protection strategies: In addition to insurance, clients should consider asset protection strategies such as trusts, LLCs, and legal structures that can help shield their assets from potential liabilities.

Nuclear verdicts are a frightening prospect. Unfortunately, they are a real and growing financial risk to successful individuals and families. By taking a proactive and comprehensive approach to risk management, including adequate insurance coverage and asset protection strategies, agents can help clients reduce the impact of a nuclear verdict and protect against the financial risk it poses.


Learn More from Our Case Study

Read our case study for additional risk management guidance and insurance solutions related to high-stakes civil judgments. Protect your policyholders with custom liability insurance solutions designed for their lifestyles.

Contact our private client services division, InterContinental Insurance Brokers, LLC, at 508-801-0811 or to learn more.


InterContinental Insurance Brokers, LLC | MA License 1952007


About InterContinental Insurance Brokers

InterContinental Insurance Brokers, LLC is a full-service insurance brokerage firm that delivers insurance and claims management to select commercial businesses and private client services across various industries nationwide. Visit to learn more.

InterContinental Insurance Brokers, LLC is a division of Venbrook Insurance Services.


Photo credit: Casa Cipriani is a true private members’ club located on the water in Lower Manhattan. 

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