What is Umbrella Insurance?
Umbrella insurance refers to a type of liability insurance that provides protection from claims that are in excess of the limits specified in other policies. The name "umbrella" refers to the broad coverage umbrella insurance provides. For example, Umbrella insurance can even serve as a primary insurance for losses not covered by other insurance policies.
Umbrella insurance policies can cover individuals (Personal Umbrella Insurance) or businesses (Commercial Umbrella Insurance).
What are the Differences between Personal and Commercial Umbrella Insurance?
Personal umbrella insurance policies typically supplement the claim limits of an individual's homeowner's and automobile insurance policies. Personal umbrella insurance may even cover claims that a homeowner's policy often excludes. Examples of these may be claims against an individual for libel, slander or invasion of privacy.
Commercial umbrella insurance policies typically supplement a business's commercial auto liability, general liability or other liability coverages such as liablility limits set within a business owner's package policy. Umbrella insurance is an inexpensive way for businesses to provide extra coverage against bodily injury and property damage above the limits of these existing policies.
What's the difference between Umbrella Insurance and Excess Insurance?
Umbrella insurance and excess insurance both pay claims after an underlying primary policy is exhausted. The difference is that excess insurance policies conform exactly to the coverage of a specific underlying policy and simply add their own excess limit on top of the primary policy's limit while umbrella insurance policies provide broader coverage over one or more primary policies.
Umbrella insurance may have broader definitions of what is covered than in the primary policies and may even lack exclusions used in the primary policies.
Why does my business need Commercial Umbrella Insurance?
Your standard business liability policies, such as your General Liability or Commercial Auto insurance policies, will cover you in most situations. However, when very serious incidents happen that result in heavy property damage, serious injuries or even deaths, the limits of standard business liability policies are often not enough to cover all the claims against you and your business. Commercial umbrella insurance will help ensure that you and your business are protected in these extraordinary situations by providing coverage above the limits of your standard liability policies.
Since umbrella insurance can add additional protection to several liability policies at once, it is often less expensive than raising the limits on each policy separately.
How does Commercial Umbrella Insurance Work?
A commercial umbrella policy expands the claim limits that your business already has with its existing or underlying liability policies (such as general liability and commercial auto liability) by picking up coverage where these primary liability coverages stop. For example, if your current business liability policy covers you for $1 million and you are successfully sued for $1.5 million, your commercial umbrella insurance coverage can pay the outstanding $500,000.
Commercial umbrella insurance also broadens coverage for incidents that your standard business liability policies may not cover. For example, if your commercial auto liability insurance covers accidents only when driving in a specific area, and your company's driver has an accident outside the specified area, umbrella insurance could expand the coverage area.
All Businesses are not alike!
A Commercial umbrella policy can be customized to fit the needs of your particular business or to expand the limits of a particular type of liability insurance policy. To determine what Umbrella Insurance policy is best for your business, contact an Alliance Insurance Agency Commercial Insurance Specialist for a free consultation and evaluation of your specific coverage needs.