Umbrella Liability / Excess Liability Coverage
What is Umbrella Liability / Excess Liability Insurance?
Umbrella Liability (also known as Excess Liability) gives you additional coverage when a claim exceeds an underlying policy's insurance limits. For example, if your General Liability policy provides $1 million in coverage, but your claim settlement calls for $1.5 million, your umbrella policy would cover that additional half-million dollars.
For a single premium, you can add an Umbrella Liability policy to your General Liability, Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability, and employers Liability coverage. However, umbrella coverage cannot be used to supplement a Professional Liability policy.
Umbrella Liability coverage may be described in your contract this way: "Commercial Excess Liability Insurance in the amount of $1,000,000."
Why do I need Umbrella Liability / Excess Liability Insurance?
The primary feature of umbrella protection is an additional amount of liability insurance, in increments of $1,000,000, that is excess over "basic" general liability, automobile liability, and employers liability coverage (the company liability part of a workers compensation policy).
A critical area is the additional coverage for auto accidents that occur while an employee is driving on company business. The catastrophic results of car/truck accidents on interstate highways and local roads underscore the need by every business for high limits of liability insurance.
Computer and IT services firms as a rule do not perceive that they have much risk when it comes to bodily injury and property damage claims. The exception is claims arising from the use of automobiles and workplace accidents covered by workers compensation insurance. The high limits provided by an umbrella policy are a sound recommendation.