Once a policy’s limit is reached, commercial umbrella insurance provides additional coverage for liability claims made on general liability, commercial auto, or employer’s liability insurance.
Business owners who purchase commercial umbrella insurance usually need it to fulfill a contract that requests higher than standard policy limits.
Commercial umbrella insurance offers extra liability coverage for the most expensive lawsuits. For example, if a covered lawsuit maxes out your general liability insurance policy but you still owe money for damages, commercial umbrella coverage can provide additional funds to make up the difference.
Specifically, umbrella liability insurance can supplement your coverage provided by:
Before you can purchase umbrella liability insurance for any of these policies, an insurer will require you to carry a certain amount of coverage for the underlying policy. For example, if a client contract required a general liability policy with a $5 million per-occurrence limit, an umbrella policy of $3 million would be added to your existing $2 million general liability policy.
Think of commercial umbrella insurance coverage as a safety net. Your other liability policies are your first line of defense. When you need additional protection on a claim that exceeds the limits of your primary policy, your umbrella insurance can pick up the slack.
Let's say you have a commercial general liability policy with a $2 million per-occurrence limit, which means it can pay up to $2 million toward your legal expenses.
Someone suffers a serious injury after tripping and falling at your business, and a drawn-out legal battle follows. The medical expenses, legal fees, and damages add up to $2.5 million. After hitting your general liability limit, you still have a $500,000 bill.
This is where an umbrella liability policy can help. This policy covers expenses that exceed your underlying policy's limit. For the case above, an umbrella policy can cover the additional $500,000.
Basically, you can make a claim on umbrella insurance when:
If you have any (or all) of these three policies – general liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance, or commercial auto liability insurance – commercial umbrella insurance can boost your coverage.
Commercial umbrella policies sold by Insureon have the same terms and cover the same risks as the underlying business insurance policy.
Commercial umbrella insurance used to be a policy that only big businesses bought. These days, more small businesses invest in commercial umbrella insurance, because lawsuit costs often escalate. You might consider it if:
Businesses usually purchase an umbrella policy to fulfill contracts calling for limits of more than $2 million. Contracts of up to $5 million are not uncommon. In that case, an umbrella policy with a limit of $3 million would be added to a policy with a $2 million limit to meet the requirement.
Otherwise, the amount depends on your industry and your business needs. For example, you may want to secure more coverage to protect a fleet of vehicles, or a team of construction workers. If you're unsure how much coverage you need, chat with a licensed agent.
You may see the terms commercial umbrella insurance and excess liability insurance used interchangeably, but they’re not the same.
Excess liability insurance provides additional coverage for just one of your business liability policies, usually general liability insurance or errors and omissions insurance (E&O). Commercial umbrella insurance provides coverage across several liability insurance policies when there’s a claim against your business that exceeds its limits.
As you compare umbrella insurance quotes and consider your options, keep these three things in mind: