Umbrella Insurance refers to a liability insurance policy that protects the assets and future income of the policyholder above and beyond the standard limits on their primary policies. It is different from excess insurance in that excess coverage goes into effect only when all underlying policies are exhausted, while the umbrella can fill coverage gaps in underlying policies. Therefore, an umbrella policy can become the primary policy “on the risk” in certain situations. The term “umbrella” refers to how the policy shields the insured’s assets “over and above” the primary coverage.
The term “umbrella” is used because it covers liability claims from all policies underneath it, such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance policies. For example, if the insured carries an auto insurance policy with liability limits of $500,000 and a homeowners insurance policy with a limit of $300,000, then with a million dollar umbrella, the insured’s limits become in effect, $1,500,000 on an auto liability claim and $1,300,000 on a homeowners liability claim.
An Umbrella Policy may provide coverage for claims that may be excluded by the underlying policies. These may include, but are not limited to:
- False arrest
- Invasion of Privacy