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Umbrella & Excess Liability Insurance

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Umbrella LiabilityLitigation against New York business owners and entities can run into the millions of dollars from losses arising from simple slip and falls to auto accidents to product claims, which necessitates high limits of liability protection found in Umbrella & Excess Liability policies.  Umbrella & Excess Liability Insurance most often will provide at least one million dollars of protection over and above other primary liability forms such as your general liability, auto liability and employers liability (a section of your workers compensation policy).  In many cases it’s appropriate to purchase limits well above $1,000,000 based on your company’s risk profile.

Differences Between True Umbrella & Excess Liability Insurance Policies

In some cases your business may not qualify for a true Umbrella policy and may need to purchase an Excess Liability insurance policy. Be careful because the protection found under an Excess Liability insurance policy can be limited in its scope, compared to an Umbrella policy so it’s important to understand the differences between the two forms.  For example, an Excess policy may only cover excess over and above your general liability and not your auto liability policies, so clarifying what the Excess policy does “run excess over” is important.

Generally speaking if your primary policies do not cover a particular exposure, such as pollution, it will not be covered under your umbrella or excess liability insurance policies, which will requiring other specific policies for these unique exposures.

Excess over Specialty Forms of Coverage

It’s also important to note that a standard commercial umbrella policy will not provide excess protection over and above special lines of coverage such as D&O, E&O, EPLI, or Cyber insurance.  To achieve higher limits of protection for these types policies separate excess policies are typically written over each policy, or over a portfolio of these policies if they are grouped together in a portfolio type program.

For larger New York companies, we have the experience to structure “layered excess programs” to achieve total limits of up to $100 million using a variety of underwriters in both the domestic and international market places.

For more information on umbrella or excess liability protection, please contact us!

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