jahz-gonzalez-CXExPiFcY0I-unsplash (1).jpg

What Is Umbrella Insurance and What Does It Cover?

Contrary to popular belief, umbrella insurance is not insurance against rogue umbrellas. Rather, umbrella insurance, also commonly referred to as personal liability insurance, helps you pay what you owe in the event that you’re sued for damages beyond your primary liability limits. What does that mean in English? Don’t worry — let Abercorn Insurance Agency walk you through the basics of umbrella insurance!

What Exactly Is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is essentially a fail-safe that protects you and your assets in the event that you’re ever sued for more money than your liability insurance has agreed to cover. For example, if you’re sued for damages that exceed what your car, home, or personal watercraft insurance has agreed to cover, umbrella insurance helps you make up the difference.

So what’s the difference between umbrella insurance and excess liability insurance? It’s easy to confuse the two, but there is a difference. Excess liability insurance gives you a higher limit on the liability coverage that you already have, while umbrella insurance provides additional coverage that isn’t included in your base insurance policies. It’s a subtle but important distinction.

What Does Umbrella Insurance Do?

Let’s imagine a scenario where umbrella insurance would come to the rescue:

You’re rushing to make it through a stoplight and collide with another vehicle, resulting in damage to the vehicle and injury to the occupants, coming to about $300,000 in repairs and treatments. On top of that, the driver of the vehicle is a dentist who now can’t work for several months due to injuries, and they sue for $200,000 in lost earnings. All told, you’re looking at half a million dollars in damages. Your car insurance might pay $300,000 for your liability coverage, but you still need to come up with $200,000 — enter umbrella insurance.

Umbrella insurance pays the difference between what your insurance covered from the accident and what you still owe, as well as any legal costs associated with a lawsuit.

What Is Covered By Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is designed to protect both you and members of your household from lawsuits that involve personal injury to other persons, damages to property, and other claims like defamation, landlord liability, false imprisonment, and beyond, depending on your policy. Here are some examples of what is typically covered by umbrella insurance:

  • Your spouse is in an auto accident that results in personal injury to someone else, the cost of which goes beyond your auto insurance liability limit.

  • Your neighbor slips and falls down your front steps and sues you for the medical bills, as well as for pain and suffering, the amount of which exceeds your homeowner’s insurance liability limit.

  • You’re sued by a business for writing a defamatory restaurant review on the internet.

What Isn’t Covered By Umbrella Insurance?

It’s important to know that umbrella insurance does not cover your own injuries or damage to your own property — those are covered by other forms of insurance. Personal umbrella insurance also does not cover liability dealing with your own business — however, commercial umbrella insurance policies do exist for this scenario.

Umbrella insurance also does not cover intentional damages, crimes, or breaches of contracts. If you rob someone and they sue you, umbrella insurance does not apply. Another common exclusion from umbrella insurance involves watercraft — some policies will only cover specific sizes or types of marine vehicles, while other companies simply won’t cover boats at all.

When is Umbrella Insurance Necessary?

It’s not required by law to have umbrella insurance, but many people find it to be particularly reassuring, especially if they have a lot of assets that need protecting or are likely to be sued. Umbrella insurance is most commonly purchased by:

  • Homeowners

  • Individuals with significant assets

  • Owners of items more likely to lead to injury lawsuits, like firearms, pools, or certain breeds of animals

  • Landlords

  • Inexperienced drivers (or parents of such individuals)

  • Athletes who participate in sports with high incidents of injury

  • Public figures and celebrities

Find Umbrella Insurance Coverage in Savannah

If you believe you may need insurance coverage that goes beyond what your normal liability insurance will cover, umbrella insurance is a viable addition for you. Learn more about umbrella insurance and how it applies to you by contacting Abercorn Insurance Agency in Savannah today! Our friendly and professional team will help find the right policy for you and answer any additional questions you may have regarding umbrella insurance coverage.