Umbrella and Excess Liability Insurance

Business owners know that they need a certain amount of commercial insurance before they can begin to operate. Employees need workers' compensation, vehicles need specific auto insurance coverage, and bars need liquor liability insurance. But these insurance policies are like any other type of insurance in that they may not come in handy if something happens to your business. In fact, one estimate puts 75% of businesses at being underinsured by up to 40%. This means that an employer would have to shoulder 40% of the bills after a catastrophic event. See how umbrella and excess liability insurance can provide you with additional coverage and potentially serve as the deciding factor between staying open and closing down.

The Nature of Umbrella Insurance

Certain events that happen in a business are fairly easy to account for. If an employee slips and falls on a pocket of snow because the owner failed to provide mats at their place of business, this will be covered by workers' compensation insurance. If a storm breaks several windows in the store, it's normally covered by commercial insurance. But there are plenty of events that fall outside the range of normal coverage. Let's say you typically make deliveries in a certain area, but one day you need to drive the company vehicle across the state. Your insurance may not cover an accident that occurs outside your neighborhood, but umbrella insurance can. Umbrella insurance is meant to 'catch' things like this, so a business owner can truly rest easy about their budget.

Addressing the Unspoken

An insurance policy may be filled with a number of different clauses, but the truth is that there's no possible way to account for every event that may happen. When something comes up that isn't a part of your policy, it's possible to appeal to your insurance company. They will listen to the circumstances, weigh the situation, and then decide if the case has enough merit. If the insured doesn't like the decision, they can appeal again. This process can take weeks or months that you may not have, and leave you shouldering costs as you try to get your business up and running. Umbrella insurance is something that you can call upon when the unexpected hits, so you get the financial relief you need and not the headache you don't.

Increasing Your Liability Limits

Your current coverage may sound seem like enough, but it may be easier to hit your limits than you think. Just one lawsuit can easily take you out of your bracket, regardless of how high you start. Umbrella and excess liability insurance gives you a way to extend that limit, so you're in less danger of having to cover the additional costs out of pocket. Regardless of the type of business you own, you face a number of dangers. Even a one-person e-commerce store can be hacked for the financial or demographic data stored on the site's servers. No business is immune from unexpected events that could cost the business it’s very future.

The Smart Approach

One of the best ways to approach your umbrella insurance is to look at your current coverage and ask yourself if and how the bills would be paid in different events which are common to your area of business. If you're finding some major gaps, it may be time to look into an umbrella policy. You'll need your financial statements and information before you start shopping around for rates, and you should also have a list of questions and concerns prepared before you speak with anyone.
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Further Reading 
Excess liability policies layer over underlying coverage like commercial automobile or general liability. These policies can be written as follow form, self-contained, or specific and aggregate. Follow form excess policies do not broaden underly...
Yes. The most obvious addition is worldwide coverage for automobile liability. Typical business automobile policies cover drivers in the United States, its possessions and Canada. The umbrella policy does not have this restriction. Umbrellas s...
General liability forms now contain some detailed and extensive exclusions of coverage, particularly for contractors. The automobile exclusion is a few sentences while the environmental exclusions or personal injury wording can exceed a full polic...
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