Commercial Umbrella Insurance Defined
Commercial umbrella insurance, also referred to as excess liability, provides coverage when a liability claim goes above the aggregate limit of liability and the basic policy limits are exhausted. By purchasing a commercial umbrella, you can protect your business from being liable for this excess liability in a judgement. For instance, if you have $1 million in general liability coverage and a covered claim is settled for $1.5 million, your small business’s umbrella liability insurance policy would pick up the additional amount.
Commercial automobile, commercial general liability, workers compensation, or any other liability policies can be covered by a commercial umbrella.
Not only does an umbrella cover underlying insurance policies, but they may also provide coverage if a basic liability policy is not in force or when there are gaps in coverage under basic liability policies. When a commercial umbrella needs to step up and provide coverage for basic liability loss, it does not pay the loss from the first dollar. It’s common to have a Self-Insured Retention (SIR) amount of at least $10,000. SIR is the equivalent to a deductible. That means if there is a liability claim or loss and no corresponding underlying policy in force, you must pay the first $10,000 of the loss before the umbrella policy responds.
Commercial umbrella policies are typically purchased in $1M increments. The premiums vary depending on your business classification and underlying policies. Policies are often inexpensive considering the added coverage a business gains. For everyday businesses with average risk exposures, umbrella premiums are usually in the ballpark of $400-$600 annually for each $1M purchased.
You can never go wrong purchasing a commercial umbrella policy for your small business. A single umbrella provides broadened protection over all your small business liability exposures. Having the added protection of a liability umbrella policy is coverage no small business should go without.