What does umbrella insurance mean, what does it consist of and what does it cover?

Unfortunately, many people become aware of this type of coverage after dealing with a damage claim that exceeds their traditional liability insurance coverage. So that this does not happen to you, in this article we will explain what umbrella insurance means, what it consists of and what it covers.

📰 Contents
  1. What does umbrella insurance mean?
  2. Umbrella insurance, what does it consist of?
  3. What does umbrella insurance cover?
    1. Property damage
    2. injuries
    3. lawsuits
    4. situations of personal responsibility
  4. What is not covered by umbrella insurance?
  5. What does umbrella insurance mean: Example
  6. How much does umbrella insurance cost?
    1. Why is umbrella insurance so cheap?
  7. How Do I Know If I Should Have Umbrella Insurance?

What does umbrella insurance mean?

Umbrella insurance is a type of liability insurance that is very useful in the event of claims that exceed the coverage of traditional home, car or even boat insurance. This means that it goes beyond the amount offered by regular home or vehicle insurance. However, to have umbrella insurance, you must first get a standard policy.

Umbrella insurance is also often referred to as excess liability insurance and takes effect when traditional liability coverage has run out. The most common candidates for this type of insurance are people who own important assets, dangerous things, or who are engaged in activities that could increase the risk of being sued.

What is liability insurance?

Umbrella insurance, what does it consist of?

If a policyholder is sued for damages that exceed the limits of their auto liability insurance, home insurance, or other types of coverage, an umbrella policy will help them pay what they owe. In other words, If the dollar limit of the original policy has been exhausted, the umbrella policy comes into play, so the policyholder does not have to tap into their savings or other assets.

As we said before, the additional coverage offered by an umbrella insurance policy is very useful for those with high net worth, have very expensive assets, and run a great risk of being reported. Small businesses also often use an umbrella insurance policy to protect themselves from potential monetary damage from claims. Umbrella insurance also covers some claims that other policies do not cover, such as libel, slander and false imprisonment.

The premium of a policy The umbrella can be less expensive if purchased from the same insurer who provided the original car, house or boat insurance. Depending on the provider, the owner who wishes to add an umbrella insurance policy must have basic insurance coverage of between $ 150,000 and $ 250,000 for auto insurance and between $ 250,000 and $ 300,000 for home insurance.

How does auto insurance work in the United States?

What does umbrella insurance cover?

Umbrella insurance provides various coverage, including:

Property damage

Property damage liability covers the cost of damage or loss of third party property. For example, the cost associated with the vehicle and other property damage due to a road accident for which you are responsible.

In a car accident, who is to blame?


Personal injury coverage covers the cost of damage to another person's body. In the following examples, the cost of medical expenses and / or claims for damages caused by:

  • A serious car accident in which you are guilty
  • Damage caused to third parties by your dog
  • The fall of a guest in your home
  • A neighbor's son falls while playing in your garden


If you own a rental property, this policy will protect you from legal actions you may face as an owner. The following examples include the cost of claims due to:

  • Someone stumbles upon a crack in the sidewalk of your rental property and sues you for damages
  • If your tenant's dog bites someone and you are responsible for the injuries

situations of personal responsibility

It also provides you with coverage if you are sued for:

  • Slander: an abusive verbal statement
  • Defamation: a defamatory written statement
  • False arrest, detention or imprisonment
  • mischievous pursuit

What is not covered by umbrella insurance?

One of the benefits of umbrella policies is that they provide very broad coverage. They cover any incidents that the policy does not specifically exclude, unlike some insurance policies, which only cover named incidents. But the reality is that no insurance policy covers everything and the umbrella policy is no exception. Here are some of the situations your umbrella policy probably won't cover:

  • Harm you or a covered member of your family on purpose. If you deliberately push your party host down the stairs, your liability insurance won't cover the costs of the lawsuit or trial (and neither will your home insurance).
  • Damage to own property. Remember that it is a civil liability policy, so it will only cover damage caused to another person's property. Make sure you have good home insurance to protect your property and assets.
  • Civil liability incurred in business or professional activity. You will need corporate liability insurance to cover these accidents.
  • The responsibility that you agree to assume under a contract that you have signed.
  • Responsibility related to war or armed conflict. It is very difficult to find insurance that covers this type of damage. The financial losses associated with the war are too great for insurance companies to cover.

What is the minimum auto insurance in the United States?

What does umbrella insurance mean: Example

Let's say your home insurance has a liability limit of $ 300,000. Let's take a look at the following example: You have a super weekend party and one of your guests slips and falls off the steps of your house. As a result of this fall, he ends up with a concussion and astronomical medical bills, so he decides to report you. In court, the jury sides with your host and awards him a million dollar sentence. This sentence exceeds your home insurance liability limit of $ 700,000.

If you don't have umbrella insurance, you will have to pay $ 700,000 out of your own pocket.. The money will need to flow out of your retirement account, perhaps your main source of savings. The loss is huge and means you'll have to work another 10 years, find a better-paying job, or cut back on your expenses to replenish your savings and get back in good shape for retirement.

But if you have a million dollars in umbrella insurance, that policy will cover the part of the judgment that your home insurance doesn't cover, so your retirement savings will remain intact. The umbrella policy will also cover legal fees and other trial-related expenses that were not covered by the owner's policy. That coverage is in addition to the million dollars.

Payment is made as follows: If you have a $ 5,000 deductible on your home insurance, you will pay that amount out of your own pocket. Then your property policy will pay the next $ 295,000, which brings you to the policy's $ 300,000 limit. From there, your umbrella policy takes over and pays the remaining $ 700,000 of the judgment, plus the attorney's fees, so you will ultimately only have paid $ 5,000 of the million dollar judgment.

How much does umbrella insurance cost?

The first thing you should know is that the cost of an umbrella policy depends on several factors such as: the amount of coverage purchased, the state you live in (insurance rates vary by state), and the risk to the insurance company of having you insured. The more homes or cars you have and the more family members covered by the policy, the more expensive it will be.

However, keep in mind that umbrella insurance is quite inexpensive compared to other types of insurance, especially considering the amount of coverage it offers. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most million dollar policies cost between $ 150 and $ 300 per year. For $ 2 million of coverage, you pay about $ 75 more per year and an additional $ 50 per year for every additional $ 1 million of coverage. Most liability policies start at $ 1 million in coverage.

Cheap auto insurance in the United States

Why is umbrella insurance so cheap?

This has a lot to do with the insurance company giving you umbrella coverage as long as you have good home and auto insurance. You will likely need to have the maximum liability coverage available on your home and auto policies before you can purchase an umbrella policy.

How Do I Know If I Should Have Umbrella Insurance?

People who normally take out umbrella insurance are usually those who have more property or a lot of money, as well as people who own dangerous things that can cause injury (swimming pools, trampolines, dogs, etc.). There are some activities that by their nature increase the chances of taking legal action and therefore it is highly recommended to have umbrella insurance.

You should take out an umbrella policy if:

  • You are a host
  • You are a sports coach for children
  • You serve on the board of directors of a non-profit organization
  • You regularly post product and company reviews
  • You participate in sports where other people can be easily injured (skiing, surfing, hunting, etc.)

If you want to discover other articles similar to What does umbrella insurance mean, what does it consist of and what does it cover?, you can visit the Insurance category.

Nathan Hamilton

Nathan Hamilton

Nathan is a car enthusiast and industry professional with decades of combined experience in the automotive sector. Along with his team of writers and researchers, all passionate about automobiles, he is committed to delivering reliable and relevant content that ranges from detailed insurance guides to maintenance tips and much more.

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