Commercial umbrella (aka excess) liability insurance is an important source of protection that supplements the limits of an insured's underlying policies such as general liability, automobile liability and employers liability.
Umbrellas also protect insureds from exclusions and gaps that exist in their primary liability insurance. Covered causes of loss that are not normally included in primary policies are subject to a self-insured retention (SIR), which is the responsibility of the insured to pay. SIRs in the amounts of $10,000 or $25,000 are common. An umbrella policy's coverage is triggered when the limits of the underlying insurance have been exhausted. Less commonly, an umbrella may also respond to a claim that is not covered by an underlying policy, but only when the loss amount exceeds the self-insured retention.
A typical commercial umbrella liability policy offers features such as worldwide coverage; personal injury coverage; blanket contractual liability protection (for both written and oral agreements); care, custody, and control coverage; non-owned aircraft liability; watercraft liability; advertisers liability; liquor law liability; XCU liability; and an extension of protection to additional insureds. Most umbrella policies exclude employment practices liability, professional liability, product recall coverage and coverage for asbestos-related claims, pollution, war and terrorism.