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Liability Insurance

Usual Features and Provisions

Summary: Personal umbrella liability insurance, often confused with personal excess insurance, provides liability insurance protection over and above that available through typical auto, home, and watercraft policies. This additional liability coverage, usually available in multiples of $1 million, can range from $1 million up to $10 million. Such high limits are especially important in this era of extreme jury awards. What follows is a discussion of the typical provisions of these types of policies. Following this discussion are digests of the some of the policies offered by individual companies.

Topics covered:Introduction Coverages Persons insured Exclusions Conditions Limits and retentions Underlying coverage requirements Risk selection Rates


Until recently, there was no standard form for personal umbrella liability insurance. Insurance Services Office (ISO) has now developed one, but because companies offering this line have already filed their own forms, ISO will not be filing it on behalf of its member companies. Member companies can, at their option, decide whether or not to adopt the form. Those that do will set their own underlying limits, deductibles, retention amounts, and coverage limits. See Personal Umbrella Policy ; and see Auto Personal Umbrella .

Because of the optional nature of the new ISO program and the number of programs filed prior to its development, personal umbrella policies are seldom alike, and in fact, there are often considerable differences between one and another.

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