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How umbrella or excess coverage may help a business

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Insurance Law

Many San Diego area businesses will work with insurance agents to build up an insurance coverage plan that will prevent financial ruin if the unexpected happens.

After all, despite their best efforts, many business do wind up getting sued for things like negligence, premises liability, product liability and even complicated matters related to environmental cleanups.

These lawsuits of course are expensive just to defend, and a payout sometimes is the best option for going forward. Without good insurance from a company that will pay legitimate claims, even a healthy business can face financial ruin.

Umbrella and excess coverage may be a source of financial backing

As part of their risk management program, businesses may have excess and umbrella coverage.

Both types of insurance are available to protect against catastrophic liability claims that may be filed against a business. However, they differ from each other in several important respects.

Excess coverage assumes that a business has an underlying insurance policy that would also pay for a claim.

To give a common example, many transportation firms carry an excess liability policy which will pay liability claims for auto accidents once the firm’s primary policy’s limits are spent.

Excess coverage can be very helpful in the event of, say, a catastrophic motor vehicle accident in which someone suffers a severe brain injury or a paralyzing spinal cord injury.

A big difference with umbrella coverage is that, unlike excess coverage, it may afford protection even if the business has no underlying policy that will pay a claim. This means an umbrella policy may apply even to unusual types of risks, like environmental claims.

Legal representation may be necessary to get excess carriers to pay up

Just as is the case throughout the insurance market, some umbrella an excess carriers are better than others. Unfortunately, some carriers may not pay legitimate claims or may attempt to offer a lowball payment.

When this happens, a business may need professional legal assistance to get the payments to which they are entitled.