Factors Affecting Underwriting Umbrella or Excess Insurance

Factors Affecting Underwriting Umbrella or Excess Insurance

Commercial Umbrella insurance policy is a contract that provides coverages for liability losses above and beyond limits paid by certain underlining liability policies provided by the business. The policy goes in effect when the other underlining liability policies stop.
Factors Affecting Underwriting Umbrella or Excess Insurance

The named insured in the Umbrella policy is responsible for keeping in force certain reported underlining policies. Any adjustments in the status, terms, and conditions of the underlining policies must be revealed to the insurer providing the Umbrella insurance.

Limits of Umbrella Coverage: The Umbrella coverage is normally offered at limits of $1, $2, $3, $4, and $5 millions. Many companies may not provide over $5 millions. Having said that, a number of insurers may offer higher underlining limit totals.

Excess Vs Umbrella Liability Insurance: Despite the fact that it is used interchangeably, insurance specialists believe that there is a big difference between Excess liability policies and Umbrella policies. In most cases policies labeled ‘Excess Liability Insurance’ provide only extension of the same coverages provided by the underlining policies, while Umbrella policies will fill some holes by offering coverages for losses that are not covered by the underlining policies.

SIR: Self Insured Retention, is the amount which the insured person has to pay before the Umbrella policy kicks in for certain losses that are not covered under any underlining policy. For example, if your SIR is $10,000 then your Umbrella policy will pay for certain liability losses that are not covered under the underlining policies, above and beyond that amount. SIR can be removed by policy amendment but at excess costs.

Umbrella Underlining Insurance Policies. The following is a list of the underlining policies for Umbrella insurance policies.

  • Commercial General Liability. The types, forms, and limits of coverage are crucial factors that differentiate one policy from another.
  • Commercial Auto Liability Types and Limits. Besides the limits of coverage, special attention is to be paid to the characteristics of drivers, their ages and driving record history. Also, truck make and models and radius of operations, FHWA filing requirements can become very important in determining the rates.
  • Commercially Owned Watercraft. The forms and limits of the watercraft policy along with people involved in using the watercraft.
  • Workers Compensation &and Employers Liability. Limits of liability and state exposure are critical factors that will affect the rate of Umbrella policy.
  • Professional Liability Forms, Types and Limits
  • Liquor Liability Limits

Issues Influencing Rates and  underwriting of umbrella insurance

Description of Operations:  umbrella or excess insurance rates vary based on several factors, first of which is description of operations. No two Umbrella contracts have the same rate, due to the fact that different businesses have different risk exposures. Other issues lead to increased risk, hence premiums, of the Umbrella insurance. These factors include exposures to habitation, exposure to swimming pools, athletic and sport facilities, as well as exposure to use of alcohol and live entertainment.

If there is habitation exposure, a complete description of that exposure becomes important such as the number of units; construction type, age and number of stories of the building; nature and rates of occupancy, etc.

In situations where liquor is consumed, insurance companies normally worry about the size of operation, live entertainment available, safety and security offered. Offering and sponsoring sport activities such as swimming or gymnastics may mandate that the business furnishes to the insurance companies facts about the nature of facilities/ activities, security measures, and other risk management measures.

Finding an Umbrella policy can be an easy task. Contacting an independent insurance agent is a good start. Independent insurance agents have access to many insurers and can provide more quality quotes at reasonable prices.

By Kailey  Barney

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