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Sometimes things go wrong – a car accident, a guest slips and falls on your property, or a lawsuit. If you don’t have the right coverage, an unfortunate situation can compromise your financial security. Find out what Excess Liability (Umbrella) coverage is, and why it's important.

What is Excess Liability coverage?

Excess Liability, sometimes known as an Umbrella policy, will respond when the underlying liability limits of your other policies, like homeowners or auto, have been exhausted. For example, if you were to be injured in a car accident and needed expensive surgery, you would be on the hook to pay for any costs beyond what the at-fault driver's own Liability limits would cover. This is where Excess Liability coverage would kick in to help cover those unexpected costs. 

Do you need Excess Liability coverage?

Check all that apply:

  • I own a home
  • I regularly drive a car
  • I have children who drive or are away at school
  • My home has a swimming pool
  • I employ a housekeeper, nanny, gardener and/or other domestic staff
  • I have a dog
  • I own a boat
  • I entertain at my home
  • I blog, tweet, and/or post comments or photos online
  • I serve on a board of a non-profit and/or a for profit organization

If you checked just one of the above risk factors, you need Excess Liability coverage. If you selected many, then your exposure to liability risks may be higher than average. Ask your insurance broker to closely at your limits of coverage and determine if they are adequate.

What steps can you take to reduce your risk?

If you have a swimming pool at your home or plan to host parties or gatherings, here are a few tips to be mindful of:

  • Enclose your swimming pool or yard with a fence that includes self-locking and self-closing gates.
  • Never leave a child unattended around the pool. Keep your eyes on swimmers at all times, or designate an adult supervisor.
  • Be aware of your local weather conditions and never go swimming during thunderstorms.
  • Be sure all walkways and stairs at your home are clear of obstacles, ice, and debris.
  • Maintain adequate lighting, especially in high traffic areas and on stairs.
  • Never serve alcohol to minors.
  • Guests intending to drive immediately after the occasion or those who have had too much to drink should not be served alcohol.