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Excess/Umbrella

A traffic control contractor was recently found liable to pay $4 million after its employee struck a bicyclist while driving a pickup truck making rounds at a construction site. In another case, a restaurant chain agreed to pay $21 million to settle a lawsuit after one of its locations overserved alcohol to a man who later was involved in a fatal car crash.

Primary coverage can often be exhausted in catastrophic losses. It is imperative that your clients have additional protection to ensure that a single unusual circumstance does not lead to bankruptcy for their businesses.

Excess/Umbrella Coverage helps protect your clients’ assets should a disastrous loss occur. Contact Burns & Wilcox for competitive quotes and flexible coverage options.

Coverage Details and Features

  • Can often respond to complete submissions within 24-48 hours
  • Limits up to $50M available
  • Underlying policies require limits of $1M occurrence
  • Premiums as low as $1,000
  • Admitted paper available depending on location and class
  • Brokerage markets available

Target Classes

(including but not limited to)

  • Special Events
  • Manufacturers
  • General contractors
  • Electricians
  • Roofing contractors
  • HVAC contractors
  • Metal erectors
  • Equipment rental
  • Concrete contractors
  • Excavation
  • Tool manufacturers
  • Janitorial
  • Project specifics
  • Sewer main connection and construction
  • Machinery installation, servicing and repair
  • Construction
  • Institutional
  • Mercantile
  • Recreational
  • Service

Ask an Expert

Can you clarify the difference between excess and umbrella coverages? I thought they were the same.
Umbrella and excess liability are often confused, or lumped together, because both coverages provide protection beyond primary, scheduled underlying policies. Typically, excess liability coverage provides increased limits on top of one underlying scheduled policy and literally “follows the form” of that primary policy. After primary coverages have been paid, excess liability coverage may also pay defense costs. Also, there is no self-insured retention. On the other hand, the umbrella policy provides coverage with increased liability limits over the firm’s primary liability coverages such as general liability, business auto liability and employer’s liability. Umbrella policies may also offer broader coverage and generally more comprehensive protection. After primary liability coverages have been paid, clients may also use their umbrella policy to pay for defense costs. Also, there is a self-insured retention, which only applies if the primary policies deny coverage and there is no applicable umbrella exclusion.
Why does my client need excess liability and umbrella insurance?
Clients are more likely to face litigation than ever before – it’s estimated that 92 percent of companies expect litigation cases to significantly rise within the next three years. Your clients need to be prepared and protected. Excess liability and umbrella policies provide more complete protection for their assets, at a fraction of the cost of some primary policies.
How can I ‘sell’ the idea of excess liability and umbrella coverage to a client?
Ask your client, point blank: how much are they willing to lose? The more they have, the more they have to lose, and the more coverage they’ll need. We hear too many cautionary tales about clients experiencing a tragic accident, which may cause uninsured losses beyond their liability policy. Liability accidents may happen from very unusual circumstances and you do not know how large the liability loss will be. Umbrella and excess liability coverage can save your client from bankruptcy and protect them from unexpected events that may cause financial ruin.

$90,700

Lock and dam marine construction contractor

$31,700

Steel construction contractor

$5,500

Toy and trinket manufacturer

$97,000

Environmental contractor with $8M sales

$47,500

Pipeline construction, $9M limits

$2,000

Commercial/Industrial plumbing

$11,300

Adhesives manufacturer. Excess with $2M limits

$7,656

Tradeshow general contractor. Excess with $5M limits

$13,609

Excavation contractor. Excess with $10M limits

$11,953

Restaurant. Excess with $4M limits

$15,865

Electrical contractor. Excess with $5M limits

$22,937

Steel fabrication company. Umbrella with $10M limits

$13,078

Machine shop. Umbrella with $10M limits

$9,985

Machinery and equipment analysis contractor. Umbrella with $5M limits

Excess/Umbrella: Applications

Please choose the application that best fits your needs.

If you need additional assistance please contact your local office.

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