Personal Umbrella Insurance Expert Witness
Personal Umbrella insurance provides excess liability coverage above underlying liability limits provided by a Personal Auto, Homeowners, or boat policy. Primary policies liability limits (typically $300,000 to $500,000) must be properly structured in advance to meet underlying liability requirements detailed in the Personal Umbrella policy form. Liability limits commonly available range from $1,000,000 to $10,000,000. Policies are typically “follow-form” meaning if a primary policy does not cover a claim, the Personal Umbrella will most likely not provide excess liability for that claim.
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Since Personal Umbrella coverage is triggered after underlying limits have been exhausted, they are classified as “shock losses” (see also Commercial Umbrella). Coverage gaps and disputes between policyholders and carriers may arise from several areas:
- Coordinating coverage between different primary liability and Personal Umbrella carriers.
- Underlying liability limits are less than required by the Personal Umbrella policy.
- Underlying coverages do not match requirements of the Personal Umbrella policy.
- Personal Umbrella policy terms, conditions and exclusions differ from primary policies.
- Locations scheduled in underlying policies not scheduled on Personal Umbrella.
- Personal Umbrella language more restrictive than primary liability policy (or vice versa).
- Late claim reporting to Personal Umbrella carrier.
- Limited or no coverage for business activities such as a home office.
- No coverage for punitive damage awards.
- Personal Umbrella does not provide excess uninsured/underinsured motorist.
Mr. Daniel’s Personal Umbrella expertise dates to 1974. He understands the nuances of properly structuring coverage between underlying and Personal Umbrella policies. His experience includes advising clients during the claims process for several umbrella losses.