Having an Umbrella Policy Makes Good Sense
The one event that in the country’s business climate that is taking place with what I perceive as happening too frequently are lawsuits being filed against more and more companies and additionally it seems like the awards being handed out increasingly exceed six figures. If your business commercial General Liability policy is like most liability policies, the maximum amount that the carrier will pay is one million dollars per occurrence.
Just for a minute, consider happen to your company if a claim was awarded for $1.5 million? With your companies’ current financial situation, could it afford to pay out an additional $500,000 if your company had that kind of judgment against it? If your financial picture is like most businesses today, that kind of judgment would wipe you out. One of the unusual flip-sides of having a successful company is as your business grows in size and or the complexity of what your company does, your liability exposure will vastly increase.
Commercial Umbrella Liability Coverage in Orange County California refers to liability insurance that is in excess of your first layer of protection, your General Liability policy. Most companies today have a standard California General Liability policy, which means they have limits of one million per any one occurrence and up to two million in total claims in the policy period. With the commercial Umbrella policy, say you acquired one for a million dollar limit would only pay if your underlying limits were exhausted. As far as exclusions, please be aware that all the exclusions that are in your General Liability policy also will generally apply to your Umbrella policy. An example would be if your business was sued for something that your General Liability policy did not have coverage for, then there would be no coverage under your umbrella policy.
In past years, an excess liability policy or Umbrella policy was usually only purchased by very large corporation and was rarely purchased by small and medium size companies and when it was, it was because it was written into a contract they signed. In today’s world, we all know a million dollars is not what it used to be and it seems that juries are awarding larger settlements often in excess of a million dollars. Our suggestion is that your company become pro-active and discuss with an experienced and professional insurance person to see by having an Umbrella or excess liability policy can protect your company from a large award.
In addition to exploring an umbrella policy for companies needs, an additional area that you should look at is having an umbrella policy over your auto policy. With the current limits on your auto policy, could your company being severely affected is you caused a serious accident? In addition, if your company has employees who regularly use their cars in the course of business for your company, they also put your company at risk should they cause an accident which could lead to a serious judgment against your company. Over the past plus ten years dealing with a variety of clients, the one thing we hear from them I need to cut costs and spending their hard earned cash on a policy which most of them tell us it will never happen to them. As we all know, it just takes one instance and everything they worked for is gone in a instance.
If you would like to explore your options concerning an Umbrella or Excess Liability Insurance Policy, the experienced and professional staff at PJO Insurance Brokerage in California would welcome the opportunity to put together an insurance plan for your company.
Patrick O’Neill – Owner
California Business Blog
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