When the amount of a claim against you exceeds the coverage provided by your home or auto insurance policy, you are saddled with the prospect of settling this excess liability on your own. Your insurance company will not cushion you against this contingency. However, there is a way out. To overcome this eventuality, you can take an excess liability policy, or an umbrella policy.
This policy will give you the required cushion against any claim exceeding the amount covered by your normal insurance policy. For example, suppose your auto insurance policy covers claims of accidental pedestrian injury up to an amount of $20000. If an accident does occur, and a claim of $50000 dollars is adjudicated against you, the insurance company will only pay the $20000 agreed upon, and you will have to pay the balance $30000 out of you personal funds. If you do not have the cash or any other liquid asset, then your home, or some other fixed assets could be at stake. You may even be reduced to a state of bankruptcy. This is where an umbrella policy can help you. An umbrella policy will take care of the excess amount of $30000 dollars that you would have had to pay from you own funds.
Further, many companies will not offer you the umbrella policy unless you have your home or auto insured with them. They may also require you to maintain a certain level of liability on your home or auto insurance.
The umbrella policy does not only cover your cars and homes, but also offers personal injury protection which may include false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, defamation, invasion of privacy, wrongful entry or eviction. The terms may vary according to each company, and from one state to another.
The umbrella policy is an excellent way to protect yourself against expenses for claims exceeding the coverage provided by your regular insurance policy. It can be bought for a very low annual premium, and proves very helpful in protecting your personal assets from lawsuits and legal action.