Commercial umbrella insurance is more affordable then many business owners think. It can  provide higher coverage amounts per dollar of premium than many other types of insurance, making it very cost effective. With large settlements a potential reality, even small businesses should think about how a commercial umbrella fits into their plan and can protect hard earned assets in the event of a serious claim.


Commercial Umbrella policies are designed to provide coverage over your underlying liability limit(s). Umbrella coverage is secondary to primary policies and requires a certain level of underlying liability limits. The liability limit provided by the umbrella usually starts at one million with increases available in million dollar increments.

Options for Umbrella coverage are broad. Coverage can vary between insurance carriers and/or the type of business the policy is designed for. They can extend over your General Liability, Commercial Auto Liability, Employers Liability, and sometimes even Liquor Liability. Note, however, that they cannot be extended over Professional Liability.

There are two types of coverage when it comes to protection above your standard policy limits. Umbrella coverage is the most common, but Excess Liability options also exist for certain cases.

Both provide additional limits of insurance. However a strict Excess policy is "follow form,"  meaning coverage applies with the exact same conditions and exclusions as the underlying policies. It's purely "vertical" in that increasing total coverage amounts is the only thing it does. Umbrella insurance, however, is also "horizontal" meaning it can extend out past the terms of the underlying policy in certain circumstance. This is because an Umbrella policy is a complete policy with it's own insuring agreement, conditions, and exclusions.

This means that an Umbrella policy can sometimes "move over" and act like the primary policy. When this is done they often require a Self-Insured Retention, meaning the insured business would have to pay a predetermined amount towards the claim before coverage would trigger.

Umbrella vs Excess

Despite being easy to understand on the surface, Umbrella insurance options can become complicated. We're here to guide clients through the entire insurance process, from building the package of underlying policies and finding an umbrella to cover them.


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Columbus, GA 31909


Tel: 706-660-5969

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Chastain & Welch Agency LLC - Columbus Georgia

Note that all coverage summaries are generic, based on general industry standards, and informational only. They in no way create, extend, reduce, or otherwise modify coverage provided by any insurance policy. Please refer to your policy documents and any endorsements to determine coverage limits, conditions, exclusions and any other applicable provisions.

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