Who is covered by a personal umbrella policy?
Last updated: January 1
A personal umbrella policy helps protect you (the policy owner) as well as the members of your household if you are found liable for a covered incident. This typically includes your spouse, dependents and any other relatives living with you.
An umbrella insurance policy offers optional liability protection beyond what your auto and homeowners insurance policies cover.
Your personal umbrella policy may not, however, cover someone in your household who has auto or property coverage in their own name or through another insurer. For example, your son may be excluded from your umbrella policy if he has renters insurance on an apartment near his college campus. (He may want to consider his own personal umbrella policy.) Your mom, who lives with you full-time, may not be covered on your policy if she has her own auto insurance policy. Be sure to talk to your agent about any potential exclusions so that you know exactly who is included on your policy.
What does a personal umbrella policy cover?
Coverage from a personal umbrella policy typically extends beyond incidents at your home, even if you are traveling outside of the country. For example, if your car slides on the ice and causes damage to another vehicle, your umbrella policy will likely cover damage that exceeds your auto policy's limits (within the stated limits of your umbrella insurance coverage).
Your umbrella policy may also help provide protection for something not covered by your home or auto policy. For instance, if your husband rents a snowmobile while on a winter getaway, and is involved in an accident that results in property damage and physical injury to another person, your umbrella policy may help pay for the costs or repairs and medical bills of the injured individual, even if you do not have recreational vehicle insurance.
Umbrella insurance protection may also extend beyond physical damage, providing financial help (within stated limits) if you're sued for libel or slander. So if your teenager's strong opinion about a business on social media results in a lawsuit, an umbrella policy will likely help cover legal fees and, if necessary, pay for fines or damages.
Keep in mind that not everything is covered by a personal umbrella policy, regardless of whether it is in or out of your home. Your personal belongings and business, even if it is run out of your home, will most likely not be covered. Talk to your agent to be sure exactly who and what your umbrella policy covers, and ask if there is any additional coverage you need to consider.