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Umbrella and Excess Insurance

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  • Excess Liability Insurance
    One critical area that many businesses and individual executives leave themselves at risk is in carrying the proper types and amounts of insurance. Often when we work with companies to provide comprehensive planning services, we find that while they may have sound business growth plans, they leave themselves needlessly exposed to risks that can jeopardize their businesses or personal wealth plans.

    BCG clients can rest easy knowing that they have direct access the best excess insurance (also called umbrella insurance) and protection through our affiliate and one of the leading business insurance and risk management specialists, Bailey, Haskell & LaLonde (BHL) insurance. BHL commercial insurance specialists can provide expert analysis of your current coverages to ensure that you have the right type and amount of umbrella and excess liability protection. What is Excess Insurance and Umbrella?
    Excess liability and umbrella insurance is an insurance policy that covers you above and beyond the amount of general liability insurance you carry to protect your business assets. Commercial excess liability insurance policies have two primary functions: Expand your total insurance protection past that of your basic general liability insurance policy, and expand the type of insurance coverage past your basic coverage to protect you against risks that are unique to your business and industry.

    The typical liability insurance policy may offer just $500,000. Many companies fail to consider today’s risk realities and their brokers fail to advise them that they may be inadequately protected with a basic policy. In reality, an umbrella policy offering protection to $5 million or more is more appropriate and is available for very little additional cost. Most umbrella insurance policies are sold in million dollar increments up to about $20 million. A $1 million excess insurance policy will cost you as little as $150-$300 per year and each $1 million additional in coverage is typically even less.

    Think You Don’t Need Excess Liability Insurance?
    Think again. Today’s law suits are getting bigger and bigger with awards now running well into the millions of dollars. If you are covered by a basic umbrella insurance policy—or no excess insurance at all, you are at risk.

    Consider this example of why you should employ an umbrella/excess insurance policy to protect your personal and business assets:
    ABC Construction Company has been operating for more than a year and they are growing and taking on larger projects. To keep their start-up costs low the sole owner decides to carry only the basic liability insurance with a limit of $500,000 of coverage. One of his workers loses control of a piece of heavy equipment seriously injuring a non-related party at the work site and damaging the business next door forcing it to close for repairs. ABC Construction Company is sued for $3 million in medical claims and damages. The owner’s insurance pays $500,000, the limit of his policy, and the owner is now responsible to pay the remaining $2.5 million. The owner may very well be forced to liquidate his business and sell all of his assets.
    An excess liability insurance policy for $5 million of insurance protection would have paid all legal fees and damages above the basic policy’s $500,000 limit and the owner would still have excess insurance protection of $2.5 million. More importantly, he would have been able to continue growing his company.
    This is a general description of the available coverages and is not a statement of contract. All coverages are subject to policy provisions and applicable endorsements. For more information about umbrella insurance speak to a BHL agent.


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