Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Who Needs a Commercial Umbrella?

You can probably guess pretty quickly that the “commercial umbrella” we’re referring to isn’t some industrial strength rain shield. In the case of insurance, a commercial umbrella can extend the protection your business has from certain limits of liability on other coverages.

For example, if you your business had a large legal claim against it, your businessowners policy might not cover all of the legal expenses, medical costs, damages, and/or legal judgements imposed. Most commonly, this is seen with general liability policies and commercial auto policies. And there must be an “underlying” policy to extend – you can’t just buy a commercial umbrella without base coverages. The reason for that is these policies are triggered by specific policy language. Something must occur with your other policy(ies) for this policy to “kick in”.

So, who needs one? While most businesses could benefit from having one in place, a commercial umbrella is especially needed for businesses that frequently interact with their customers in-person. This is especially so if equipment/machinery is involved – think of pest control, dry cleaning, restaurants, landscapers, and hardware stores as good examples. The key is to understand where you have the highest risk for a claim. As further examples – landscapers may cause property damage more frequently by flying debris, and a hardware store may be operating a forklift around walking patrons in risk of bodily injury.

The limits and costs of these policies vary of course, but they can be a very wise investment. You may be able to increase the amount of your “total” coverage by $1 to $15 million (more in some cases), allowing you to “customize” your business’s insurance plan.

Have other questions about protecting your business with an umbrella? Contact Brandon Patterson at 865.453.1414 or email and he’ll be happy to discuss it and provide you info on the coverage you need.