What is an Umbrella Policy?

Auto and homeowner insurance policies typically have liability caps that limit the amount the insurer is obligated to pay. In more serious car accidents and in other circumstances that cause significant losses and injuries, those limits can be reached very quickly. This could leave an injured party with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs and expenses that have exceeded the limits of their policy.

Insurance companies offer umbrella liability policies to cover that excess. The New York City car accident lawyers at the Manhattan law firm of Douglas and London recommend that all drivers and homeowners consider purchasing this. When a client suffers costly injuries and faces medical costs and expenses that exceed these limits– we also have the experience to analyze whether any umbrella policy coverage is available to reimburse those costs and expenses.

Should You Purchase an Umbrella Policy?

An umbrella policy will offer protection to persons who have significant amounts of assets and who also participate in any activities that pose a risk of serious injury to another party. If you do not have this, and you are responsible for injuries and losses, for example, from a slip-and-fall accident on your property, then those assets will be exposed as potential sources for payment.  

What Are the Insurance Premiums for an Umbrella Policy?   

A homeowner or driver can typically purchase a comprehensive umbrella policy that covers up to $1 million in damages for $300 to $500 per year. These policies are generally adjunct coverage. They are added as part of the insured party’s regular homeowner’s or auto insurance policy. The actual cost of an umbrella policy will ultimately be a function of the total desired coverage and the level of risk that an insured party poses. 

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What Does an Umbrella Policy Cover?

Umbrella policy coverage can extend beyond liabilities that are caused directly by an insured party.  For example, an umbrella policy might cover:

  • an insured party’s reasonable legal expenses that are incurred in defending accident and negligence claims;
  • accidents caused by an insured party’s dependent children;
  • liabilities from accidents on rental properties that an insured party owns;
  • claims for slander and libel, and similar causes of action relating to mental distress.

Like other kinds of insurance, an umbrella policy generally will not cover an insured party’s intentional acts, criminal conduct, and other high-risk activities.  The specific coverage afforded by an umbrella policy will be defined in the contract. Speak with your insurance agent or consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if you have any questions.

Umbrella Policies and Car Accidents

If you suffer injuries in a vehicle crash in the Empire State, you might assume that car insurance policy limits will reduce the reimbursement that you are entitled to receive. Contact a car accident attorney in New York before you accept any settlement that an insurance company might offer to you. An experienced lawyer will analyze your case and determine if any umbrella policies are available that might provide a source for a larger reimbursement.

Likewise, if another party is seeking damages from you for an accident, where you or someone in your family might have some responsibility, call an accident and negligence attorney. They have the expertise to review all available insurance, including umbrella policies. This may be available to cover the liabilities that another party is claiming from you.

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Negligence claims, and particularly claims for damages that result from car accidents, are rarely simple and straightforward. A skilled personal injury lawyer will fight to recover the largest damages award that may be available from all sources. That lawyer can also protect and defend you against claims against your personal assets when another party claims that you are liable for damages.

Contact the Lawyers at Douglas and London For More Information About Umbrella Policies

The New York City personal injury lawyers at Douglas and London in Manhattan have years of experience in representing parties who have suffered significant losses and injuries in car crashes, slip-and-fall cases, and other accident and negligence situations. We understand the complex interplay among insurance and umbrella policies, and we use that knowledge to our clients’ greatest benefit. 

Please see our website or contact our offices directly if you have been in an accident in Manhattan, the Bronx, Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, or anywhere else in New York. We will answer your umbrella policy questions and provide aggressive legal representation to recover the largest available damages award when you suffer losses and injuries in an accident.   


  1. www.nerdwallet.com: Understanding Umbrella Insurance. https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/umbrella-insurance-complete-guide/
  2. www.moneycrashers.com: What is Umbrella Insurance – Do I Need a Policy? https://www.moneycrashers.com/umbrella-insurance-policy
  3. www.investopedia.com: It’s Raining Lawsuits: Do You Need an Umbrella Policy? https://www.investopedia.com/articles/insurance/09/do-you-need-an-umbrella-policy.asp