If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of receiving a lousy payout from your insurance provider, you will probably see the value of an umbrella insurance. This type of insurance covers costs that aren't covered by your primary insurance providers, if you are held liable for a claim. For example, if you are involved in an accident and your combined insurance policies cover only 60% of the damages, the umbrella insurance will cover the missing 40%.
An umbrella insurance is usually a better choice than an excess insurance, which covers only one insurance policy. With umbrella insurance, all excess costs are covered for most of your policies up to a certain limit. In many cases you will also receive additional coverage that is not included in your existing policies, such as libel, slander and pollution claims, depending on your policy. An umbrella policy will also protect your finances if you are ever sued.
GEICO provides some of the cheapest umbrella insurance on the market. You can get $1 million in coverage from just $300 a year. They offer all of the liability coverage you would expect to find on an umbrella insurance policy, such as property damage, physical injury and legal costs of liability. You also get covered for professional mistakes. Overall, GEICO has a fair customer satisfaction rating, but this insurance will benefit you most if you are looking for low annual premiums.
Read our review of GEICO here.
Allstate. In my opinion, 3 of the best benefits of Allstate's personal umbrella insurance are that it covers you even when you are outside of the US, coverage for wages lost due to a court appearance (and if you get sued this can happen often) up to set limits, and it also covers the cost of retaining an attorney as long as the cause of the lawsuit against you is covered by your policy. Policies from this company come with face values of $1 million to $5 million, in increments of $1 million. Aside from your spouse, you will get coverage for relatives and dependents living with you, your legal representative (if you pass away) and for any person you specifically include on your policy. Liability coverage includes bodily injury to others, damage to other people's property and injury or property damage to your tenants. Remember that this coverage is an extension of your existing insurance policies, and you will have to have minimum amounts of primary insurance to benefit from this umbrella insurance. For example, Allstate requires a minimum of $300,000 of primary homeowner's or renter's insurance coverage per occurrence before you can access the $1 million or more of umbrella insurance coverage.
Find out more in our Allstate review here.
USAA offers umbrella insurance starting at $1 million, which is pretty standard. You get additional coverage for car accidents and injuries to others that you are held liable for, as well as extended coverage for your primary liability insurance. This company is known for good customer service and fair handling of claims. It only offers insurance to U.S. military service members, veterans who have honorably served, and their eligible family members, so if you are eligible, this might be a good option. Coverage starts at just $19 a month ($228 a year). How much you pay in premiums will depend on how many primary policies you want additional coverage for, and how many people you include in your policy.
Find out more in our full review of USAA.
State Farm can offer you affordable rates and average benefits if you need to take out umbrella insurance to supplement the liability coverage you already have. As well as adding $1 million or more of coverage to your primary policies, its umbrella coverage also protects you from legal costs associated with making a professional mistake (such as giving a customer mistaken advice). You get 24/7 customer service, and coverage is available for a wide range of needs including policies created for businesses, medical professionals, property owners and religious organizations. The pricing offered by State Farm is average, so their strong point lies in a broad network of agents and a strong financial backbone.
Farmers. Umbrella insurance from this company has its advantages. For one thing, you can get legal coverage above what is covered by your primary insurance policies (specifically defamation of character, libel and slander). This insurance covers you anywhere in the world, which could come in handy if you have an accident while on vacation, for example. Farmers has a strong network of agents so you are likely to find an agent based near you. To qualify for umbrella insurance with them your current car insurance policy will need to have minimum liability coverage of $250,000 per person ($500,000 per occurrence) for bodily injury and $100,000 for property damage. Renter's or homeowner's policies need to provide at least $300,000 in personal liability coverage. If you have higher primary liability coverage, you can get much lower rates on your monthly premiums.