Commercial Umbrella Insurance: A Safety Net for Businesses

Most of the time, a business won’t need extra liability coverage. But it’s that rare, out-of-the-blue occurrence that brings an end to what was formerly a successful enterprise. No business owner should have to stay up at night wondering if their business will be the next one to make the news for eye-watering settlements.

Obviously, the best way to avoid this future is with strong training and prevention efforts, but no one is completely safe from an accident closing their doors forever. Commercial umbrella insurance is the next best thing a business owner can have, as it’s an affordable method of prepping for unexpected accidents and suits. By understanding the ins and outs of commercial umbrella insurance, you can be confident that you’re getting your clients the best possible policy. This means you can win more business from more clients while helping them continue to be successful in whatever they do. 

What Is Commercial Umbrella Insurance?

Commercial umbrella insurance is a liability policy that provides additional coverage for businesses and commercial properties. A commercial umbrella policy extends a business’s liability limits so that they are adequately covered, even in instances of high-cost lawsuits and damages.

How Does Commercial Umbrella Insurance Work?

Commercial umbrella insurance works as an extension of your client’s liability limits. For example, if your client’s business insurance covers liability up to $1 million per occurrence, and they have a settlement that’ll cost them $2 million, typically, they’d be on the hook for that additional $1 million. However, an umbrella insurance policy would cover that extra $1 million up to its limits. A $2 million commercial umbrella policy would fully cover the bill.

Who Needs Commercial Umbrella Insurance?

Any business that has liability risks should have a commercial umbrella policy. For some businesses, the reasons are obvious. For example, restaurants run common risks like food poisoning or overserving patrons. For them, a specialized restaurant umbrella policy is a no-brainer. 

However, almost all businesses run some form of liability risks that could cripple their operations if they don’t have adequate coverage. Industrial buildings may not have a client-facing aspect when it comes to liability concerns, but they still run major risks. For instance, a chemical plant in New Jersey was sued for $1 million over a smell that one woman claimed made her and her child sick. With a high-limit umbrella policy, these kinds of major one-off expenses become far more manageable. 

Other businesses that should purchase commercial umbrella insurance include:

  • Retail stores
  • Strip malls
  • Indoor malls
  • Light industrial complexes
  • Office buildings

What Does Commercial Umbrella Insurance Cover?

Commercial umbrella insurance coverage differs from policy to policy, but it should cover most liability claims that a business might face. Some common examples are:

  • Lawsuits related to harassment, discrimination, and personal injury
  • Auto liability
  • Employee benefit liability
  • Cost of legal defense
  • D&O liability
  • Liquor liability

What Doesn’t It Cover?

Every policy is a little different, but there are some typical things that you won’t see covered in most commercial umbrella policies. These include:

  • Property damage
  • Personal litigation aimed at an employee or owner of the company
  • Employee theft

Many commercial umbrella insurance policies are follow form, meaning that they will cover whatever your underlying insurance policy does. Make sure to read through all of the terms and conditions, so you know that your client is getting the right coverage for their needs. 

What Do Clients Look for in a Commercial Umbrella Insurance Policy?

Selling commercial umbrella insurance requires a good knowledge of what clients want when they walk through your door. Mostly that comes with experience. However, if you’re new to selling this umbrella policy, here are some things to emphasize and look for when working with your clients.

  • High limits: Clients may not know it, but they often need higher limits than many standard policies offer. As their broker, you can educate them about the importance of getting a high-limit umbrella that matches their exposure level. Distinguished’s Real Estate Umbrella Insurance supports policies of up to $140 million so that you can make sure they never go underinsured.
  • Fast quoting: Buying insurance is no one’s idea of a great day — so it’s no wonder many clients put off buying it until the last minute. In those situations, you’re going to need a quote right away. Distinguished’s Express Real Estate Umbrella can get you same-day bindable commercial umbrella quotes on policies up to $10 million with our online application system. For larger accounts, turnaround times are around one week.
  • Coverages they need: Although many umbrella policies follow form, that’s not true of everything on the market. Clients only want to pay for coverage that’ll actually be there when they need it. Distinguished offers broad coverage umbrella policies that follow form and have no exclusions for suits related to assault or battery.

Learn More About Distinguished’s High-Limit Umbrella Policies

Distinguished specializes in high-limit real estate umbrella insurance policies that have been crafted by long-time industry experts and underwriters. We combine excellent service, fair rates, and industry expertise to provide you with insurance policies that can help you win accounts.

At Distinguished, we offer insurance policies that are as unique as the businesses they help insure. That’s why we’ve broken up our umbrella policies into different niches that are better prepared to insure your client’s assets. Most commercial umbrella applications at Distinguished will fall under our Real Estate Umbrella Insurance, which can help insure warehouses, retail outlets, office buildings, and more. We also offer specialized umbrellas for:

If you have any questions about our offerings, please reach out to our insurance experts, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 

Get started by registering so that you can easily submit your business for any of our insurance policies, including our high-limit real estate umbrellas. Submissions for umbrella policies with less than $10 million in coverage can go through our online portal, while larger ones should be submitted using this application form

Learn more about Distinguished’s Real Estate Umbrella below:

Distinguished’s Real Estate Umbrella FAQs

What do I need to submit?

To submit your business for our Real Estate Umbrella, you’ll need to provide a completed supplemental application, a schedule of locations including COPE info, five years of currently valued loss runs, and underlying quotes to be scheduled.

Is this umbrella available nationwide? 

Yes, we offer our Real Estate Umbrella Insurance across all 50 states.

What are your limit options?

Our Real Estate Umbrella Insurance limits are:

  • $10,000,000
  • $25,000,000
  • $50,000,000
  • $75,000,000
  • $90,000,000
  • $105,000,000
  • $115,000,000
  • $140,000,000

For the Express Real Estate Umbrella, we offer limits of:

  • $1,000,000
  • $2,000,000
  • $5,000,000
  • $10,000,000

About Distinguished Programs

Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Real Estate, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished Programs’ high-limit umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its areas of specialty for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation, stemming back to 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.

View a full list of our programs and submit business with Distinguished.

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