What is Umbrella Insurance?

Preparing for the unexpected.

By Janice Kophen

Look at the picture in this article. At first glance, it’s just a group of friends enjoying the sunshine and each other’s company – lovely, right? But if you look a bit closer, you’ll notice that the people standing in the foreground are precariously close to the edge of a stone step. If one of them were to trip or fall down those steps, this gathering would quickly become much less enjoyable, especially if the guest is seriously injured.  

What is Umbrella Insurance?

These are the kinds of situations that homeowners must be aware of when establishing insurance policies for their home. Standard policies have limits that would barely cover the cost of a lawsuit, injury settlement, or devastating accident. And this doesn’t just apply to accidents at home! Auto, RV, and watercraft accidents can also become very costly if you don’t have enough coverage established… this is where umbrella insurance comes in.

Umbrella insurance policies are added layers of coverage. They enhance your existing policies and may act as primary coverage in areas excluded on your standard policies. These policies cover the cost of injuries sustained by others in accidents involving you or your property. These may include auto accidents, boating accidents, trips/falls at your home, etc. They cover court and attorney fees if you are sued and can extend to the other members of your household, as well. For example, if your teenager is found responsible for a major car accident or hosts a party with underage drinking when you aren’t home, any potential damages would be covered.

Umbrella policies can cover you from $1 million up to $20 million, or more! And it’s not as expensive as you may think – a $1 million policy can cost as little as $150-$300 per year, and each additional million is typically less.

Want to speak with an expert to see if an umbrella policy is right for you? Our team is ready to answer your questions. Give us a call at 800-268-1830.


Janice Kophen is vice president, personal insurance operations at OneGroup. She can be reached at 315-558-6777 or [email protected].