The Commercial Umbrella policy is a policy that is designed to provide protection against catastrophic losses. It generally is written over various primary liability policies, such as the business auto policy, commercial general liability policy, watercraft and aircraft liability policies, and employer’s liability coverage. The umbrella policy serves three purposes: it provides excess limits when the limits of underlying liability policies are exhausted by the payment of claims; it drops down and picks up where the underlying policy leaves off when the aggregate limit of the underlying policy in question is exhausted by the payment of claims; and it provides protection against some claims not covered by the underlying policies, subject to the assumption, by the named insured, of a self-insured retention.
An Excess Loss policy is essentially the same as an umbrella policy in that is provides excess limits when the limits of underlying liability policies are exhausted by the payment of claims. Unlike the umbrella policy, it does not extend protection to claims not covered by the underlying policies.
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