Umbrella/Excess Policies for Architects/Engineers
While umbrella/excess policies are not common they are available to architects and engineers. A few items to be aware of when your firm does get an umbrella policy.
What is an umbrella policy? – The umbrella or excess policy is an ‘umbrella’ coverage over your general liability, automobile liability and workers compensation policies. For example, your general liability policy has $1,000,000 per occurrence coverage, if you have an umbrella for $2,000,000, which is an additional limit over and above the general liability policy.
Does the umbrella policy also include my Professional Liability policy? – The umbrella policy is not over your firms Professional Liability policy. If your firm requires higher limits on the Professional Liability policy that will need to be through the Professional Liability insurance company, ask your agent about this coverage. Excess coverage, like an umbrella, is not available for Professional Liability.
What is the deductible on an umbrella policy? – The deductibles or SIR (self-insured retention) are typically higher than you may find on your general liability policy deductible. However, claims are not as common on these types of policies. For example, the SIR may be $10,000 or more. Review your policy to know your deductible or SIR.
What other items should my firm know about our umbrella/excess policy? – There are a few other areas in the policy to pay close attention to. Does the umbrella ‘follow form’, meaning does it follow the underlying insurance form when it comes to claim time. Can you have an additional insured on your umbrella policy? Is there an aggregate limit on your firm’s umbrella policy? Is the policy a claims made policy or occurrence policy?
As always, read your policy to better understand your firm’s umbrella/excess policy. If you have questions please call or email your Professional Underwriters agent.