If you’re uncertain about the distinction between umbrella and excess liability protection, you’re not the only one. Both umbrella and excess liability insurance can be added to general liability coverage, employer’s liability insurance, and commercial vehicle insurance when the limits of a policy have been exceeded. Consequently, these terms are used interchangeably, even by insurance companies—however, although related, they are not the same.

This guide will provide an outline and explanation of the different types of business insurance coverage as well as how they interact. It will also explain how to interpret the terms and conditions of your policy to ensure you have the coverage you need for your business. Finally, it will determine if your umbrella or excess liability policy suits your business.

What is Excess Liability Insurance?

A business’s excess general liability policy is an extra layer of protection that goes beyond its underlying liability coverage limits. This coverage can be applied to more than one existing liability policy, such as professional liability and general liability. While some policies may match the terms of the underlying policies, others may be more restrictive and contain more exclusions. It is wise to thoroughly assess the business’s risks to ensure all needs are met.

What is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella liability insurance offers an additional layer of coverage beyond the limits of commonly purchased insurance policies such as general liability, professional liability, and worker’s comp. It can provide coverage for claims that are not included in the underlying policies, and it can drop down to provide additional coverage when the limits of the underlying policies are exhausted. Furthermore, while it requires self-insured retention (SIR) to be paid out-of-pocket, this does not usually reduce insurance limits.

5 Key Differences Between the Two

  • Excess liability insurance offers extra coverage for situations where the limits of a standard policy have been exceeded. In contrast, umbrella insurance provides broader coverage for a much wider range of potential risks. Both insurance policies offer an extra layer of protection for individuals and businesses beyond the coverage of a regular insurance policy.
  • Excess liability insurance is additional coverage that provides protection over and above the limits of an existing insurance policy. It can only be used when the limits of the original insurance policy have been reached, and it typically covers the same risks and losses as the original policy. This extra coverage gives people the peace of mind that any additional losses or damages that occur beyond the limits of their policy will be covered.
  • Umbrella coverage is an insurance policy that gives you broader protection than a regular policy. It covers risks and losses that wouldn’t be covered by a standard policy, like personal injury, libel, slander, and false arrest. You buy it to boost the liability protection you get over and above what a standard policy would offer. It’s an extra layer of protection that gives you peace of mind.
  • Excess liability insurance is a type of insurance that provides extra protection over and above the amount of coverage already provided by an existing policy. On the other hand, Umbrella coverage is an additional layer of insurance that provides broader coverage and higher overall liability limits than a regular insurance policy.
  • Commercial insurance policies are typically offered in standard $1,000,000 increments. This makes it difficult to benefit from an umbrella policy since the gap between the underlying policies and the coverage of the umbrella policy is small.


Excess Liability and Umbrella Policies are both important insurance products designed to protect individuals and companies from catastrophic financial losses. While both types of policies offer essential financial protection, the coverage provided by each is different and depends on the individual insurance needs of the policyholder. As such, it is important for individuals and businesses to properly evaluate their needs and choose the most suitable policy for their specific situation.

Pascal Burke Insurance Brokerage Inc. are specialists in an array of policies that cover not only general cases but also specialty contractors. You won’t have to worry about breaking the bank with our great rates! If you need business insurance in Gainesville, FL, we’ve got you covered! Get in touch with us today!