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The more assets you have, the more you stand to lose in the event you’re held personally liable for damage or injuries to other individuals or their property. While insurance policies like auto insurance and homeowners insurance provide some liability protection, the policy limits might fall below your total net worth. Umbrella insurance provides additional liability coverage on top of your existing limits across insurance policies.

For example, even an auto insurance policy with a $500,000 per incident bodily injury limit (the highest available from most companies) might not be enough to protect your home from being seized in an accident where you’re at fault for serious injuries to multiple people and are sued. In this type of situation, umbrella insurance provides the extra liability coverage you need to protect your assets.

In other words, umbrella insurance acts as an extra layer of liability insurance. How much umbrella coverage you need depends on your financial situation.

Key Takeaways

  • Home and auto insurance policies don’t always provide sufficient liability coverage.
  • Umbrella insurance policies start at $1 million and can go up to $100 million in liability coverage.
  • You need umbrella insurance if you have assets with a value beyond the limits available on a home or auto insurance policy.

Determine how much umbrella insurance you need

Umbrella insurance coverage starts with a $1 million limit and goes as high as $100 million with some insurers, including Chubb. The right amount depends on your financial situation.

“Usually you need to consider your income, assets and exposure you have to risk,” says Harlan Rossman, senior agent at Deluxe Insurance Group in Minnesota. “I usually tell clients to talk with a financial advisor who knows their assets and exposure the best to help determine a good amount for coverage.”

Consider assets like the value of your home if you’re a homeowner and other assets as well as your income. Even if you don’t have millions in assets, you still might want more protection from liability lawsuits because “in a lawsuit, they can [garnish] your wages to get back some of the liabilities. The more you have, the more you want to protect with a personal liability umbrella,” Rossman says.

How is umbrella coverage calculated?

Umbrella coverage is calculated using a basic formula that compares your current coverage, assets including future income, debts and risks. 

To calculate your umbrella coverage needs, list all of your assets and your debts. Compare the difference between your assets and debts to your current coverage to see if you have adequate protection. Then consider your risks, such as teen drivers, ownership of a boat, a position in the public eye and other factors that might increase the odds of facing a lawsuit. 

Umbrella insurance calculator

To help you get a sense of how much umbrella insurance you need, we’ve built the calculator below. This umbrella insurance calculator recommends how much umbrella insurance you need, as well as eligibility requirements, based on your assets, debts, current liability coverage and risk exposure.

Umbrella Insurance Calculator

Calculate your umbrella insurance coverage needs in a few simple steps

1Assets
2Liabilities
3Coverage
4Risk Exposure
5Results
All the information you provide for this calculator will be kept confidential. We will not ask you for any information that can be used to contact you unless you request a quote.

Assets

(Approximations are acceptable)
$600,000
You should have assets!

Liabilities

(Approximations are acceptable)
$150,000

Coverage

Determine whether you have enough underlying homeowners and auto insurance coverage.

This calculator is for informational purposes only. Shoppers should always increase the underlying limits of their home and auto policies to the highest available before buying umbrella insurance.

Risk factors

Check all that apply:

Umbrella Insurance Calculator

Find out whether umbrella insurance is right for you based on your assets, liabilities, coverage limit and risk level.

Results

We recommend a personal umbrella policy with coverage limits of $1M or more.
Your Assets $600K
Your Liabilities $150K
Insurance Coverage $0
Your Net Worth $450K
Risk Level
Our experts recommendation: Based on your risk profile, you have a low exposure to potential liability losses. Our experts recommends you getting an Umbrella Insurance to save assets from any potential losses.

You don't need an umbrella insurance policy.

Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for an Umbrella Policy, insurance companies will require you to maintain certain minimum liability limits on your auto and homeowners policies.
Auto Insurance Policy
  • $250,000 per person (bodily injury)
  • $500,000 per occurrence (bodily injury)
  • $100,000 (property damage)
Home Insurance Policy
  • $300,000 liability
Boat Insurance
  • $100,000 for smaller boats
  • $300,000 for larger boats (26 ft or longer, 50 HP or up)

How much does umbrella insurance cost?

Umbrella coverage cost is calculated based on several factors, such as umbrella policy limits, underlying home and auto policy limits, credit history, past insurance claims and risk factors such as having teenage drivers on your auto policy.

“For a husband and wife with two cars and one home, a $1 million umbrella policy is about $150 to $200 per year,” Rossman says.

However, umbrella insurance costs go up with additional risk factors.

If you add a teenage driver and another car to the previous scenario, that would bring a $1 million umbrella insurance rate to around $400 per year.

“As you add more exposures and younger drivers the premium will increase for the umbrella,” Rossman says.

Also, umbrella insurance policies require underlying home and/or auto insurance, generally with the highest available limits, meaning you may need to pay a little more on these underlying policies to bump up coverage. Check the calculator tool for eligibility requirements based on your situation to get a sense of whether you need to adjust your existing policies.

Umbrella insurance cost also varies based on factors like your state and the specific insurer, so compare rates from different umbrella insurance providers to see what works best for you.

What does an umbrella policy cover?

An umbrella policy covers liability beyond what other liability policies cover, such as home and auto insurance, as well as other policies like boat insurance in some cases.
Most umbrella policies cover areas such as:

  • Medical liability from vehicle accidents
  • Property damage liability from vehicle accidents or for which you are responsible
  • Personal liability for injuries occurring at your home or for which you are responsible away from home
  • Legal fees and related costs of liability lawsuits

In addition, some umbrella policies cover liability areas that other policies don’t, such as:

  • Libel
  • Slander
  • False arrest

What doesn’t an umbrella policy cover?

Umbrella policies are geared toward liability coverage, so they don’t provide coverage for all aspects of underlying policies. For example, a standard umbrella policy does not cover areas such as:

  • Your own medical bills 
  • Repairs or replacements for your own vehicles
  • Repairs or replacements for your home or personal property

Umbrella policies also have exclusions to avoid covering all aspects of liability, such as intentional or criminal acts, as well as acts of war. Some umbrella policies exclude certain types of liability such as wrongful death lawsuits and cyber liability, but it depends on the policy, so check with your insurer for more details.

Things to consider when choosing umbrella insurance

When choosing umbrella insurance, consider areas such as the following:

  • Coverage needs: A good place to start is by considering how much coverage you need, such as by discussing your assets, debts, income and risk exposure with a financial advisor or trusted insurance professional.
  • Cost: After considering how much coverage you need, compare costs at the relevant liability limit with different insurers. Consider bundling discounts by getting umbrella insurance, auto insurance and homeowners insurance through the same provider. 
  • Policy inclusions and exclusions: Also review what’s included and excluded in the umbrella policy to make sure you’re getting the protection you want.
  • Existing coverage: Lastly, consider what umbrella insurance means for your other insurance policies, such as home and auto insurance. Some umbrella insurers require you to have underlying home and auto policies with them too, so that could affect your decision. You also might need to adjust your underlying policies, such as by bumping up home and auto liability limits.

Frequently asked questions

Is it worth getting an umbrella insurance policy?

Getting an umbrella insurance policy is worth it for many individuals who have assets exceeding standard policy limits or those who want to reduce the risk of liability lawsuits affecting their income. Whether it’s worthwhile for you depends on your situation.

Can I buy umbrella insurance separately?

Some insurance companies that sell umbrella insurance require customers to have the underlying policies  — generally home and auto — with that same insurer. However, not all insurers have this requirement. So, in some cases, you can buy umbrella insurance separately from your other policies, but you need some form of underlying insurance for which the umbrella insurance provides additional limits.

Umbrella insurance is always a standalone policy, however, and is not an endorsement on an existing policy.

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Leslie Kasperowicz
Managing Editor

 
  

Leslie Kasperowicz is an insurance educator and content creation professional with nearly two decades of experience first directly in the insurance industry at Farmers Insurance and then as a writer, researcher, and educator for insurance shoppers writing for sites like ExpertInsuranceReviews.com and InsuranceHotline.com and managing content, now at Insurance.com.