excess liability vs umbrella

The Difference Between Excess and Umbrella Insurance

When shopping for insurance you may have heard the terms “umbrella” and “excess” liability insurance. Upon first glance, these policies seem to do the same thing. Both appear to pitch in when your starting, or underlying policies, fail to meet your particular claim’s need. However, they are actually two different coverages, and it is important to know what that difference is before you finalize your insurance package. Here is a brief overview of excess liability vs umbrella coverage.


As stated before, both insurance policies are purchased in case there is a scenario in which your initial insurance policies don’t have the limits and coverage you need. They are especially crucial for businesses as they can witness a whole array of incidents.


The difference lies in whether or not they provide an increase in coverage. Umbrella liability provides both higher coverage and increased limits. Umbrella can also be applied a whole number of your underlying policies. However, excess liability only includes an increase in limits. Excess liability does cover situations that are not already in your policy. This line can also be applied to only one policy at a time.

While the difference between excess liability vs umbrella coverage may feel confusing, please know that you likely require one or the other if you really to be fully protected.