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Excess liability insurance is third-party insurance coverage that goes into effect when you have exhausted the limits of a base liability policy. For example, there are situations in which an insurer may limit the amount of liability coverage you can purchase. If a lawsuit judgment goes against you and requires you to pay a larger amount than you’re covered for, your excess liability coverage goes into effect.

Calculating the amount of excess liability insurance needed is not easy. To start, if your net worth is 2,000,000. Rule of thumb is to purchase twice that amount. However, since lawsuits & their costs have an unknown amount, it is best to always buy as much as you can afford.

The most common form of excess liability coverage is the umbrella policy. A personal umbrella policy typically provides excess coverage for your homeowners and auto policies. A commercial umbrella offers additional coverage for a general liability policy for a business. Umbrella policies are usually sold in $1 million increments. While umbrellas can provide large coverage amounts, their premiums are relatively inexpensive due to the fact that they are not needed until other available liability coverage has been used first.