Excess insurance coverage is an insurance policy that provides coverage that will be in excess of what was available under the underlying liability policy. Often, that’s an umbrella policy, but it could be an auto insurance liability policy as well.
The general rule with excess insurance is that it can’t be broader than the underlying policy, but it can create higher limits. So for example if the underlying policy won’t cover damages caused by a certain act, the excess coverage isn’t going to do that either. However if the underlying policy offers up to $50,000 in coverage, your excess policy could provide more than that.
The excess insurance policy was at issue in the recent case of Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Estate of Chee, a complex case that pits the estate of a deceased woman against her surviving husband and the doctors who provided her medical care in the wake of a crash. Those doctors then pursued action against the husband, who sought indemnification from both his auto insurance company as well as his excess insurance firm, which had provided a policy that covered both him and his wife. Continue reading →