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Business Insurance Law and Practice Guide
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

1-4 Business Insurance Law and Practice Guide 4.syn


Umbrella and Excess Liability Insurance


Michael Glatt

Chapter Summary


An excess, or umbrella, insurance policy serves a different purpose than a primary policy. A true excess policy protects the insured in the event of a catastrophic loss in which liability exceeds the available primary coverage.

This chapter from Business Insurance Law and PracticeGuide examines the law governing umbrella liability insurance. It starts by reviewing the nature, purpose, and standard provisions of umbrella policies, the relationship between excess policies and underlying policies, and the concept of ultimate net loss. Next, this chapter discusses the good faith obligation owed by primary insurers to excess and umbrella carriers, as well as the good faith obligations of excess carriers to primary carriers. Furthermore, this chapter covers the duty to defend and indemnify among primary, excess, and umbrella carriers and the effect of a primary insurer's insolvency upon the liability of the excess carrier.

Business Insurance Law and Practice Guide (Matthew Bender) is a comprehensive guide for both insurance companies and attorneys who advise businesses of all sizes. It is complete with legal analysis based on case law and statutes, as well as helpful practice tips throughout. It provides detailed treatment of many different types of insurance, including liability, directors' and officers' liability, excess, property, financial guaranty, suretyship, fidelity bonds, title, ocean marine, employee benefits, life insurance in business, insurance for environmental claims, and reinsurance. Business Insurance Law and Practice Guide also discusses risk management, including risk identification, management and control, and the purchase and administration of insurance; insolvency; and taxation issues. In addition, it covers litigating with an insurance company and risk retention alternatives, such as self-insurance and captive insurance. Further, it includes numerous annotated insurance policies, keyed to various kinds of coverage and legal issues.


Excess Policy,Liability,Liability Insurance,Insurance,Business Insurance,Umbrella Policy,Primary Coverage,Policy Limits,Defend,Reimburse,Defense,Reasonable Costs,Provisions,Attorneys' Fees,Ultimate Net Loss,Policyholder,Insured,Good Faith,Duty,Defend,Indemnify,Indemnification,Insolvent,Insolvency


See Chapter 1 for a general introduction to the insurance industry and insurance policies.

See Chapter 2 for coverage of liability insurance generally.

See Chapter 3 for coverage of directors' and officers' liability insurance.

See Chapter 6 for coverage of financial guaranty insurance.

See Chapter 14 for coverage of reinsurance.


See Law of Liability Insurance (Matthew Bender) for answers to questions on coverage, conditions, and exclusions of liability insurance, with discussion of the formation and interpretation of policies, as well as specific types of policies, such as homeowners', general commercial liability, environmental, products liability, professional malpractice, and directors' and officers' liability.

See Liability of Corporate Officers and Directors (Matthew Bender) for expert discussion on virtually every aspect of director and officer liability, loss prevention, and financial protection.

See New Appleman Insurance Bad Faith Litigation, Second Edition (Matthew Bender) for complete treatment of tort liability of insurers for wrongful conduct, including breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and violations of statutory claims duties.

See Appleman on Insurance 2d and Appleman on Insurance Law & Practice (Matthew Bender) for comprehensive insurance coverage on such topics as agents and brokers, reinsurance, commercial general liability insurance, contract/policy issues, premiums, automobile insurance, professional liability insurance, insurance regulation, life insurance, health insurance, and disability insurance.

See New Appleman Insurance Law Practice Guide (Matthew Bender) for step-by-step guidance for each phase of an insurance coverage dispute, covering such topics as insurance agent and broker liability, insurance policy interpretation, bad faith, insureds' duties, tendering the claim, insurers' responses, duty to defend, initiating litigation, settlements, and appeals. It also describes many separate lines of insurance.
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