Choosing Appropriate Commercial Umbrella & Excess Limits for Health Care Clients

January 20, 2020

Liability cases can easily render multi-million-dollar judgments or settlements, particularly in the health care industry. From professional liability to general liability and non-owned auto liability claims, home health care, allied health care and human/social services, clients put themselves at risk if they go without the proper underlying coverages and Commercial Umbrella insurance. Additionally, determining how much Umbrella & Excess coverage your clients should be carrying is key in having the ability to respond to catastrophic losses. 

Commercial Umbrella increases the business liability protection when the costs of a claim exceed the limits of the primary underlying coverage, kicking in once the base policy limit is exhausted. In helping a client choose liability limits best suited to its operation’s risk profile, we suggest the following:

  • Evaluate potential worst-case scenarios that could result in the client having to fund part of an award where damages would exceed the available underlying policy limit. Even if a business is innocent of the charge, defense costs will need to be paid and this can be significant in today’s litigation environment. 
  • While new technologies (artificial intelligence, telemedicine, etc.) in health care bring innovation and enhanced care they also come with additional potential liability exposures. Review potential emerging threats with your clients, the impact they may have on the business, and the amount of insurance coverage that’s required to address these risks. 
  • Review the number of drivers the operation employs so the client’s auto liability exposure is properly assessed both in the primary and excess policies. This includes the number of home health care aides who are driving their personal cars on the business’s behalf. 
  • Assess third-party vendor contracts to clarify the client’s responsibility, ensure the client is named as an additional insured on the vendor’s liability policies and that the vendor is carrying appropriate liability limits. Be sure clients are properly covered in the event they are named in a catastrophic lawsuit along with a third-party contractor. 

In addition, the health care industry inherently faces both professional and general liability claims that potentially come with huge price tags. Not only should the right policies and limits be secured but also be sure to review the terms and conditions of each policy and how and when a Commercial Umbrella insurance policy steps in.  

Manchester Specialty Programs specializes in providing agents and brokers with totally integrated business insurance solutions to meet the needs of Home Care, Allied Health and Human/Social Services organizations. For more information about how our products and services can help protect your insureds, please contact us at 855.972.9399.