What does an umbrella policy cover? Only the associated property?

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Every article I read about an umbrella policy says the same thing...it covers lawsuits that go above normal liability limits. But what's never clear to me is, can an umbrella policy on my property be used to cover ANY lawsuit against my name? or only something that happens on that property itself? Do I need to get an umbrella policy on every property? I can't get one on one of my properties because I don't have insurance there (HOA has their own condominium policy) and it seems that they're only offered as an add-on.

Great question, @Reese W. .  Umbrella policies and what can be covered varies depending on what company you have it through.  Most of the "big name" companies only allow you to cover up to 3-5 properties (including your primary home).  

I work in the insurance industry for a broker and see all kinds of umbrella policies and guidelines.  I've seen companies provide protection for anywhere between 3 properties up to 23.  You don't "have" to have insurance for the umbrella to extend to the property, BUT you would be subject to a deductible up to the required liability amount for the umbrella (ex: if the insurance company requires 300k liability, and you do not have insurance on the property, you would have a 300k "deductible" before the umbrella would kick in).  

Specifically for your condo, I would double check the HOA policy. Likely they (the HOA) covers the building on the exterior and you are required to provide coverage for everything from the studs in (basically everything inside). ALL HOA rules are different so definitely check to see what your specific HOA's says.

Best case scenario would seem they protect everything and you can get a bare bones policy which fulfills the umbrella requirement.

Let me know if you have any additional questions!


I have a single liability policy and as I acquire new properties I add those properties to the policy.  This type of policy only covers things that happen at the properties(I think).  I would recommend calling a few local insurance agents to discuss this.  They will have better knowledge than random strangers on this forum.