Do I Need an Umbrella Policy?

Rutter Mills Law Firm

Do I Need an Umbrella Policy?

Legal Info

Umbrella liability and defense policies are an extra layer of insurance that protects a policyholder when the caps on other sources of insurance are exceeded. Financial planners often recommend umbrella policies for individuals with substantial personal assets. They may be exposed in liability lawsuits or where unusual circumstances place them at a higher risk for catastrophic losses.

At Rutter Mills, our personal injury lawyers help their clients determine whether they need these policies to protect against excess liabilities. As a rule, we also look to see if defendants have umbrella policy coverage when representing clients in personal injury lawsuits. That coverage often provides an additional source of damage recovery for accident victims who have suffered severe injuries.

What insurance coverage does an umbrella policy provide?

Most homeowners have liability insurance as a component of the policies that cover their primary residences, and car owners are required by law to carry a minimum liability insurance. However, damages in a personal injury lawsuit can quickly exceed their liability limits, even if those limits are $250,000 per accident or more.

Depending on its terms, an umbrella insurance policy can provide coverage for liability and legal defense costs in amounts of up to $1 million or more. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you to determine whether an umbrella policy is needed and how much coverage is best for your circumstances.

Under what circumstances is an umbrella policy a good idea?

Most Virginia residents have a good sense of the risks and liabilities they face as they go about their daily lives. Nonetheless, those can change over time. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will periodically review a client’s lifestyle and individual circumstances to see if anything might expose them to higher risks of loss, including, for example:

  • A teenage child reaches driving age and begins to use the family’s vehicles.
  • The client has frequent houseguests who might injure themselves in slip-and-fall accidents.
  • Someone in the client’s family posts frequent online business reviews or personal opinions that might lead to libel or fraud allegations.

Does an umbrella policy cover all excess liabilities?

Each umbrella policy provides coverage for particular risks, and most exclude coverage for business-related liabilities, losses from breach of contract, and damages and injuries resulting from intentional conduct.

Liabilities associated with newer revenue-generating activities– such as renting out spare rooms to third parties– would likely be excluded from an umbrella policy. Understanding these exclusions is a critical factor in assessing risk exposure. Talk to your insurance carriers or consult an attorney when you have questions or concerns regarding your umbrella policy.

Contact us at Rutter Mills for a free consultation

A good umbrella policy can provide Virginia residents with critical liability protection and a source for reimbursement of legal defense expenses. They can also be an essential payment source for damages when you suffer losses and injuries in an accident– caused by someone else’s negligence.

We help clients in Newport News, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and elsewhere in Virginia to optimize the benefits offered by umbrella liability insurance. Please see our website or call our offices for a free consultation.

Contact a Rutter Mills attorney to speak about your case today.

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Dave suffered serious injuries in a car accident. The defendant’s insurance company tried to offer him a low amount so Dave called Rutter Mills. We took over dealing with the insurance and got Dave the money he needed to get back on his feet.

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Glenn’s car accident changed his life, but not permanently thanks to the help of his Rutter Mills attorney. When the insurance companies wouldn’t help him, our team fought back and won.

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On his way home from work at the shipyard, Dan was involved in an accident. He tried to file a claim on his own, but the insurance company wouldn’t give him the money he needed to put his life back on track. Dan knew he needed to call Rutter Mills.

They actually won my case 3 times!

Larena's Win

After her car accident, Larena asked her father, a local stevedore, for his advice on who to call. He recommended Rutter Mills. Her team of car accident experts at Rutter Mills fought back when the insurance companies tried to deny her the money she needed to recuperate from her injuries. We took her case to trial – and won. When the insurance company filed their appeals, we beat them again – two more times! Larena got the money she needed and the justice she deserved.

We’re going to immediately call Rutter Mills. That’s the people I trust with my baby girl.

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After a car accident, Jamaree’s first call was to her mom. She was shaken up and scared. Mom told her “We’re calling Rutter Mills. Her next was to Rutter Mills. Her Rutter Mills car accident team helped her get compensation “above & beyond” what she was expecting.

They lifted allot of stress off my shoulders. I recommend them to anybody because they WILL fight for you.

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After John was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, he turned to the person he trusts most for a recommendation. His wife, a paralegal of 30 years, told him to call Rutter Mills on the advice of the lawyer she worked for.

They really care for you as a person. Words cannot describe what Rutter Mills did for me and for my case.

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When the insurance company tried to get Carol to sign paperwork after her car accident, she knew she needed a lawyer. Carol knew she needed Rutter Mills.

When I called Rutter Mills, I knew it was the right fit. They’re so interested in helping you get justice.

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Taryn was in a car accident while she was pregnant. She knew she needed someone in her corner to protect her rights and her family’s future.

There’s attorneys, then there’s Rutter Mills.

We're Here When The Unexpected Happens


A devasting accident changed Levon’s life forever. The physical and emotional toll left him scared and in pain. When the insurance company for the defendant contacted the family, they made an offer that did not even cover the cost of the medication, much less doctors’ bills, and physical therapy. They knew they needed to talk to a serious lawyer. Rutter Mills took care of the negotiation so Levon could focus on healing.

When you’ve got a serious injury, you need a serious lawyer. That’s why we chose Rutter Mills.

Motorcycle Accidents Change Everything

When Ed was injured in a motorcycle crash, he knew he needed a serious lawyer to protect his rights. The insurance companies were fighting him every step of the way. Rutter Mills helped prove Ed’s case and get him the money he needed to get on the road to recovery.

With the seriousness of the accident, I knew that we needed a serious lawyer. I needed Rutter Mills.

Carol & Levon's Story

They knew they needed a serious lawyer when Carol and her son were seriously injured. After the other party’s insurance company tried to get her to settle for less than she needed, Carol called Rutter Mills for help. We took on the insurance company so she could focus on healing.

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