When you’re shopping for a new policy, the first thing you should do is look for what the terms of the policy state.
If the policy says the coverage will cover you “at the time of purchase”, you’ll be able to look up the policy’s terms online.
But if you don’t know what umbrella insurance means, you can still check by looking for “compensation for personal injuries”.
“If you can’t find the policy terms, you should look at the company’s terms of service or ask a question on their website,” said Annika Vigdor, senior policy analyst at Avalere Health.
“If you get a little bit confused, ask the company to explain what it covers, what it’s not covering and what they’re not doing.”
What umbrella insurance is covered by?
A policy covering personal injuries covers you if you or your spouse have an injury that causes your body to swell or contract.
The umbrella insurance covers your medical bills for treatment and other expenses incurred in a physical injury.
It doesn’t cover damage to your vehicle, but you can get compensation for that if you have to pay for repairs to your car.
If you have a policy covering your car and have no insurance, the umbrella insurance will pay for damage to the vehicle.
You might be able access the umbrella policy online to find it.
“But if you’re in the UK, you’ll need to go to the Home Office to find the details for your home,” Ms Vigdo said.
You can also check the policy for details on whether it covers a vehicle you own or a company you work for.
“If your policy says you can use the umbrella, that means it covers the car, not the company,” Ms Felt said.
“In that case, you won’t get compensation from the policy if the car breaks down or you’ve to pay compensation to the car’s owner.”
What if I don’t have a car insurance policy?
If you’re not sure what umbrella policy covers, you may be able contact your insurer to find an answer.
“A good rule of thumb is to call the company and ask if the policy covers the vehicle, not its owner,” Ms Nilsen said.
“Otherwise, you’re going to get a bad policy because they don’t cover the owner.
So, they’ll just put you on the policy and say ‘no, we’re not covering you’.”
A common mistake is thinking that your umbrella policy will cover your medical costs if your car breaks, but won’t cover your insurance bill if the vehicle breaks down.
“In some cases, they might cover the vehicle if you can prove the car broke down but they won’t pay for the car to be repaired or replaced,” Ms Boulton said.