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What Is Personal Excess Liability and How Much Coverage Do I Need?

MNZ backyard boat v2

Craig Freeberg

Head of Large Loss & Litigation


(Hint: It could end up being the most important coverage you buy.)

What is personal excess liability insurance?

Personal excess liability insurance is a critical, yet sometimes overlooked, facet of personal risk management. This coverage acts as a safety net protecting you from major financial loss in the event of a costly liability claim or lawsuit. And certain aspects of your lifestyle, like owning multiple homes and boats, employing domestic staff or even the actions of your children may increase your liability risk.

This type of insurance typically comes into play when the limits of your homeowners, auto or watercraft policies are exhausted, offering a higher level of protection across these aspects of your life.

If you don’t have the right coverage, an unfortunate situation can compromise your financial security, your future earnings and your legacy.

Personal excess liability insurance typically includes coverage for legal defense costs like attorney fees and court costs. PURE members can choose personal representation from a panel of trusted attorneys and defense counsel. And, if they prefer to have their own personal attorney to shadow the case, we will reimburse the member up to $100,000.

Auto accidents, slip-and-falls and dog bites are some of the most common types of personal excess liability claims among PURE’s membership. Below are just a few examples of recent judgments in different verdicts outside of the PURE membership.

Dog Bite

A woman delivers her neighbor’s mail after it was accidentally sent to her home. She is attacked and bitten by the neighbor’s dog.

Verdict: $5.6 million to the woman; $20,159 to woman's husband; $50,000 in attorney’s fees

Jurisdiction: Hall County, Georgia

Car Accident

A 19-year-old sustains a back injury from a car accident.

Verdict: $3.4 to the injured teen

Jurisdiction: Middlesex County, New Jersey

Contractor Injured on the Job

A glass installer falls while working at a private home, suffering spinal fractures.

Verdict: $1.2 million

Jurisdiction: Delaware County, PA