NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 1997— Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) is seeking regulatory approval of the industry's first standardized personal umbrella policy. The new policy form, which has a June 1 effective date, is designed to complement ISO's homeowners, personal liability and personal auto insurance products.
Personal umbrella policies give the policyholder additional liability coverage of at least $1 million more than the amount provided in homeowners and automobile policies.
ISO's personal umbrella policy is the first standardized policy for excess coverage to be offered for use with personal lines. Consumers, insurance agents and regulators benefit from standardized forms. Standardized language makes it easier for insurance buyers and agents to understand the policy that is being sold and to comparison-shop for price and service. Regulators do not have to review in detail every policy filed for approval by insurers if the policies are based on a standardized form.
ISO's new policy is flexible, allowing insurers to choose their own deductibles and underlying auto and homeowners coverage-limits requirements.
The new umbrella policy provides excess coverage at least as broad as the most important coverages offered in the underlying policies. In several areas it offers broader coverage, in excess of a stated deductible. For example, ISO's umbrella policy covers:
The umbrella policy follows the underlying policies' coverage for watercraft and recreational motor vehicles (RV). But optional endorsements to exclude coverage for designated RVs, autos or watercraft are included.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is excluded by the umbrella policy, but this coverage can be reinstated through an endorsement in states where such coverage is required.
ISO developed its personal umbrella policy as a result of extensive market research that showed that many insurers want a standardized personal umbrella form.