NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2000 — Insurance Services Office, Inc.'s (ISO) new Commercial Liability Umbrella insurance program — the first such standardized program in the industry — is available for insurers' use in 42 jurisdictions as early as November 2000.
ISO has also filed the program with regulators in another six jurisdictions. ISO will file the program in Louisiana, Texas, Virginia and Puerto Rico at a later date.
The new ISO Commercial Liability Umbrella insurance program provides excess coverage above underlying limits, "drop-down" coverage when underlying limits have been exhausted, and certain other coverages that are broader than those in the underlying policies. The ISO program includes policy forms, endorsements, a rating procedure and rules.
With the addition of the Commercial Liability Umbrella insurance program, ISO now serves property/casualty insurers with products and services in 18 lines of business.
The umbrella policy will provide coverage in excess of underlying limits when a claim exceeds those limits and drop down to assume coverage in situations where an insurer's coverage limits have been used up and not available to pay a particular claim.
Coverages are based on the policy languages of ISO's Commercial General Liability policy (CGL) and Business Auto Policy (BAP). The Commercial Liability Umbrella program may also be used over a Garage Policy or a Businessowners Policy as well as over policies written by the same insurer or by different insurers.
"We developed the program in response to our insurer and agent customers' requests for standardization in Commercial Liability Umbrella," said Kevin Thompson, ISO's vice president — Standard Commercial Lines.
"Whether they currently write their own umbrella program, insurers, agents and reinsurers will be able to use a standardized policy form and know exactly what coverages they are selling or buying. ISO has included in the program a rating procedure as part of rules, so insurers don't have to spend time and money to develop and file their own rates or rating procedures," Thompson added.
He also noted the new program's court-tested policy language, adapted from ISO's CGL and BAP programs, should simplify resolution of issues about coverage.
Under the new ISO policy, coverages have been expanded beyond those in the CGL and BAP programs. The Commercial Liability Umbrella policy will extend coverage worldwide, with certain exceptions — that is, provide liability coverage for occurrences anywhere in the world. The policy also will provide coverages for bodily injury, including mental anguish and mental injury resulting from bodily injury; nonowned aircraft chartered by, loaned to, or hired by an insured with a paid crew; and personal and advertising injury liability arising out of false arrest, detention or imprisonment.
The new policy will have a per-occurrence limit for bodily injury and property damage; a per-person limit for personal and advertising injury; and one aggregate limit for all coverages except automobile, which will not be subject to the aggregate limit.
ISO has developed several endorsements to reflect the various mandatory and optional endorsements in ISO's underlying CGL and BAP programs. The ISO program is also flexible, so insurers may use the ISO umbrella policy with any non-ISO CGL and auto insurance programs.
Insurers that participate in ISO's General Liability or Commercial Multi-peril or Businessowners programs are eligible to participate in the new program. Pricing varies, depending on the number of states an insurer group subscribes to for ISO's GL program.
For more information . . .
. . .on the Commercial Liability Umbrella program call ISO Customer Service at 1-800-888-4476, or e-mail ISO at firstname.lastname@example.org.