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Real Estate Umbrella

Formed by Distinguished Programs in 1987, this program is the country’s first and longest-running Real Estate Umbrella Liability insurance purchasing group. Today our Umbrella programs are among the largest in the United States.

The program offers high liability limits at extremely competitive prices for a broad range of real estate risks.

We also have lower-limit companion Umbrella insurance programs for some of our property and liability programs that are priced in accordance with those smaller risks. Here are some additional key advantages of the Real Estate Umbrella for both residential and commercial buildings:

  • Limits from $1 million to $180 million
  • No shared limits
  • Admitted, A.M. Best A rated carriers
  • Superior level of claim service and support
  • Competitive pricing and low minimum premiums
  • Automatic renewal process for most risks

  • Condominiums (habitational and commercial)
  • Apartments/Rentals
  • Homeowner Associations (HOA)
  • Cooperatives (CO-OP)
  • Townhouses
  • Planned Unit Developments (PUD) (residential & commercial)
  • Senior/Independent Housing
  • Strip Malls
  • Stand-alone Retail Properties
  • Light Industrial Complexes
  • Self Storage
  • Office Buildings
  • Indoor Malls
  • General Warehousing
  • Warehouse
  • Stand-alone Golf Courses

  • $5,000,000
  • $10,000,000
  • $25,000,000
  • $50,000,000
  • $100,000,000
  • $180,000,000

Online Broker Portal Limit Options

  • $1,000,000
  • $2,000,000
  • $5,000,000
  • $10,000,000
  • $15,000,000
  • $20,000,000
  • $45,000,000
  • $95,000,000
  • $170,000,000

  • No Assault and Battery exclusion
  • No Abuse and Molestation exclusion for some risks
  • Crisis Response Coverage
  • Unintentional Errors or Omissions
  • Broad Named Insured endorsement (to include additional insureds)
  • Limitation of coverage to specified locations endorsement- Newly acquired locations must be reported to and accepted by the company within ninety (90) days

  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage
  • Directors and Officers Liability for not-for-profit community associations
  • Discrimination
  • Auto Liability
  • Employee Benefit Liability
  • Advertising Injury
  • Host Liquor Liability
  • Personal Injury
  • Punitive or Exemplary Damages - Except those related to a certified act of terrorism

Commercial General Liability (CGL) $1,000,000 per Occurrence/
$1,000,000 Personal and Advertising Injury
$2,000,000 General Aggregate per Location  
Commercial Auto Liability (AL) $1,000,000 Combined Single Limit
Employer’s Liability (EL) $500,000 Each Accident
$500,000 Policy Limit-Disease
$500,000 Each Employee-Disease
Employee Benefits Liability (EBL) $1,000,000 Each Occurrence or Each Claim
$1,000,000 Aggregate
Garage Keepers Legal Liability (GKLL) $1,000,000 Each Loss
Directors and Officers Liability (D&O)
(Not for Profit Community Associations Only)
*See Form Requirements Below
$1,000,000 Each Claim (Indemnity)
$1,000,000 Each Claim (Defense)
$1,000,000 Aggregate Each Association
$2,000,000 Each Claim (Defense inside the limit)
$2,000,000 Aggregate Each Association

The coverage information outlined here is a guideline only. Please refer to the actual policies for full terms, conditions, exclusions, and limitations. For a sample copy, please contact Susan DeCarlo @ In the event of a conflict between this document and the actual policies, the policies will control. 

* Endorsement form Directors & Officers Liability on the Commercial General Liability policy is eligible only if the D&O has its own separate unimpeded limit. 

*Directors and Officers Liability underlying policy must include Duty to Defend wording with regards to Defense. 

*Underlying Directors and Officers Liability Carrier subject to underwriting approval. 

“Distinguished Programs and its insurers are committed to complying with their obligations under the Fair Housing Act.”

Slips and falls and customer injury rank among the top ten claims in the real estate industry. General Liability coverage helps pay for legal defense and any settlements an insured faces in these and other types of lawsuits, but often the limits in underlying policies are not enough to cover catastrophic and unforeseen losses that today can run into the millions of dollars. In fact, larger trial verdicts—including in wrongful death lawsuits—are becoming more common. Real Estate Umbrella Liability insurance steps in where the existing primary liability policy limits end, providing extended coverage necessary in our litigious environment. The policy is designed to protect companies from liability claims, including libel, reputational damage, vehicular accidents, or customer injury. But it can only extend coverage on existing policies – if the client doesn’t have the underlying Liability insurance required, Umbrella insurance will not cover the claim.

You can open your clients’ eyes to the need for high-limit Real Estate Umbrella by sharing several claims examples that illustrate the types of real-life liability losses they can potentially face.

  • A tenant suffered burns to 60% of his body when the gas fireplace exploded in the apartment he leased from the owner of the building. The tenant was awarded nearly $4.3 million. The building owner had a $1 million GL policy and no Commercial Umbrella insurance.
  • A man suffered severe burns from hot water when his landlord failed to install a proper hot water system. He was awarded nearly $9.5 million. The apartment owner had a $5 million Umbrella policy, which, along with his $2 million GL, was not enough to cover the entire judgment.
  • A woman suffered severe head injuries after being assaulted in the lobby of an office building. In her lawsuit, she alleged negligent security on the part of the property owners, and was awarded $10 million. The office building carried a $50 million Umbrella policy, and was covered.
  • Six people died and nine others were wounded when the sixth-floor balcony of an apartment complex collapsed. Although the partial settlement reached with the property owners and property management company is confidential, this loss illustrates the type of catastrophic event that could upend an insured who isn’t properly covered. In addition to the settlement with the property owner and manager, compensation was also reached with the defendants involved in the design and construction of the balcony.

The amount of coverage an insured requires will depend on several factors, including the nature of the business, the size of the company, number of employees, the value of the real estate investments and the liability limits on any underlying liability policies. Umbrella limits, depending on the program and carriers involved, can go up to $300 million. 


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