What are Standard and Excess Lines?

To most individuals, excess lines of insurance will have nothing at all to do with their lives, while the standard is the most important for most people.


Standard lines are very common types of insurance including such policies as homeowner’s insurance, personal umbrellas, motorcycles, trucks, cars, and boats. Of course, there are different types of insurance within these policies but they are all considered to be standard even though you will need to choose the type of coverage that you really need.


Excess lines are very different as they are specially designed for higher risk insurance. Even though there is only around seven percent of the insurance market that is involved with excess, which is often referred to as surplus, this insurance is very important. Excess insurance covers companies that other insurance carriers will not provide or cannot cover.

These types of high risk lines include companies or businesses that do not fit the normal underwriting in standard policies which can include taverns or bars that have dance floors, taxi cabs, or vacant property. Other companies you will find that will need excess line insurance are hazardous haulers, firearm manufacturers along with explosive manufacturers. Some companies may need higher limits that are unavailable in the standard market like $10,000,000 or more liability umbrellas or homeowners or others that need $5,000,000 property limits. Excess lines can also help those that have a history of unacceptable or extensive loss.

Excess lines of insurance are very important as it fills the hole where some companies or individuals could be insured and helps expand insurance provider’s coverage. Without this type of insurance, many would be forced to go completely without insurance or use a self-insure policy that would mean they would be liable if an accident did occur and they would have to pay all of the expenses.