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Best Umbrella Insurance in Central New York: 3 Carriers to Consider in 2024

February 2nd, 2024 | 5 min read

By Daniel J. Middleton

Imagine you’re driving on a rainy day in North Syracuse. You’ve had a rough week and are a bit distracted with thoughts and concerns. You suddenly run a red light and hit another car. The other driver is seriously injured, and their car is totaled. You find out that you’ve caused a lot of damage and may face a lawsuit. 

How will you pay for the other driver’s medical bills, car repairs, or lost income?

This is a nightmare scenario that can happen to anyone. You may think that your auto insurance will cover it, but that may not be enough. Most auto policies have limits on how much they will pay for liability claims. If the damage exceeds those limits, you are responsible for the rest. That could mean losing 

  • your savings
  • your assets
  • or even your future income.

That’s why you need umbrella insurance. Umbrella insurance is a type of coverage that protects you from large liability claims. It can help you pay for damages that exceed the limits of your primary policies, such as auto or home insurance. It can also cover you for things that your primary policies may not, such as lawsuits, defamation, or invasion of privacy.

But not all umbrella insurance policies are the same. There are different carriers, features, and options to choose from. How do you know which one is best for you?

That’s where we come in. We are Horan, a local agency that specializes in umbrella insurance. We have been serving Central New York since 2009. We know the risks, the laws, and the best solutions for your situation.

In this article, we will compare three umbrella insurance carriers in Central New York: 

  1. NYCM Insurance
  2. Sterling Insurance, and 
  3. Erie Insurance

Each of them has unique features and benefits that suit different preferences. We will explain what they are, how they work, and why they might be good for you.

Let’s start with:

NYCM Insurance: Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Option

NYCM Insurance - One of the best umbrella insurance carriers in Central New York

One of the reasons to choose NYCM Insurance for umbrella insurance is their uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage option. This feature can help you if you get hurt in an accident caused by someone who has no insurance or not enough insurance.

Let’s discuss the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage section of your auto policy. This section compensates you for injuries that go beyond medical expenses, such as pain and suffering or long-term bodily injury. You can make a claim on your own policy if the other driver is at fault but can’t pay for your damages.

With NYCM, you can add this coverage to your umbrella policy as well. This means you can get up to $1,000,000 or whatever your umbrella limit is to cover your losses. This option is useful if your own policy isn’t enough or if the other driver has some insurance but still less than your damages.

How NYCM’s Uninsured/Underinsured Umbrella Coverage Works

To illustrate how this option works, let’s look at some examples. 

Suppose you have a bodily injury limit of $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident on your auto policy. You also have the same amount for your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. 

Now, imagine you’re cruising along a scenic stretch of I-81–maybe near Thousand Islands. Before you make the bridge crossing, you get into an accident with another driver who is at fault and has different levels of insurance.

  1. If the other driver has no insurance at all, you can claim up to $250,000 from your own policy for your injuries. If that isn’t enough, you can claim up to $1,000,000 from your umbrella policy if you have the NYCM option.
  2. If the other driver has $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage, you can claim up to $100,000 from their policy for your injuries. Then, you can claim up to $150,000 from your own policy, since they have less than what you have. If that still isn’t enough, you can claim up to $1,000,000 from your umbrella policy if you have the NYCM option.
  3. If the other driver has the same amount as you, $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident, you can claim up to $250,000 from their policy for your injuries. However, you can’t claim anything from your own policy, since they have the same as what you have. In this case, you can only claim up to $1,000,000 from your umbrella policy if you have the NYCM option.

So, the NYCM option can provide you with extra protection in case of a serious accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. However, this option also comes with a cost. It can be as much as the whole cost of the umbrella policy itself, or add almost 80 percent of the premium. This means you have to weigh the benefits and the costs of this option carefully.

NYCM is one of the few companies that offer this option. This makes NYCM stand out in the umbrella insurance market, which is otherwise very similar from one carrier to the next. 

If you’re interested in this option, you should consider NYCM for umbrella insurance.

Sterling Insurance - One of the best umbrella insurance carriers in Central New York

Sterling Insurance: No Auto Insurance Requirement

Another option for umbrella insurance in Central New York is Sterling Insurance. What makes them different from other carriers is that they don’t require you to have auto insurance with them to buy an umbrella policy.

This means you can keep your existing auto insurance with another company and still get umbrella coverage from Sterling. This can be convenient if you’re happy with your current auto policy and don’t want to switch.

Sterling’s Umbrella Limitations

However, Sterling has some limitations as well. They only offer a maximum of $1,000,000 in umbrella coverage, which may not be enough for some situations. 

They also require you to have a home policy with them, or a landlord or renters policy, to qualify for umbrella coverage. As stated, other carriers will insist you have your auto policy with them to qualify and would prefer the home too. But they’ll tack on a surcharge if the home policy is elsewhere.

Additionally, Sterling requires you to have your auto insurance with the same agency that sells you the umbrella policy, even if the policy is not with Sterling.

If you’re looking for a low-cost and flexible umbrella policy, and you don’t need more than $1,000,000 in coverage, Sterling may be a good choice for you. However, if you need more coverage, or you want to have more freedom in choosing your auto insurance, you may want to look at other options.

Erie Insurance - One of the best umbrella insurance carriers in Central New YorkErie Insurance: Simple and Affordable

Our final pick for umbrella insurance in Central New York that we will discuss is Erie Insurance. We chose Erie because they have good pricing, easy application, and simple billing.

Erie’s umbrella policies are affordable and competitive. You can also choose to pay your premium in monthly installments, which can help you manage your budget.

Erie’s umbrella policies are also simple and straightforward. Apart from that, they don’t have any special features or options that make them stand out from other carriers. They offer the same basic coverage and limits that most umbrella policies do.

Like other carriers, Erie does have one requirement that you should be aware of. They require you to have your auto insurance with them to qualify for an umbrella policy, as we mentioned above. This means you can’t keep your existing auto policy with another company if you want to get umbrella coverage from Erie. This requirement isn’t unique to them. Many carriers have the same rule in place.

If you’re looking for a simple and affordable umbrella policy, and you don’t mind switching your auto insurance to Erie, they may be a good choice for you. However, if you want more features or options, or you want to keep your auto insurance elsewhere, you may want to look at other options.

Start the Journey to Proper Umbrella Coverage

We’ve recommended three umbrella insurance carriers in Central New York: NYCM, Sterling, and Erie. Each of them has something unique to offer you, depending on your preferences and unique situation.

But choosing the right umbrella insurance policy isn’t easy. You have to consider many factors, such as coverage, cost, features, and requirements. You also have to think about the risks and consequences of not having enough protection.

You don’t want to lose everything you’ve worked hard for because of an unexpected accident or lawsuit. And you don’t want to face financial ruin or legal trouble because of someone else’s mistake or negligence.

That’s where Horan can help you most.

We understand the precarious situation you’re in. We know the risks, the laws, and the best solutions for your insurance problem.

We have a plan for you. We’ll help you choose the right umbrella insurance policy that suits you. We will help you secure, pay for, and claim your policy with ease and convenience.

Click the Get a Quote button below to start the journey to proper umbrella coverage.

Get a Quote

Daniel J. Middleton

Daniel is an accomplished content creator. He has been working in publishing for almost two decades. Horan Companies hired Daniel as its content manager in November 2022. The agency entrusted its messaging to him. Since then, Daniel has written insurance articles, service and pillar pages, and more. All in an effort to educate CNY readers. He's helping them understand the world of insurance so they can make informed decisions.