We have an insurance policy limit of $100,000. Does this mean that any medical bills, damages, legal fees, etc. that exceed that limit are my responsibility?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 2, 2012

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Your insurance company is only obligated to pay up to the policy limits in settlement or after a court judgment. However, if you actually go to trial and obtain a jury verdict over the policy limit, the defendant will personally be on the hook for the overage. Or, in rare circumstances, if your attorney makes a “policy limit demand” and the insurance company rejects the demand, then after judgment the insurance company could be on the hook to pay all of the judgment, no matter what the amount. The liability that remains above your primary insurance coverage is called excess liability. If you have an umbrella policy or an excess liability policy, that policy might offer you coverage for your excess liability, or at least part of it.

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