Aggregate insurance refers to a type of insurance policy that sets a maximum limit on the total payout amount an insurer will pay over a set period of time, typically one year.
Rather than paying claims until a per-claim limit is reached, aggregate insurance policies pay claims until a total aggregate limit is reached.
Understanding Aggregate Insurance
Definition of Aggregate Insurance
Aggregate insurance policies set a cap on the total dollar amount an insurer will pay out in claims over a set time period, usually one year. For example, a general aggregate insurance policy may have a $2 million annual aggregate limit. This means the insurer will pay no more than $2 million total in claims each policy year.
The Purpose of Aggregate Limits
Insurers utilize aggregate limits to control their total risk exposure. Aggregate caps allow insurers to offer more affordable premiums to policyholders by limiting maximum payouts. Rather than setting high per-claim limits, aggregate policies spread the risk over multiple claims.
For policyholders, aggregates prevent paying extremely high premiums to achieve high per-claim limits they likely won’t need. The tradeoff is accepting a cap on total annual payouts.
How Aggregate Limits Work
With aggregate insurance, claims are paid out until the aggregate limit is reached. For example, say an aggregate policy has a $100,000 annual limit. If there are two $50,000 claims in a year, the insurer will pay both claims. However, if a third $50,000 claim is filed, the insurer will only pay $25,000 to reach the $100,000 aggregate cap.
The aggregate resetting period is usually annual but can be multi-year. At the end of the aggregate period, the limits reset back to the full amount.
Importance of Aggregate Insurance
Protecting Against High Claims
A single large claim could exceed a standard per-claim limit, leaving the policyholder uncovered. Aggregates protect against this by spreading coverage over multiple claims. The total payout can exceed per-claim limits.
Ensuring Adequate Coverage
Rather than paying for unneeded high claim limits, aggregates allow customize coverage for expected claims. Lower premiums get adequate coverage for potential loss scenarios without unneeded high limits.
Insurers can offer more affordable premiums on aggregate policies because total risk exposure is reduced through caps on total payouts. Policyholders benefit through lower premiums for tailored coverage.
Types of Aggregate Insurance
General Aggregate Insurance
General aggregate insurance places a single upper limit on all claims paid out during the policy term. General aggregates are common for liability insurance policies.
Aggregate Stop-Loss Insurance
Stop-loss aggregate policies place a cap on claims above a deductible amount. For example, with a deductible of $10,000 and an aggregate limit of $100,000, the insurer would pay claims beyond $10,000 up to $100,000 total.
Business Insurance with Aggregate Limits
Many business insurance policies contain aggregate limits on coverages like general liability, professional liability, product liability, and employee benefits liability. The aggregates control total payouts across multiple claims.
In summary, aggregate insurance policies limit total insurer payouts over a set time period, rather than setting per-claim limits. By capping maximum exposure, aggregates allow insurers to offer tailored coverage at more affordable premiums to policyholders. Aggregate insurance provides an important way for businesses and individuals to obtain adequate coverage for their risk management needs.