Definition of "Omnibus clause"

Sabreen Qaiyum real estate agent
Sabreen Qaiyum, Real Estate Agent Coldwell Banker American Homes

The word’s etymology reflects several diverse or seemingly unrelated topics under the same umbrella. As part of everyday discourse, you’ll find the term “omnibus” related to a clause in a dying person’s testament, federal law, or even car insurance policy. 

Omnibus Clause in insurance

The term’s definition covers a section in a liability insurance policy that extends coverage to nameless individuals, others beyond the insured, such as protecting family members

Another domain where you can often encounter the omnibus clause is car insurance. Here, it defines a provision in personal automobile policy (PAP). As a result, it provides insurance to individuals driving a vehicle with the insured party’s permission. In other words, this standard vehicle liability guideline boosts the coverage of those driving the car with the insured party’s consent, even though the PAP does not explicitly mention them. For sure, they must have a valid driver’s license on them at all times.

The omnibus clause in real estate

The meaning of the omnibus clause refers to a provision in a will, stipulating that the heirs will still inherit any assets not mentioned therein. Therefore, an omnibus clause in real estate defines a legally sanctified passage in one’s dying wish or testament. According to the clause, an explicitly named beneficiary or more recipients gain as possession any unnamed valuables of the deceased’s estate. 

Omnibus bill definition

Politicians compile an omnibus bill by putting together various laws, measures, and amendments or incorporating varied political subject matters into one document as deadlines approach. They pass an omnibus account in one vote.

In the United States, analysts often refer to omnibus bills as “Big Ugly” bills. For instance, combined appropriations, budget reconciliation bills, and private relief. The United States Congress applies omnibus legislation to bring the budgets of all US departments together in one omnibus expenditure bill. They do so to reduce the federal deficit by tax code restructuring. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 is a revealing model.

The omnibus clause in federal statutes

The impediment of justice statute named 18 US Code § 1503 includes an omnibus clause. This clause stipulates that any attempt to impede justice shall be considered criminal behavior. The obstruction of justice can occur using threat, blackmail, or sheer force addressed against a juror, court officer, or judge. The US Supreme Court classified the aforementioned omnibus clause as “a catchall, prohibiting persons from endeavoring to influence, obstruct, or impede the due administration of justice.” (1995 - Source: Woodrum, Michael. “Knowledge and the Nexus Requirement in Obstruction-of-Justice Offenses.”)


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