SHOULDN’T YOU INSURE YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FOR AS MUCH AS YOU INSURE STRANGERS?
The hospital room is filled with John’s family and friends as I walk in. There he lay, 19 years old with his left arm severely broken in 3 places after getting hit head-on the night before. After undergoing emergency surgery within hours to place hardware to stabilize the breaks, John now lay in the hospital bed, woozy with pain medication while his family has many questions.
I discuss with John’s mom the fact that her automobile insurance policy will pay up to $250,000 in medical bills for crash related treatment pursuant to her No-Fault coverage, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). His mother is relieved that her son’s medical bills will be paid but she has the mistaken belief that such a high PIP limit means she must have “full coverage”.
I explain that a liability claim against the negligent driver’s insurance company will be presented immediately and that the liability limits of the negligent driver’s insurance policy will determine the maximum amount of money able to be recovered from that insurance company. I inform that, if the negligent driver has inadequate insurance (aka: minimum $15,000 policy limit), then we have the ability to pursue mom’s own insurance company in order to seek Underinsured Motorist benefits (UIM) to the extent of the UIM coverage she purchased. After addressing all the family’s questions, I conclude by discussing the “Nightmare Scenario” in which the negligent driver has $15,000 in liability coverage and mom has only $15,000 in UIM coverage, effectively meaning there is no UIM coverage available.
I look at the long faces in the room and realize John’s family understands the import of my words. For an injury that is likely worth a significant 6 figure amount, they see the potential for a relatively minor financial recovery. We all hope that situation does not occur.
The next day, John’s mom checked her insurance policy declaration sheet and discovered the worst possible news – she had only purchased the minimum $15,000 in UIM coverage. By the end of that day, the insurance adjuster from the negligent driver’s company delivered the final bit of news to complete the Nightmare Scenario. The negligent driver had only $15,000 in liability coverage.
John’s recovery would be limited to $15,000, an insignificant amount in light of John’s horrific injuries. The “Nightmare Scenario”.
Your UIM coverage insures you and your family if the person who hit you has low liability policy limits. Your liability coverage insures you against claims from others you may injure as a result of your negligence with your car. You and your family deserve coverage limits (UIM) that are at least equal to or greater than the amount for which you are insuring strangers.
As a Certified Civil Trial Attorney, I work to help my clients recover money damages for injuries caused by negligent drivers. I strive to educate clients and the general public about the hazards of minimal car insurance policies to ensure that John’s nightmare will not become your nightmare.
For the often confusing process of selecting the best insurance, you need an experienced insurance professional to help you find a suitable and affordable plan to protect you and your family. During my law practice in Atlantic County for over 28 years, I’ve dealt with many insurance companies, agencies and brokers. I highly recommend Glenn Insurance for all your auto insurance and general insurance needs. The knowledgeable and efficient staff at Glenn Insurance knows what you need in order to keep you and your family safe and secure on the road and in your home. To discuss your insurance needs, call toll free at 1-888-OK-GLENN or visit Glenn Insurance on the web at glenninsurance.com.