Most people expect their insurance company to protect them in the event of a serious auto accident. They expect that the company will provide a legal defense, i.e. a lawyer or legal team and shield them from a devastating lawsuit. What most people don’t know is that the insurance company will bail out on them if they decide that the claim cost will exceed the limits of their policy (check your Auto insurance liability coverage limits). That’s right if the insurance company thinks the damages will exceed your liability limit they will send you a letter that states you are on your own. That means you will have to hire the lawyer or legal team to defend yourself and pay any settlement or legal judgments. Defense costs for major claims can quickly be in the multiple tens of thousands of dollars and the average person is just not prepared to deal with that kind of expense much less a significant settlement or judgment. The way to manage this type of risk is to make sure your liability coverage amount is high enough to deal with most serious claims. You must also weigh this against how much assets and income you have at risk. State required minimums, typically $25,000, are not enough coverage for anyone. This is minimal financial protection for the driver and also creates moral quandary since it is likely not to compensation someone who is seriously injured. The good news is that many drivers already have limits higher than minimum. While many times these limits are still not adequate the cost to increase them is typically not that much. We typically suggest bodily injury liability minimums at $250,000 per person with a $500,000 per accident maximum. For driver with good records the cost is not much more than state minimums and this level of coverage is typically required for a $1,000,000 liability umbrella. The umbrella gives $1,000,000 or more coverage over most all of your liability insurance items. This is usually the home liability and the autos but can include boats, motorcycles, rental properties and more. The costs start at under $200 per year for the umbrella, so for less than the cost of one hour of legal fees you can put and extra $1,000,000 of coverage between a serious lawsuit and all of your assets. You also keep the insurance company in the mix paying for all legal fees in addition to this limit to a much higher threshold. Feel free to give us a call and we can help you determine an appropriate level of coverage that balances protection and your budget and lets you rest easy while your (or your kids) are on the road!
Archive for year: 2014
Home Damaged During a Burglary. Is This Damage Covered?
If you have been a victim of a burglary and your Home Damaged During a Burglary, Usually home protection coverage would apply to this situation. However, we recommend to talk to one of our agents to find out what your policy covers if you have this sort of occurrence.
You spend the hours in the passenger seat, white knuckles, sweaty palms, foot seeking out a brake pad that is not there. Your heart races and you suppress the urge to grab the wheel and yell warnings to watch the myriad of potential dangers around every corner. After all the advice, training and stress of being in the passenger seat the real stress may have just begun, now they drive on their own! So how do you know if they are being safe while out on the road? How do you continue those teachable moments ( near accidents?? ) now that you are not there? There are several devices on the market that can be there when you cannot. One that has worked well for one of clients is DriveCam by Lytx. These devices run continuously but only record when an ‘event’ triggers the device. That record is stored on the company site and an email, text and or actual telephone call, if the event is serious enough, is made to the parent. The most teachable event so far was an texting incident that resulted in a drift onto the shoulder of the road. A moment that was very dangerous, scary when you watch it and definitely a teachable moment that needed to be addressed immediately. This event did trigger a person from the company to call the parent since it was serious and allowed them to speak immediately and sternly with the young driver. The result was positive and one that in the past would have gone completely unknown. Check of their site and others that offer similar technology. They are well worth the investment in keeping those young drivers safe and doing an immense amount to prevent injuries, damage and potentially tickets. The potential savings and piece of mind for a parent make this a must do!