PROTECTING THE CONSUMER

PROTECTING OUR MOST CHERISHED POSSESSION – OUR FAMILY

Because I’m now in my forties, and told I’m “middle aged,” I have been asking myself what are the most important things in my life. I’m fortunate enough to have good health, a flourishing career, financial independence, and close friends. Most importantly, however, is my family. I cherish them more than anything in this world and will do anything to protect their futures. Protecting my family includes making sure that if tragedy strikes, my family will be well taken care of. Purchasing underinsured motorist insurance is one of the ways I show my family I care.

Auto-Insurance

In California, the law requires that all drivers carry liability insurance in order to drive a motor vehicle. However, a reality check shows that many drivers still do not carry any insurance whatsoever. If you are unfortunate enough to be injured by an uninsured motorist following an accident, your uninsured motorist policy will kick in and pay you for your personal injuries, up to your policy limits. Obviously, then, carrying uninsured motorist is extremely important.

However, what happens when the at-fault driver does have liability insurance, but not enough to pay for all of your losses – only enough to pay for some? In this situation, underinsured motorist insurance plays a critical role for your family’s protection.

Underinsured motorist insurance provides your family with additional insurance coverage above and beyond the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. (Underinsured motorist coverage is incorporated into your uninsured motorist coverage at no extra cost!) So, in the above serious injury scenario, your own insurance company will pay you for your losses once the at-fault driver’s liability insurance is exhausted. However, there are two important catches.

The first catch is that you must carry more uninsured motorist coverage than the at fault driver carries in liability insurance. For example, if the at fault driver carries $15,000 of liability insurance, and you carry $15,000 of uninsured motorist, the most you can receive is $15,000, regardless of the severity of your injuries. In essence, you do not have underinsured motorist coverage. If, on the other hand the other driver carries $15,000 of liability insurance, and you carry $100,000 of uninsured motorist, you can receive up to $100,000 in insurance benefits. Thus, you should buy large limits of uninsured/underinsured motorist to maximize your family protection.

The second catch is that most carriers do not allow you to buy more uninsured motorist coverage than you carry liability insurance. Thus, you may be buying more liability insurance than you need.

Surprisingly, the additional premiums for both liability insurance and uninsured/underinsured motorist is not much. The majority of your premium is used to purchase the lower policy limit. Therefore, the more insurance you buy, the less expensive it becomes!

As you can see, a substantial uninsured/underinsured motorist policy is a critical device for your family’s protection. Without it, it’s like taking the roof off of your home – you have very little protection from the elements. And if you’re like me, you will always make sure that your family has a good strong roof over their heads.