By Arnold C. Young, published on May 4, 2011, in Business in Savannah.
We all put ourselves and our families at risk every time we get in an automobile.
Most people who consider automobile insurance think only about the amount of liability coverage they have if they are sued. Certainly that is important, but what about the serious injury and disability you may suffer when the other driver who caused the accident has little or no liability insurance? How can we protect ourselves and our family from the losses caused by serious injury?
The answer is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage available on your auto insurance. The legal minimum is $25,000 – about 10 minutes in the Emergency Room. You can and should have much more.
Uninsured/Underinsured coverage is a part of your auto policy where your insurance company provides insurance coverage to protect you from anyone who may injure you in an automobile accident, no matter whose car you are in or if you are a pedestrian. It’s as though your insurance company issued a policy to the “at fault” driver to protect you and your family.
The fact is a high percentage of automobiles in this area have no insurance (of course, illegal) or only the minimum of $25,000 or perhaps $50,000 of liability coverage. By law, you are entitled to have Uninsured coverage up to the amount of the liability coverage on your insurance policy. And it is not expensive.
Numbers tell the story: A recent quote obtained from an A+ insurance company for a 35-year old, single female with good driving record reflected the following annual premium for the Uninsured Motorist part of an auto policy:
For $25,000 — $53.00 For $300,000 — $94.00
For $50,000 — $60.00 For $500,000 — $100.00
For $100,000 — $72.00 For $1,000,000 — $108.00
Vastly more coverage costs for very little more money. Most business and professional people also have umbrella insurance coverage for additional liability protection. Many insurance companies issuing umbrella policies will include Uninsured coverage – and at a modest additionally premium.
The cost to include $1 million Uninsured coverage on your $1 million umbrella is less than $150. As with any coverage, the higher the coverage, the less per thousand – stated differently, 10 times more does not cost anything like 10 times as much as reflected in the premium amounts shown.
Simply stated: Everyone thinks to have insurance to protect their assets – their home, their savings, their business – but your most valuable asset is you and your family – and the most likely serious injury to you or your family may be from an auto accident. For very little, protection is available from the economic disaster of a serious automobile accident.
Arnold Young is a partner at HunterMaclean who specialized in insurance law and business litigation. He can be reached directly at 912-236-0261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.