Came across an old newspaper article today, written by local attorney Bill Lister. Below is the gist of the article that really hit home for us.
When Jennifer Thompson (not her real name) woke up in the hospital, the nurse gently reminded her that she had been involved in a car accident. 9 months of therapy and $60,000 in medical bills later, Jennifer was awaiting/ expecting a substantial settlement from an insurance company.
Along with thousands of Idahoans each year, Jennifer received a very rude awaking. The available funds for a settlement were much less than she was hoping for and felt like she deserved. Her attorney broke the bad news, letting her know that only a portion of her medical bills and lost wages would be covered and there was absolutely nothing left to pay for pain and suffering. The reason? The at-fault, drunk driver who smashed into her car only had the state required minimum $25,000 insurance policy.
Jennifer protested, "But, I have full coverage on my own car, and I know it included coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists, like the guy who hit me!" That's when she was even more shocked to discover that her own policy had been sold to her with the state minimum limit of $25,000. Jennifer could have protected herself by purchasing sufficient uninsured AND underinsured liability limits. If she had discussed her limits and the coverages she needed with her agent, she could have ensured she would have been compensated for all of her medical bills, lost wages, and even a sizable amount for pain and suffering in the event she suffered catastrophic or crippling injuries through the fault of another.
The good news for you reading this, is that you can make sure you are properly covered. For just a few more dollars a month, you can raise your crucial underinsured policy coverage from $25,000 up to $300,000 or more. Don't fall for the misconception of "full coverage", or you may be in for the same shock as Jennifer was. Just because you indeed have full coverage does not mean you have adequate coverage to protect yourself. State minimums of liability coverage may constitute "full coverage". However, this is the equivalent of buying full coverage on your house if it burns down, but in amounts sufficient only to cover the garage.
We strongly encourage every driver to raise their limits of liability today, along with their uninsured and underinsured limits to fully protect themselves.
If you were hit by that drunk driver with the state minimum $25,000 policy, and seriously injured/ crippled, how much insurance are you going to wish you had to, help put your life back together?