Do You Have Enough Insurance? Tips From A Personal Injury Attorney

Do You Have Enough Insurance? Tips From A Personal Injury Attorney

A few years ago, my insurance agent called me to suggest I increase my umbrella coverage. He mentioned one of his insureds, who resided in Alamo, was being sued regarding a motor vehicle accident where the claimed damages were in excess of $5 million. This individual had only $1.25 million in coverage and was panicked. In the Bay Area, residents often drive expensive cars and make a lot of money. Personal injury claims are valued in part by lost wage and medical care costs. Given the sky-high cost of medical care, even a case involving a simple fracture healed with surgery in six weeks, along with a couple months of rehabilitation, can easily result in a claim worth more than $500,000. More serious or extensive injuries of course lead to more valuable claims. How can we protect ourselves against such claims when auto policies and homeowners’ coverage is usually insufficient? Umbrella policies or formally Personal Liability Umbrella Policies (PLUPs) provide excess coverage above policy limits on motor vehicles and for claims covered by homeowner’s policies. Kiplinger’s provides an online umbrella coverage calculator (www.kiplinger.com/kiplinger-tools/insurance/t028-s002- how-much-umbrella-insurance-do-i-need/index.php). You should also consider input from a financial adviser and your insurance agent to make this decision. Notably, I was quite familiar with the claim my insurance agent had called me about, as I was the one prosecuting it. I indeed increased my umbrella coverage and suggest you consider buying an umbrella policy or increasing your limits as well. It may help prevent or limit your out-of-pocket expense if you are deemed responsible for a major accident. I regularly represent clients in complex and valuable personal injury claims well in excess of most personal liability coverage and even smaller umbrella policies. In addition, I am available for consultation for disputes between insureds and their insurance companies. These are referred to as coverage disputes and/or “bad faith” claims. I offer free consultations and can be reached at (925) 587-9949, [email protected], or visit www.gattopc.com. In support of COVID-19 safety protocols, virtual face-to-face consultations can be arranged as well. The Law Office of Michael E. Gatto PC is located at 2540 Camino Diablo, Suite 200, Walnut Creek, CA. 94597. [This information is intended for general purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice. No recovery, no fee. Past results not a guarantee of future outcomes.]