When most people think about their car insurance coverage, they almost never think about how much coverage they have. It is absolutely critical to know how much insurance you actually have. Simply having “full coverage” just means you are covered for most incidents but it doesn’t answer the question as to how much you are covered.
Virginia only requires that someone carry $25,000 in liability coverage. This is protection for you if you were to cause an accident and injure someone. This means that you are covered but only up to $25,000. Their claim includes their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, injuries and possibly more. If that person’s claim is worth more than $25,000, you are personally responsible for the difference. We see many cases each month where someone’s medical bills alone are more than $25,000.
Virginia also only requires you to have $25,000 in uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage. This is protection for you if you are hit by another driver who does not have insurance and you or someone in your family is injured. It will also cover you if the driver who caused the crash is insured but has less insurance coverage than you do.
The cost of having enough insurance to fully cover your injuries is literally just a few dollars a month. But it could make all the difference. Most car insurance carriers in Virginia will give you $50,000, $100,000, $250,000, $300,000, $500,000 or even up to $1,000,000 of both liability insurance and UM/UIM.
We recently represented a nice lady who broke her ankle in a car accident caused by someone else. She ended up having surgery to repair her ankle and unfortunately had to undergo another surgery a couple of months later. She had extensive physical therapy as well and her medical bills alone exceeded $80,000. She was out of work for three months and lost just over $10,000 in wages. Her life with her husband and young children was severely disrupted. Unfortunately, the individual that caused the wreck only had $25,000 in insurance coverage. Our client only had $25,000 in UM/UIM. As a result, for all of those medical bills, lost wages and pain and trouble she underwent, there was only $25,000 available to cover everything. This was a nightmare. Our client did not realize she only had $25,000 in UM/UIM coverage. She told us that had she known that she certainly would have made sure to have greater insurance limits. For instance, had she had just $100,000 in UM/UIM coverage, her case was certainly worth every penny of that and our office would have been able to collect that for her. That would have made a world of difference in covering the losses she sustained.
The lesson to be learned: check the amount of your insurance coverages and make sure you have enough. Do not just assume you have “full coverage.” As you can see from the story above, it is just as vital to have enough coverage. We recommend having at least $100,000 in liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. For a very small increase in your premium, it could very well make tens of thousands of dollars of difference if you or one of your family members is injured in an accident.
At Huffman & Huffman, we understand that insurance coverages can be confusing. That’s why every day we fight hard for our clients to make sure they receive all of the insurance coverage to which they are entitled.
If you have any questions about what coverages you have on your car insurance policy, please feel free to call our office and we are happy to explain everything to you. Hopefully, you will never be injured by another reckless driver, but if you are, and you have sufficient insurance coverage, it could make thousands of dollars of difference for you at a very minimal cost.