Another Word About Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage

Debra Reynolds

Underinsured Motorists Coverage


The Insurance Journal recently published an article discussing the Allstate Corporation’s third-quarter profits, noting a profit drop of 17% due to an increase in claims and a slowdown in policy growth in the automobile insurance business. The increase in claims is reportedly from the real property side from catastrophe and liability.  To make up for the slip in profits, Allstate plans to increase its premiums to existing auto policy holders.    Those of you with Allstate may be on schedule to have higher premiums.

The Allstate article also informs that the “[d]istance traveled on U.S. roads in August was up 2.3 percent, or 6.3 billion vehicle miles, compared with a year earlier, according to the most recent monthly report from the Federal Highway Administration.” Cheaper gas prices can often translate to more vehicles on the roadways for the holiday travel season. This could also mean that the risk of accident and injury may be increased.

For those of you with Allstate who chose to test the market, this may be a good time to make sure that you have uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection coverage. Any chance that we can, we will want to remind you about these important coverages.  Too often we see clients with catastrophic injuries or with deceased loved ones and the defendant does not have enough liability insurance coverage to pay for their damages and losses. Individuals and families are not only left to deal with life-altering injuries, grieving for the loss of a loved one, but the stress of the financial burden these catastrophic injuries can leave them with.

When it comes to keeping our family safe, many of us are not risk takers. Rather, we are risk managers and like to control the controllables. For example, if you are planning holiday travel, you would make sure that your tires are not threadbare and in condition to provide safe travel. If they are not, you have the faulty or weak tires replaced. However, you cannot manage the risk of other drivers on the roadways and. unfortunately, Texas does not require the other driver to carry more than $30,000.00 in liability insurance. This is woefully inadequate compared to a catastrophic injury or death of a loved one.  While the negligent driver may be liable for 100% of your damages, if he or she does not have liability insurance coverage, and does not have adequate judgement proof assets, a judgement against the negligent driver can be worthless.

Just as you cannot rely on other drivers or car owners to be risk managers on the roadways, neither can you rely on the negligent driver to have enough liability insurance to cover you or a loved one for a catastrophic injury or death. So as you prepare for holiday travel, include on your to-do list a reminder to check your coverage so that you are not totally dependent on the other driver’s preparation or lack thereof.