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Insurance: options when hit by uninsured motorist

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Comments

  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Cry because you are SOL.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Surely Out of Luck!

    OK, the 's word' isn't correct, but the correct word would get this message deleted and a nasty-o-gram to me from the moderator!

    You probably were hit by either an illegal immigant with no drivers license or a thief driving a stolen vehicle.

    On of the reasons to carry collision.
  • That stinks! I couldn't believe my own eyes. why would anyone escape the accident scene and abandone his own minimvan
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    collision and also uninsured motorists insurance, in the event you were injured...apparently, you were not injured, so you could argue that all you needed was collision...

    I guess what bothers me is to read all these posts by people who, in my mind, innocently dropped certain insurance coverages (or never had them to begin with) thinking they are saving money on premiums...you know the coverages I recommend: medpay ($50K minimum), uninsured motorists, rental car insurance...if your car is worth over $4K then you should have comp and collision if paying for the damages would be financially difficult and the premiums are reasonable...

    Then, they are involved in a wreck with someone else at fault who:
    a. does not have insurance
    b. does not have ENOUGH insurance for the 7 people they injured (like minimum limits of $25K/$50K)
    c. has an liability insurance that takes 3 weeks to accept liability, so they lose their job because, w/o rental car insurance, they cannot get to work
    d. is seriously injured but, w/o medpay, can't get anyone to pay their bills

    I hate to tell the absolute truth, but for MOST folks (not those with an extra $10K in cash just sitting around to replace the beater when it is wrecked), you should plan on spending the remainder of your driving life with maximum coverage of ALL the coverages available to you...stop planning on cutting corners and dropping coverages because the folks who post here of often the result of someone buying minimum coverage and thinking they are beating the system...

    You ARE beating the system, until you suffere injury or damages with ANOTHER driver who is beating the system, and now you are victimized twice...

    Carry all the coverage you can, as only those with $$$ can "afford" to drop coverages, as, by definition, they have the $$$ to absorb other types of losses...

    For the person who has less than a few thousand $$$ in the bank, carry all coverages possible, and stop trying to cut your coverages, as the posters on these topics are what happens when you do not have the coverage and cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost...

    Merry Christmas to all...
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    I agree with you completely.

    The problem that I have is that under the current system, those with marginal financial means are ENCOURAGED to carry the lowest legal minimum insurance. If they have an at-fault accident, they are judgment-proof. Ever sue a person with no resources? If you are successful, the file bankruptcy almost immediately.

    Personally, I carry full collision/comprehensive on my beater as I rent cars fairly often and need the coverage on the rental vehicle (without paying the ridiculous CDW fees).
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    in essence, the worthless are encouraged to carry minimum coverage to remain worthless if they injure someone...the only poetic justice for that is when one of "them" injures another one of "them" so they egt a dose of their own worthlessness...

    I had a client recently who suffered $29K in meds and she complained loudly how rotten it was that the liable party only carried the minimum $25K in insurance...

    When I asked for her insurance, she also only carried the $25K minimum, and when I brought this to her attention and asked how would it be if the shoe was on the other foot, she clammed up rather quickly...:):):):):)

    That is the only karma one can hope for, is that the minimally insured deadbeat encounters the same situation...

    I had a case a number of years ago, $250K in meds (yes, a quarter of a million dollars, fractured bones, burst spleen and in a coma for 30 days)...coulda been the big one, but the at-fault party only had $25K in insurance and lived in a 20 year old trailer...that is the case that convinced me to purchase an additional umbrella policy to raise my own uninsured/underinsured motorists policy to 1 million dollars, as any one of us can be seriously injured, possibly crippled (and, obviously, killed) and that UM policy of 1 mil would adequate compensate the injured and pay the med bills, too...
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    marsha7--

    I apologize if you have already addressed this earlier in this forum, but I was wondering what/how much insurance you recommend the average middle class couple (no kids, no accidents) should carry? We currently carry the typical 100/300 coverage for comp/collision/medical as well as something for uninsured motorists on our 02 Rav4. I'm carrying liability and uninsured only on my 94 Civic and 92 MR2. What is your best guess as to cost for a $1M umbrella UM Policy? Is there something that can be carried on our house that can be used also for UM? We've been with the same mainstream insurer for about 20 years and have our house insured with the same company. I would definitely like to be as prudent as possible as well as protect our assets. As the old axiom goes. "it's the cheap man that pays the most."

    Gogiboy
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    My two cents on this is that if you have any assets or a good income, 100/300 is too low. You'd be surprised how fast a hospital bill can hit 100K. In addition to protecting myself, I want to be sure that if I hurt someone, they are properly compenstated - figure a minimum of 500/500.

    Call your agent for a quote an umbrella. You'll likely be surprised at how inexpensive it is.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    Gogiboy,

    That depends on your situation - how many vehicles and houses and the state you live in.

    I have a $2M excess liability coverage for about $250-300/ year billed annually. YMMV.

    Just remember one thing? If you kill someone with your vehicle, what's it going to cost you? A lot more tahn the state-mandated 25/50/25 coverage.
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    Thanks jl and cc for your responses. I'm going to talk to my agent. The umbrella certainly sounds like it is well worth the extra piece of mind that it will provide.

    Gogiboy
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    My thinking is like this: depending on your auto insurance company, first have their maximum BASE policy...some have 100/300, some have 250/500 or some variation thereof...

    Then, with that company, find out what their premium is for their version of a 1 million and a 2 million umbrella policy, as it will pick up exactly where the max base policy stops...

    To insure two 2004 vehicles, I pay $1200 per year total, that's for 100/300 liability, 250 deductibles for comp and collision, 100K in medpay, 100K in UM, plus towing, rental car insurance...another $150 is added to bring the LIABILITY up to 1 million, and another $150 brings the UM up to 1 million, so my umbrella policies cost me an extra $300 yearly...

    Yours might be a little cheaper, since my company sells liability and UM umbrellas separately, some may cover them both with one umbrella policy...

    So, if I damage you, I am covered up to 1 million...if you damage me, and either have no insurance or only 50K liability but I have $250K in meds, my UM one million umbrella will compensate me for your failure to insure enough...

    I guess I ought to follow my own advice and find out how much a 2 or 3 million umbrella would cost...who knows, it may be priced like medpay...only $1000 in medpay costs about $35 yearly, but $50-100,000 coverage only adds about $35 more, as the cost/per/thousand in coverage drops dramatically...

    Also, your thought of middle class is meaningless to me, altho some might argue that it is the middle class (that includes me, too) that the middle class always takes it on the chin...I feel that high limits should be carried by everyone, since you can be seriously injured or killed in a 1972 Chevy Nova (car worth only $100, so drop comp and collision but keep all the other stuff as injuries occur independently of the vehicle or its value) or a 2007 Lexus LS 460...that is why I look at folks with a dumb look when they tell me they were injured in a wreck, they were in a 72 Nova, they had no ins but basic liability, and the other idiot was uninsured...when I ask why they dropped the stuff other than comp and collision, they ALWAYS respond, "But it's an old car"...to which I respond, "And does that prevent you from being injured when you hit someone or someone hits you???"..."Gee, I never thought of that"

    Maybe Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, both billionaires, can go without the insurance because they can literally insure themselves against any million $$$ payout, but you and I cannot do that...

    And if you never have a wreck, I will NEVER consider it money wasted on premiums...did you waste $$$ insuring your house against fire, even tho it never burned in the 40 years you lived there???

    Insurance is a bet against risk...we risk a serious accident every time we drive, and everytime we rubberneck we think "that could have been me"...well, it could be, and someday it might be...I would rather be insured against the risk as opposed to going bare (and illegal) and know that I have also done the right MORAL thing (yeah, yeah, morals from a lawyer, that's like kindness from Saddam) so that I am covering me for my injuries (if they cause them) and them for their injuries (if I cause them)...

    Anything less makes no sense...and if you can't afford it, just remember...if you are uninsured and get seriously injured by someone uninsured, you will get nothing and live on food stamps...then you will think back and realize just how important it is to have more than "the legal minimum" for auto insurance...

    Small rant coming to an end...
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    "Yours might be a little cheaper, since my company sells liability and UM umbrellas separately, some may cover them both with one umbrella policy...

    So, if I damage you, I am covered up to 1 million...if you damage me, and either have no insurance or only 50K liability but I have $250K in meds, my UM one million umbrella will compensate me for your failure to insure enough..."

    Are any of the umbrella policies useful for upping the coverage on one's house as well?

    "And if you never have a wreck, I will NEVER consider it money wasted on premiums...did you waste $$$ insuring your house against fire, even tho it never burned in the 40 years you lived there???"

    Like you I never consider it wasted money, just the price of living in a society where not everyone can, or is willing to, carry their weight. I said middle class only to reflect my assets that need protecting aren't "high value", but I want to protect them nonetheless. I would guess that the rich and super-rich carry plenty of insurance to protect themselves (despite being able to pay damages out of pocket) from nuisance lawsuits. Of course, folks like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet probably each have their own law firm on retainer particularly with the amount of charitable giving that both are involved with.

    Thanks for the info. I'm printing off your response to use when talking to my agent.

    Gogiboy
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    **Are any of the umbrella policies useful for upping the coverage on one's house as well? **

    The umbrella policy covers BOTH your house AND your vehicle. If you have $100k liability on your house and a $1M umbrella policy and you have a claim against you for $300k, the umbrella will cover all damage over the $100k.

    Part of Warren Buffet's fortune was made at what in known in the business as REINSURANCE. Let's say that you have a building like the World Trade Center. No single insurer would take the risk of having so much exposure in one building. Therefore, one company will underwrite the risk and tehn purchase reinsurance from several other carriers.
  • Hi,

    I was rearended in LA in december by an uninsured motorist. Her policy had expired the month before. I am insured with AAA in california. Now she has hired a personal injury lawyer. I have pictures from the accident and a witness but no police report since 3 cops said it was an open and shut case in their opinion. My car is getting worked on and I have good coverage but I'm worried that she is trying to sue me? Any suggestions? Please help.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Just notify your insurance company when you are served with the court filing. They will defend you and likely seek to collect for both your damages and her frivilous litigation.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    Sorry for leaving that out...when you buy the umbrella policy, esp for the liability portion of your auto policy, it also covers your home, assuming that your home and car are insured with the same carrier, as most, but not all do...I am also assuming that when folks buy those cheapie "bare minimum" policies, they are not insuring their home with the same policy, altho I do not really know...

    But, yes, the same policy that raises my auto to 1 mil also raises my homeowners to 1 mil...since we were on autos, I did not think to add that, but I should have done so...

    It isn't that Buffet and Gates have their own law firms, it is that they have enough $$$ that a million dollar judgment against them would be paid out of petty cash...the reason you and I have insurance is because we cannot absorb a judgment like that, so we pay premiums to a collective entity who can...after all, Gates with 54 billion in wealth could probably buy many small insurance companies and pay their claims out of petty cash...:):):)

    Calicar: if the uninsured party eas at fault, for them to hire a lawyer, and for the lawyer to take the case, is insane...it is possible, however, that the atty has not seen the police report, and sometimes we tentatively take a client based on THEIR description of the wreck, waiting to see the accident report...then, the report comes in and contradicts their entire story, and we throw the case away realizing they have lied to us...some folks are so stupid that they think we will not read the accident report...

    Also, you have those folks, really nice folks, who post on these topics, complaining that they did not call the police because the other guy said he would pay the damage himself...everybody leaves the scene, and now there is no proof of who hit who, and the innocent party posts here asking what to do, and the only answer is to suck up and pay your own claim, as I always advise to never trust the other party to do what is right, simply because they won't...so, that case comes into me saying that someone drove into them and did not yield the right of way...if no report to verify, I will not take the case, but some attys will take anything...

    BTW, I really did have a case where my client was sitting at a red light on a hill, and the truck in front of him slipped backwards and "front-ended" him, whereas anyone would have thought that my client rear-ended the truck...

    Two eyewitnesses stopped and told police that the trucker backed into my client, otherwise who would believe anything but a rear-ender???...
  • This is a very good article on what to do when you are hit by an uninsured driver.

    What Happens If You Get Hit By An Uninsured Driver?
  • kim23kim23 Posts: 1
    I was driving a friends car, accidently totaled it, i got the ticket because of failing to make sure the coast was clear before proceeding through a stop sign. My friend bought a new car about 2 days after the wreck and I paid her back the money she paid for the car (she paid $500), the car i wrecked was probably worth about $800. She insists that i owe her more money. Do I? I don't know what to do. :cry: btw..she and i are no longer friends. She hinted that she is going to sue me. what can she get?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    was worth $800, and you paid her $500, I think you owe her $300...just because she replaced it with a cheaper car doesn't mean you don't owe her the value of what she had...

    If her Mother gave her a car for free, would you think you didn't have to pay for the one you wrecked, since it didn't cost her for her Mother's "gift?"

    Either this is too simple, or I have missed something terribly relevant while being overserved at dinner..:):)
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    the car i wrecked was probably worth about $800

    You didn't wreck the "new" car. You wrecked the "old" car. The old car was worth $800 when you wrecked it. You owe her $800. You might also consider tossing in a little more for the aggravation and inconvenience you caused your friend - along with some very sincere apologies. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I'll start off by saying both marsha and tidester are right. But I'm having a tough time with this.

    You two are friends and you accidently wrecked her car which is worth about $800. Sure you didn't pay her the full $800 but you did pay for her replacement car. A car that she chose to buy before you paid her.

    I don't want to seem like a snob or uppity but we are talking about a $800 car. I've seen $800 cars. Most of the time if they are totaled, you are upset not because you lost a great car but because you have to replace a car which you paid for. Most of the time it involves a monthly payment or something. She replaced it with a $500 car...which you gave her the money for. Maybe if you had totaled a $5000 car and only gave her enough for a $2500 car, I can see her anger. But we are talking about $300...maybe!!! From both sides, I don't see losing a friendship over this. Or going to court.

    Offer to fill up her gas tank a few times. Or take her out to a nice restaurant. Or just give her the money. Friends ar hard to find, esp. when you get older.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    You two are friends and you accidently wrecked her car which is worth about $800. Sure you didn't pay her the full $800 but you did pay for her replacement car. A car that she chose to buy before you paid her.

    Let me put it in a little different terms.

    I have a beater that is worth $1000 on the market. It is a car that I have owned for a long time, taken care of the vehicle very religiously, and plan to keep the car for another 2 or 3 or maybe even 5 more years.

    You plow into my car and total it. Your insurance company pays me $1000. Legally, you are off the hook.

    However, I am pretty ticked off. Now i have to go all over town and find a new ride. (And that takes a minimum or two weeks for me.) Then I either have to reach for my wallet to buy a new car or get into payments - which, by the way, wasn't in my budget because PLANNED TO KEEP THE CAR FOR A FEW MORE YEARS.

    To YOU, it was an old beater, to me, it had a value beyond its book value.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    I can see your point, but I do not know the financial status of these two people...for some, $300 may be a major expense, and while a friendship may not be worth losing over $300, it still stands as owed until the "lender" says it is not...

    One could also be the friend by not shorting her the $300 to begin with...
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I completely understand your point marsha7. Legally, the OP owes her friend $300.

    but when dealing with friendship, you take into account the other person's situation (personal and financial); the fact it was an accident; while yes your property is gone, you have a suitable replacement that did not affect you financially. I'm saying this $300 should not have ruined their friendship. Yes $300 is a lot of money for some people. But the OP came up with $500 to pay her friend and the friend came up with $500 for the replacement car. If the OP can't afford the extra $300, then can't they compromise. Is it really necessary to sue your FRIEND for $300 esp. when it doesn't adversely affect you financially? Personally, I would be upset cause my car is gone but I have replacement car (that I chose) that is paid for. Some things you simply write off. You're aren't happy about it but you write it off because your friend did pay you for the replacement car.

    I guess I'm just naive. hang a big L on my forehead and send me on my way.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Jlawrence01: what you are using as an example is not what happened here. No insurance company involved, just two friends. The friend found a replacement car for $500 two days after the accident. She did not have to incur any car payments and obviously she was able to reach into her wallet (or someone else's) and pay cash for the car. The OP PAID her the $500 for the replacement car so the friend did not incur any financial burden because of this accident. No car payment, no change in budget, nothing. All she lost was sentimental value, if this car had any. I'm guessing it didn't since she was able to replace it within two days with a cheaper one. Of course we don't know either one's financial situation but I would think if the owner of the car could not afford to buy another, she would have waited for the OP to cough up the $800 before purchasing the replacement car.

    Like I mentioned earlier, legally marsha7 and tidester are absolutely right, the OP still owes her friend $300. But friends should be able to work it out. Of course, I suspect that these two weren't really good friends and there are other things going on.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    But friends should be able to work it out. Of course, I suspect that these two weren't really good friends and there are other things going on.

    Or the "friend" has acted rather flippantly about wrecking an older vehicle.

    Your story struck a raw nerve in my personal life. I lent a car to a "friend" in need. He tore it up in the month that he had it. Didn't really cost me anything ... it was the principle involved.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I'm simply giving my opinion on the OP story. Sorry if it struck a nerve. Based on what you are saying about your friend, I can see why you were upset. That is just wrong.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    On one point I do agree with you, and that is that I would think it was not the best thing to file suit...and, forgive me, sometimes the posts go back far enough that I only remeber the point that I made in response, forgetting some of the other pertinent points...

    So, while the $300 was owed and should have been paid, I think filing suit may be over the top, but, alas, we REALLY do not know just how good these friends actually were...maybe it WAS worth filing suit, as there may be facts you and I simply do not know...

    I can atleast assert this: I would not have consented to be retained to file suit for the $300, but that is why we have the People's Court...:):):)...to keep the damn lawyers out of it...
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Send them to Judge Judy. She'll set them straight.
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