Many people are caught unaware when the insurance coverages fails to protect them from large insurance lawsuits in the event of a car accident. It doesn’t have to be that way. Better insurance than minimum liability is often only a few dollars more per month.
An interview with David Grayson, one of the top Insurance Brokers in San Diego. He can be reached at California Brokerage Insurance Associates. His office is located at 3180 University Ave, Ste 120 San Diego, California 92104. Telephone 619-283-9999
David Grayson of California Brokerage Insurance Associates
KL – I was astonished to learn that there are 6 million car accidents in the US. And that’s every year!
David Grayson – It’s crazy. Your life can change in the blink of an eye.
KL- How so?
David Grayson – Financial devastation. The minimum required insurance is far too low to protect from anything but very minor traffic accidents. Many states only require you to carry a minimum 15,000 per person 30,000 per occurrence and 5,000 property damage.
To break that down, if an individual hits somebody else that’s 15,000 medical for anybody they injure. 30,000 for the total occurrence accident more than one person injured. 5,000 to fix the property damage that they do to the other person’s vehicle or fence or city property.
Which runs out in a blink of an eye. If anyone needs an operation of any sort that’s like 200k these days. If there’s multiple injuries in the crash? It can get really bad. You really have to protect yourself from large insurance lawsuits.
If they’re all of a sudden hit with a hundred or two hundred thousand dollars in bills, that financially impacts everything. It changes everything in your life that moment. That’s a great pity. And it’s all over.
So if you have minimum liability insurance who’s going to be responsible for that?
Somebody is coming after you for the rest of that money. And it’s usually an insurance company with a well funded legal team.
KL – Everyone’s driving record is different. It’s based on where you live, what kind of car, etc. Can put that in perspective with the cost of say some better insurance? Generally speaking what would you say the cost is for decent driver with one point on their license for better minimum liability insurance. Can you ballpark that?
David Grayson – Even they were to spend about $7 more per month so most likely in the upper 40’s per month to get 25,15, 25 coverage. It’s quite a bit more coverage than the minimum.
A better solution would be spending a few more dollars and getting the next step up – 50k, 100k, 150k.
So by paying $18 more per month over what minimum auto liability would cost you, you’re getting much better coverage. That’s like 40 cents more per day to protect you.
It’s very inexpensive and for you to walk away just wiping your hands clean from that accident and saying gosh no bills or nobody’s coming after me or my company.
KL – Can talk about the difference in quality between insurance companies. For example, a company that will stand behind you in times of an accident and other companies that in the event of a insurance claim will try and stay as far away as possible from you?
So like for example I understand USAA is a very good quality insurance company. What are some other companies that stand behind their drivers?
David Grayson – So with those companies you’re mentioning they are, let’s say, the upper echelon of companies as far as financial stability. What we use to rank the financial stability of a company is called called Am Best Rating Services. If the companies are pending a downgrade you want to stay away from them.
I’m not going to mention names but there are some not so good insurance companies that have been a household name for so many years. With being in the industry and actually knowing the public adjusting side of it, you would cringe and be blown away by some of the things that happened when claims come down to the wire.
That’s where a broker, I think, bring so much value to the table when you use a broker. Because we are in the industry. We’ve been doing it so long and we know the products out there.
KL- Correct me if I’m wrong on this but when you go through a broker, you’re really not paying much more money than if you had gone direct. Is that correct?
David Grayson – Yeah and we’re only going to move you to another policy if we’re bringing value to the table and saving you money or giving you better coverage.
Now, if we’re if you’re in a non-standard product and you’ve got some blemishes, maybe some things on your record, that you don’t qualify for that other products. Yes there could be some fees involved when purchasing the policy, but you’re only going to move you if we’re really saving you a lot of money.
You’re not going to have a gripe anyways paying that fee to buy the policy because we just saved you a bunch of money and brought value to the table.
KL – My oldest is going to be driving soon. It kind of amazes me there isn’t much mention of carrying more than the minimum required in driver’s ed classes.
David Grayson – As a young adult, outside of parental influence, many are, you know, ‘just give me ask me what the law requires.’
That’s kind of embedded from the get go so the sooner you change that mindset and start thinking, you know I don’t want the minimum required.
They might be thinking about getting their first condo or whatever and then all of a sudden and a car crash comes along and you only had the minimum, your plans are crushed.
Yeah you know that it’s a shame because it could have been it could have been avoided this easily.
KL – David thanks so much for your time.
Car Accident Statistics in the U.S.