Summertime is a great time for getting together with friends and family. Unfortunately, it’s also a prime time for injuries and accidents. Andrew Davick, partner in law firm Meshbesher & Spence in Rochester, Minnesota, described why accidents are more prevalent during the warm summer months and what Minnesota residents can do to stay safe.
Why are there more accidents in the summer? Generally speaking, people tend to get together more in the summertime, especially during holiday weekends like Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Accidents tend to be a little more severe during the summer months, often because people combine alcohol use with these get-togethers. In addition to the alcohol factor, Minnesotans tend to drive a little faster in the summer, when the roads are clear. During the winter months, we tend to drive a little slower due to road conditions.
How does insurance factor into this? One of the things we seem to be running into more and more is uninsured drivers. People don’t realize the dangers of being inadequately protected when it comes to insurance, both for themselves and their families. We’ve made it so easy to purchase insurance, with advertisements flashing across the screen for 15-minute insurance checks and 800 numbers where you can directly purchase insurance by telephone. Unfortunately, this “minimum coverage” has its problems.
The Personal Touch
What are the downfalls of minimum coverage insurance? When someone chooses one of these insurance plans just to be “legal,” there’s no personal connection to the person selling the insurance policy. Ideally, you should make sure you have an agent who knows who you are and understands the coverage you need to adequately cover yourself.
How much coverage should the average person have? It differs from person to person, which is why you need an agent to personalize it. Generally speaking, though, I advise people to have at least $250,000 in underlying liability coverage. You also should make sure you have an umbrella policy to cover those truly tragic situations, such as causing serious injury to someone else.
What is an umbrella policy? An umbrella policy is an additional policy that protects you against any damages that exceed the coverage you already have in place. Say someone has $250,000 in coverage, with a 250/500 policy. The umbrella policy would cover anything over $500,000.
Why should I have an umbrella policy? It’s very important if you have a severe accident, since medical bills can be extremely high. An umbrella policy can also carry a rider that converts it to uninsured motorist coverage. If you’re injured by someone who doesn’t have insurance, that policy would cover your medical bills. Unfortunately, many of those minimum coverage insurance policies don’t cover that. We’ve seen people who have been paralyzed in accidents where insurance coverage was very limited. If they’d had that uninsured motorist rider, we could have provided so much more help.
For information on how Meshbesher & Spence can help with your personal injury case, complete the contact form on the right or call 1.800.845.1021.