After 28 years as a personal injury trial lawyer in Southern California, Barry P. Goldberg has seen every reason and excuse argued by well-intentioned insurance agents and insurers who leave their insureds open to uncovered losses when they are involved in automobile accidents with Uninsured or Underinsured motorists. The main reasons are usually rationalizations designed to lower the insurance premium so that the insurance seller can be more competitive in the market place.
Misguided agents and insurers sometime argue that you do not need Uninsured Motorist Coverage. They pose a question to the customer; "Do you have health insurance? If so, that's all you really need to protect your family if you are in an accident with an Uninsured motorist." The follow up question is usually something like this: "Do you really need damages like pain and suffering if you are in an accident with an Uninsured motorist? Because an accident with an uninsured motorist is unlikely, the cost of buying the insurance outweighs the value of receiving money over and above your medical bills. Besides, why should you pay for some irresponsible uninsured motorist's liability insurance?"
In reality, most drivers in Southern California cannot afford to incur significant lost earnings after an accident and injuries for a significant automobile accident can affect future earnings and greatly reduce the quality of life. Most Southern Californians require reasonable compensation just to have a chance to be put back in the position they were in immediately before a major accident. Despite public perception, a "windfall" from an automobile accident is rare and unlikely.
Health insurance today often does not cover significant injuries and recovery therapies designed to get you well faster and back to work sooner. Reputable doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists may be outside of your health insurance network. Many insureds have large deductibles and co-pays. Only by receiving uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist compensation can you guarantee access to these health care providers.
Under the California Financial Responsibility Act, Uninsured Motorist coverage is an important element in making certain that Californians are protected. Not only are medical bills, lost earnings and future losses recoverable, but other out of pocket expenses like home health care, babysitting, and personal assistance. Anyone who has been injured in an automobile accident knows that it is important to receive compensation for pain, suffering and inconvenience.
In this article, Barry P. Goldberg puts the insurers to the financial test and discloses the real cost of adequate Uninsured Motorist Coverage in California. It turns out that the coverage is a relative bargain!
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