Part of Cluff Law’s series on Insurance and Personal Injury http://clufflaw.com
Derek Wilcock: So let’s say that our hypothetical teenager here has the minimum amount of coverage that’s required by law in Arizona. You’re telling me that if that teenager has that minimum policy the most you are going to get from that policy is $15,000?
Brigham Cluff: Yeah, that’s his limit.
Derek Wilcock: What if your medical bills are way more than $15,000?
Brigham Cluff: Then it’s on me. I mean there is that saying “you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip”. How am I going to get money out of him if he doesn’t have anything as a teenager?
Brigham Cluff: How about the government? Doesn’t the government step in at that point in time if the kid doesn’t have enough money and the government will pay you?
Derek Wilcock: I don’t know what country you live in, but ah… (laughs)
Brigham Cluff: That doesn’t happen here?
Derek Wilcock: I haven’t seen it happen here.
Brigham Cluff: So you are in a pretty tough spot there in that situation then.
Derek Wilcock: Yeah, believe it or not, I’m responsible for my well-being and my protection. Hopefully as an agent myself, and I work with clients giving that advice. That counsel that they need to make sure they are protected in situations like that which they can’t control.
Brigham Cluff: If you want to proactively take responsibility for yourself, recognizing you’ve got this risk, you drive on the road with everybody else. You can’t control how much insurance our hypothetical teenager is buying. That’s out of your control.
Derek Wilcock: That’s correct.
Brigham Cluff: What is the responsible thing to do to take care of yourself here and your family?
Derek Wilcock: Going back to that situation the minimum state required limits, that’s not even a guarantee that they are going to have coverage. There is no guarantee that the individual that hit you, that teenage driver even has insurance. They could be breaking the law not having insurance here in Arizona at least.
Brigham Cluff: Well, then does the government step in and pay?
Derek Wilcock: No, still doesn’t.
Brigham Cluff: Okay
Derek Wilcock: It’s funny because you would think that if they require a law to have insurance and they don’t have it, somehow there would be a way to put a claim on that, but there’s not.
Brigham Cluff: I ask those questions though because I’ve been through these situations enough times to know what the answer to the question is, but I also been through the situation enough times with clients to know that there is a belief among people that “hey, if something really bad happens the government will come in and take care of it.” But that is actually not the case.
Derek Wilcock: No, in fact the only time I have seen that happen and it wasn’t for a liability claim, we see that unfortunately happen in flood cities where they have hurricanes or Katrina and New Orleans and so forth. The government has come in with help to help rebuild property. Not for any injury done, bodily injury, but trivial property. That’s the only time I’ve ever seen the government come in and that was for property damage only. That was due to a natural disaster.
Brigham Cluff: Okay
Derek Wilcock: When it comes to individual, my car, my well-being, my person, it’s up to me.