Denton Insurance Agent and Ryan Everet Insurance Advisor, Linda Dodson (aka My Insurance Mom), shares her personal story on why you should reconsider your uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage and liability coverage in this blog.
Some may have heard the story about my daughter, but it is important enough to re-share on the Ryan Everet blog.
This is a painful, very personal story. But by sharing it, I hope to help other people avoid this situation.
Jenna’s story actually starts before she was born. I was told I could never have children. So that is the first miracle.
Here’s the second:
On December 10, 2017, Jenna, her fiancé and her future father-in-law suffered an automobile accident — they were T-boned by a driver carrying minimum liability limits. Tragically, Jenna’s future father-in-law died.
That night Jenna became my miracle for a second time. Her neurosurgeon said most people don’t live when the neck is fractured as Jenna’s was. Even if they do live, they are paralyzed from the neck down. Jenna went through emergency neck surgery the next day, and the neurosurgeon said it was like putting back together pieces of a very tiny puzzle.
Jenna also had a punctured lung, four broken ribs, two breaks of her clavicle, a huge break in the humerus of her left arm, a fractured jaw, nerve damage on the left side of her head and a severed radial nerve.
We finally heard some good news nine months later. Her radial nerve had started to regenerate enough to where she could return to work as a journalist. We learned she would not require additional surgery on her left hand, which is her primary hand. 15 months after the accident, Jenna was finally able to stop occupational therapy. Although she still can’t make a first (she can only close it half way), she had gone as far as she could. This will be something she will live with the rest of her life.
For years Jenna had fought me over her automobile liability and uninsured motorists (UM) limits. I kept hounding her to keep her limits up. (I wanted her to have 250/500/250 but she ended up with 100/300/100 because I said that was the absolute minimum.)
Jenna’s expenses for the first week alone in the hospital were $174,000. At last count, the medical bills were nearing $300,000. By stacking coverages from all the insurance policies, we cobbled together enough coverage.
But Jenna went nine months on disability, and eight of those months were at 60% salary. She had ongoing medical expenses for almost 15 months. And she will ever regain full use of her left hand.
Jenna was very lucky. But what if she had had only minimum state-required limits or had waived the coverage? She could have received only $35,000 — completely inadequate to cover the reduction in wages, ongoing medical care, etc.
After the accident, I offered via Facebook to answer questions about car insurance limits for Jenna’s friends — or anyone. Luckily most older adults had at least 100/300/100 but only one of Jenna’s friends (younger generation) did, and that’s because her father is an agent. Most had minimum limits.
And this isn’t just about car accidents. Ask the poor folks in California who are underinsured after the wildfires, an article in IBA said 80% of homeowners were underinsured. When I hear about folks being underinsured, I wonder: Why the hell does any insurance professional — carrier, agent or broker — still sell on price? And why would any consumer buy solely on price?
Sure, 15 minutes might save you 15% or more on your car insurance. But what’s the true cost of that?
There is genuine value in insurance consulting, good advice, and proper coverage. The Ryan Everet team are here to advise, educate and work with you obtain the right coverage for you at the best possible price.
P.S. One year after the accident Jenna and her fiance Mikey were finally able to marry. They are now happy and content living their best possible lives in Denton, TX.