I am pleased to report that I settled another personal injury claim recently with a major car insurance company for the full policy limits of $25,000. I think that this was a fair settlement, given the nature of the car accident and personal injuries involved. It was refreshing to see that the car insurance company acted in good faith. That is, instead of putting their insured driver at risk of a verdict that exceeded his insurance coverage, the company settled the matter for the full amount of his coverage, thus protecting his financial interests.
It doesn’t always happen this way! If you are being sued for a personal injury claim, ask your attorney about the insurance company’s duty to protect your financial interests. For example, if you have a $50,000 policy and are being sued for $150,000, you could be stuck with a judgment against you that exceeds your insurance coverage by $100,000!
Now suppose that your insurance company had received a pretrial settlement demand for the policy limits of $50,000 and turned it down, forcing you to go to trial and risk your financial well being! While you might have a legal remedy against your own insurance company in that instance, it’s still a position you don’t want to be in. The solution? Carry as much insurance coverage as you can afford (have high policy limits) and if you are sued, demand that your insurance company act in good faith to settle any claim against you. It’s the insurance coverage you paid for, after all.