The Bruce Jenner car accident continues to make the news, as the former Olympian and reality star was involved in a four-car pileup that killed a 69-year-old woman.
According to a recent article on The Daily Mail, Jenner “could face financial ruin if sued by the family of a widow killed in horror crash because his insurance policy only goes up to $250,000.”
This discussion, while incredibly unfortunate for Jenner, is raising important issues of what you and your loved ones should do to protect themselves in case in case they one day cause a serious car crash. Far too many people are driving woefully underinsured, and one careless moment may cause personal financial ruin.
Earlier this month, Jenner allegedly rear-ended widow Kim Howe’s Lexus. Howe was then struck and killed by a Hummer on Pacific Coast Highway in California. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, while published reports state Jenner was traveling 38 miles per hour in his Lexus SUV at the time of the impact.
If the case goes to trial, the potential verdict could far exceed the insurance limits, given Jenner’s celebrity status, assets and the terrible facts of this car accident.
How you can protect yourself? Start with buying enough car insurance
The lesson here is simple. The easiest way to protect yourself is by purchasing an adequate amount of insurance in the event that you cause a car crash that injures someone else.
The good news is, that it is not only the smart thing to do, but normally, it’s quite cheap to buy up and purchase a larger bodily injury/liability insurance amount. Even umbrella insurance is normally, at most, a couple hundred dollars, and can add another layer of $1 million or more. If you have significant assets or could face personal exposure if you injure or kill another because of a tragic car accident, it’s the smart thing to do.
So how much insurance liability coverage should you purchase?
We posed this question on our Michigan Auto Law Facebook page and heard back from insurance professionals and the public alike.
Our attorneys recommend a personal liability umbrella – between $500,000 and $1 million – as a way to compliment high personal injury liability limits. In Michigan, where I practice law, this costs around $130.
As Farm Bureau insurance agent Rob Roll suggested, a personal liability umbrella allows you to have $500,000 for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, which protects you in case of a car accident with a driver who does not have car insurance, or does not have enough.
Liability insurance applies when you cause a car accident and another party is injured. While every state has different laws designating the minimum liability limits you’re required to carry, the maximum can be whatever you would like.