Imagine, if you will, a young man. He’s a husband, still passionately in love with his beautiful wife, and eternally grateful for their three school-age kids. He’s a good dad who plays catch with his boys and lets his daughter brush his hair and paint his fingernails whenever she wants to.
He works hard to provide for his family, and so does his wife. Their kids are involved in activities, and their family is busy. He’s living the perfect midwestern American life. On occasion, he and his wife leave the children with their parents so that they can enjoy a romantic weekend away. On occasion, his wife leaves town for an all-girls getaway with her friends; on occasion, he and his friends leave town for an adventure of their own.
It was a cold February night on the near west side of Chicago last time he was away with his friends. They’d enjoyed their first day in the city, had a nice dinner, stopped at a pub for a beer, and were walking to the United Center to go to a Blackhawks game when his life was forever changed.
While waiting with his friends at a crosswalk, a car came out of nowhere and blew through the stoplight. It was out of control!
The car jumped the curb, hit five people who were waiting to cross the street, then bounced back onto the road and smashed up some other cars before crashing to a stop before the police even got there.
Sadly, this young husband and father was one of the pedestrians who was hit by the car. He suffered multiple severe injuries, including a broken hip. He was unable to go to work and required months of physical therapy. His perfect all-American family could have been devastated by the medical bills and loss of income while he was out of work because the driver who hit him, while insured, carried only the minimum coverage required by law.
The state of Illinois requires drivers to carry just $25,000 worth of bodily injury coverage per person injured, $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident, and $20,000 for property damage caused by the accident. The driver that was responsible for this accident hit FIVE people and damaged multiple vehicles. The advice this young father received from that insurance company was simply, “You’re going to want to file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company. This guy doesn’t have enough coverage to help you.” In the industry, those state minimums are known as 25/50/20.
Then What Happened?
“That’s a true story and happened to one of our clients just last year,” says Bill Lawrence, CIC, and President of P/L/R Insurance. “Thankfully, this family is a long-term client, and they trust our agency when we recommend an auto policy that exceeds the state minimums. In this case, that recommendation allowed us to get all their expenses covered plus $100,000 to cover lost wages and long-term damage. Because they had the right coverage in place, we were able to make them whole again, and the family and all of their assets remain intact.”
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending, but many stories don’t. “I appreciate that the state requires auto insurance for every driver, but the minimum required limits are so low, they’re practically worthless,” Lawrence continues. “At P/L/R, we don’t write policies that only meet state minimums. If you have minimum coverage and are at fault in an accident like this one, the injured party could take your house, your savings, and even your future earnings if the insurance company has a judgment against you, so we don’t let our clients do that.”
Instead, P/L/R sets their clients up to protect them for the future. Lawrence recommends auto coverage of no less than $100,000 bodily injury per person, $300,000 bodily injury per accident, and $100,000 in property damage. They also recommend a minimum $1 million umbrella policy to all their clients to protect other assets if you are involved in a major accident like this one. Compared to the state’s 25/50/20 minimum coverage, this 100/300/100 plan usually only adds about $10 per month to your premium but could save everything you’ve worked for if you ever need it.
“It is an essential company value for P/L/R to make sure that our clients have the right coverage,” Lawrence says. “It’s not about selling you a more expensive policy for us. Honestly, how much commission do you think we’re going to make on that extra $10 per month? It’s only ever about doing the right thing for our clients.”
If you’re tired of getting confusing double-speak answers from your insurance company, give P/L/R a chance to get to know you. They’ll listen to your situation, make a recommendation that’s in your best interest, and if you’re still not happy, they’ll even refer you to another agent that might be a better fit. At P/L/R, buying insurance is all about what’s right for you.