People Need More Car Insurance. The Minimum Is Too Low.
How much car insurance do you have and how much do most people have?
The answer is that it can range significantly depending on what people want to pay for, but the rule is that in Connecticut, everyone must have at least $20,000.00 worth of insurance for their vehicle.
Where is this rule from? The answer is that it’s the law. It says so in Connecticut General Statutes Section 14-112(a), and the $20,000.00 minimum has been the rule for decades.
So what’s the problem with this? The problem is that the minimum has remained unchanged for decades but medical costs and earnings have increased. When you’re seriously hurt, insurance in the amount of $20,000.00 is absolutely NOT enough to cover your losses.
Many people carry more insurance than the minimum because they want to protect their assets. That’s smart. But most people only carry the minimum of $20,000.00 for the simple reason that it is all they are required to do.
Fortunately, there is no issue when someone driving carelessly only causes minor injuries to another person. The $20,000.00 of available insurance will be enough to cover the losses from the injuries.
But unfortunately, in the real world that we live in, the minimal amount of $20,000.00 is not nearly enough to cover the losses caused by more serious injuries. Medical bills easily and frequently surpass this amount, and when combined with wage loss and permanent disability, $20,000.00 in insurance coverage goes absolutely nowhere.
One example is a recent new client of mine who received a crushed leg from a motor vehicle accident, spent two weeks in the hospital, underwent surgical repairs, missed a month of work and will require a total knee replacement. The $20,000.00 in available insurance coverage from the careless operator of a vehicle which did this to her does not even cover a fraction of her medical bills, let alone the rest of her losses.
This is one example from a list a mile long I could provide, as could any experienced personal injury attorney.
This is just wrong! Why require people to carry car insurance that won’t matter or make a difference? It makes no sense.
Serious injuries regularly happen due to texting while driving, drunk driving and sheer carelessness.
The minimum amount required should not necessarily cover all possible extreme situations, but if we actually care about people, it should at least be adjusted significantly so that it will realistically be able to cover the harms regularly caused to others. The minimum should be raised.
Gas costs more, cars cost more, registration costs more, medical bills cost astronomically more and in fact, everything costs more. So shouldn’t the insurance cover more?
Of course it should. Raise the minimum so that real victims have a chance for some justice and don’t get victimized twice.
You can choose to carry more insurance, of course. But talk to your state legislators about requiring everyone to have more insurance. How much? That’s a good discussion, but given the cost of everything else, especially medical care, everyone should be carrying a minimum of $100,000.00 so as to ensure that the people hurt the most at least have a chance.