If you do not have adequate uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, what has taken a lifetime to accumulate can all be destroyed within seconds by an automobile accident
Lancaster, California (PRWEB) December 30, 2009
Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson Von Tungeln is advising California residents to maintain a minimum of $250,000 per person and $500,000 per occurrence in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on their automobiles. This minimizes the risk that an uninsured motorist can cause serious injuries that will deplete their life savings and destroy their estate plan to provide care for their injuries.
"If you do not have adequate uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, what has taken a lifetime to accumulate can all be destroyed within seconds by an automobile accident," said Kevin Von Tungeln, partner at Thompson Von Tungeln. "It's true that you could sue the individual for damages, but if they are not carrying automobile insurance, there is a high likelihood that they have few if any assets to recover as part of a judgment."
As the economy slows during the current recession and individuals lose their job and homes, many California residents may be making a seemingly small decision that may have huge and lasting consequences to their financial future. They are dropping or lowering their automobile insurance coverage, which may jeopardize their estate if they are in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, as many as 40 percent of people who were following up on their online insurance applications had let their automobile insurance policies lapse. This compares to only 10 percent just a few years ago. Add to that a national average of nearly 15 percent of motorists who were uninsured or 25 percent in some states like California and Arizona, and people have a very high likelihood of financial disaster if one of these people hit them.
"To protect your assets, you should be sure to carry sufficient automobile insurance coverage to properly compensate you if you're hit by an uninsured motorist; and make sure you have enough liability insurance commensurate with your assets," said Von Tungeln. "A good rule of thumb is $250,000 per person and $500,000 per occurrence is the minimum uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Larger amounts are advisable if you can afford the premiums and have assets and dependents to protect. Uninsured/underinsured coverage is what protects you from a person who does not carry insurance."
People may not think that their auto insurance plays such a role in their estate plan, but if they are seriously injured in an accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist, it will not take long to spend the money they had planned to pass along to their heirs.
About Kevin Von Tungeln
With more than 18 years' legal experience, Kevin L. Von Tungeln serves Thompson Von Tungeln in the areas of estate planning, probate, trusts, wills, trust administration, conservatorships, guardianships and elder law. He is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialists as a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning. Get to know more about Kevin's approach to estate planning by viewing his informational videos at: http://www.youtube.com/user/EstateLawyers. Kevin can also be found at LinkedIn by going to: (http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinvontungeln)
About Thompson Von Tungeln
Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson Von Tungeln (TVT) offers sophisticated estate planning and administration for the affluent, discriminating client. As Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, partners Mark E. Thompson and Kevin L. Von Tungeln are expertly equipped to serve these clients with the creative, effective and custom solutions they demand. For more information, contact TVT at 661-945-5868 or visit their website at http://www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com.