If you are injured in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, the person at fault has to compensate you for your damages. If the at-fault person is insured, the insurance company has agreed to pay that compensation. A typical insurance policy will have a million dollar liability. This is enough to cover the majority of claims.
But suppose you were driving in a full vehicle and seven of you were injured when you were hit by a negligent driver, and the negligent driver had the minimum liability coverage of $200,000. $200,000 works out to $28,500 per person, which doesn’t go very far.
What are your options?
To the extent that the at-fault person is under-insured, you will need to sue them – and that means you could have a hard time collecting on a judgment. As they say, you can’t get blood from a stone. You won’t be fairly compensated if the at-fault person doesn’t have much money or assets.
How can you protect yourself from under-insured drivers? One option is to purchase a Family Protection Endorsement (also known as an SEF 44) from your insurer and the SEF 44 covers you if a negligent person’s insurance is inadequate. Your SEF 44 coverage must be greater than the at-fault driver’s insurance in order for it to ‘kick in’. Therefore it is best to get $2 million in coverage (as most policies are $1 million and the SEF 44 policy would not ‘kick in’ if the at-fault driver’s insurance was also $1 million).
SEF 44 coverage is usually quite affordable, and may be worth the added peace of mind.