As a driver, parent, and insurance agent, this picture immediately brought several questions to mind, such as:
1) Did anyone survive?
2) What could have caused this crash?
3) Was the car properly insured?
In this case, although I didn’t find out the age of the driver or the occupants of the vehicle, tragically the driver and 2 passengers died at the scene. When taken from the vehicle, the driver still had a cell phone in her hand. She was another victim of what the highway patrol refers to as distracted driving.
As a driver, I immediately began to think about whether I have been distracted while driving. Unfortunately, the answer that most of us would give to that question if we were being honest, is “Yes”. In most instances, we survive; but in some, we don’t.
As a husband and father, I thought of the anguish that this loss caused to the one, or perhaps three, families affected by these deaths. How does one get their head around the unnecessary death of a loved one? The answer is, we go on, but we are forever changed.
As an insurance agent, many other questions occurred to me:
- Did the auto owner have proper liability limits? If the others in the car were not related, there could be ongoing lawsuits.
- Does the auto owner have a personal lines umbrella policy?
- Did the occupants of the vehicle have life insurance? MN Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance only covers up to $2000 for funeral expenses.
- But most of all, my biggest question was: Is there anything that I can do to help prevent a tragedy like this one at some later date?
Here are my thoughts and suggestions:
- Distracted driving is a killer. Have a family discussion every now and then about the importance of being safe, how you can do a few small things that will make you safer, and how important each and every individual is to the family.
- Check all of your various insurance policy limits. Unfortunately, this stuff is usually not taught in school and the time to find out what coverage you do have (or may not have) is before it is needed.
- If you have a vehicle, make sure that you carry high liability limits. The cost to increase limits is minimal.
- Consider the value and security of a Personal Lines Umbrella policy. And make sure that it also covers uninsured and underinsured drivers, and finally,
- Review your life insurance (and your feelings about life insurance). How would you or your family survive if you were in an accident and didn’t make it home tonight?
We all have important roles to fill in the lives of our families. We are all needed. Take care!