Clarifying the details of car insurance coverage to Virginia residents in the event of an accident.
Leesburg personal injury attorney Peter Burnett has embarked on a personal mission to provide advice on adequate auto insurance to audiences in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and the Shenandoah Valley. Recently he spoke to a receptive audience at the Rotary Club of Leesburg, providing them with facts and figures on coverage issues he’s encountered frequently in over 25 years of work helping clients who have been involved in serious auto accidents.
Minimum coverage is not adequate coverage. The centerpiece of Mr. Burnett’s talk is information about the relatively small incremental costs of increasing coverage beyond the minimums required by law. Virginia law requires at least $25,000 injury coverage per person, $50,000 total coverage per accident, and $20,000 in property damage coverage. With the rising cost of healthcare and car repairs, Mr. Burnett notes, these minimums are almost always inadequate in a serious accident where claims will easily exceed $100,000 and can sometimes climb into the millions.
In his Leesburg talk, Mr. Burnett noted that there are an average of 11 accidents per day in Loudoun County, and 45 per day in Fairfax County. The average driver will get in 5 accidents in their lifetime, and nearly 20% of the drivers on the road in Virginia are uninsured. Faced with these statistics, even the most cautious drivers are wise to maintain strong coverage, Mr. Burnett asserted, noting that coverage can often be raised with a relatively small increase in the overall rates.
Recommendations. Rather than the $50,000 per accident required by law, Mr. Burnett recommended to the Leesburg audience that drivers carry Single Limit Policies covering $500,000 – $1,000,000 per accident, with $100,000 in property damage coverage, and the same coverages for Uninsured Motorists. One audience member reported that she was able to follow through on this advice with USAA insurance and increase her coverages to the $1,000,000 level for only $66 a year in additional premiums, tripling coverage with less than 15% increase in cost.
“Just got off the phone with USAA. Changed my policy to $1,000,000 and $500,000. It cost me $66 for the year and the UIM is also $1,000,000 for no cost,” Jane from Loudoun wrote. “Thanks! Really enjoyed your talk today.”
The Inside View. For many years now, Mr. Burnett has been handing out his insurance recommendations to anyone who walks in the door at his offices in Leesburg, Reston, and Winchester. Too many times, he says, he has seen clients suffer because they did not have adequate coverage. Now he is taking his recommendations on the road, reaching out to any groups in Northern Virginia who are interested in a cost-effective way to ensure stable finances. “When you work in personal injury law for as long as I have, you see people going through a lot of turmoil after life-changing accidents,” Mr. Burnett said recently, adding, “The one consistent is that those who have inadequate insurance always have a much tougher road ahead of them than those who come into their accident with strong coverage.”
Peter Burnett is a principle attorney at one of Virginia’s oldest and most recognized Personal Injury law firms, Burnett & Williams. His firm has six offices in the Commonwealth, providing legal care to individuals who have suffered injuries and families who have suffered wrongful deaths in accidents and medical malpractice cases. Burnett and Williams knows the difficulties and complexities of navigating these cases, and is dedicated to ensuring that the needs of every client and every case are handled with care and expertise.
To learn more about this topic or how to book Peter for a speaking engagement in your community, please contact Kiesha Robinson in the Leesburg office: 703-777-1650 or firstname.lastname@example.org.