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Why a $5 million umbrella is the minimum standard of care.

Personal Insurance

By: Grant W. Davis of GDI Insurance Agency, Inc., 801 Geer Rd, Turlock, CA 95380

I get some interesting push back when I say that. I’ll simply retort that someone gave you bad advice/ info and you wrongly accepted it. You will then in fact harm many of your clients because of it! Unless someone like me 🙂 give you better info. Here is me trying.

Here are some minor (whiplash) accident verdicts. In time we all see serious accidents 10mil plus Just saying “care enough to sell insurance”.


  1. $4,600,000 settlement for a man who sustained serious injuries after a violent car crash, including neck pain with upper radicular symptoms

  2. $4,000,000 settlement for a driver with spinal injuries, including herniated discs in his cervical spine

  3. $3,369,066 verdict for a car passenger who had to undergo two cervical fusion surgeries after a major auto accident

  4. $2,760,000 settlement for a collision victim who required an anterior cervical discectomy and cervical fusion

  5. $2,750,000 settlement for a 44-year-old woman who required fusion surgery to her cervical spine after she was injured in a rear-end collision

  6. $2,750,000 settlement for a pedestrian accident victim with neck injuries requiring an anterior cervical discectomy and three-level fusion


Your Personal Liability is Determined by Where You Live

By: Jerad Steinfeld, Cream City Insurance, 10125 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, WI 53226

State auto insurance laws governing liability coverage fall into four broad categories: no-fault, choice no-fault, tort liability and add-on. The major differences are whether there are restrictions on the right to sue and whether the policyholder’s own insurer pays first-party (i.e., the insured’s) benefits, up to the state maximum amount, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

No-fault: The no-fault system is intended to lower the cost of auto insurance by taking small claims out of the courts. Each insurance company compensates its own policyholders for the cost of minor injuries regardless of who was at fault in the accident. These first-party benefits, known as personal injury protection (PIP), are a mandatory coverage in no-fault states but benefits vary by state. In states with the most extensive benefits, a policyholder receives compensation for medical fees, lost wages, funeral costs and other out-of-pocket expenses. The term no-fault can be confusing because it is often used to denote any auto insurance system in which each driver’s own insurance company pays for certain losses, regardless of fault. In its strict form, the term no-fault applies only to states where insurance companies pay first-party benefits and where there are restrictions on the right to sue.

Victims in no-fault states may sue for severe injuries if the case meets certain conditions. These conditions are known as the tort liability threshold, and may be expressed in verbal terms such as death or significant disfigurement (verbal threshold) or in dollar amounts of medical bills (monetary threshold).

Choice No-fault: In choice no-fault states, drivers may select one of two options: a no-fault auto insurance policy, usually with a verbal threshold, or a traditional tort liability policy.

Tort Liability: In traditional tort liability states, there are no restrictions on lawsuits. A policyholder at fault in a car crash can be sued by the other driver and by the other driver’s passengers for the pain and suffering the accident caused as well as for out-of-pocket expenses such as medical costs.

Add-On: In add-on states, drivers can purchase medical coverage and other first-party benefits from their own insurance company as they do in no-fault states but there are no restrictions on lawsuits. The term add-on is used because in these states first-party benefits have been added on to the traditional tort liability system. In add-on states, first-party coverage may not be mandatory and the benefits may be lower than in true no-fault states.

Personal Injury Awards

Most lawsuits are settled out of court. Of those that are tried and proceed to verdict, Jury Verdict Research data from Thomson Reuters show that in 2016 (latest data available) the median (or midpoint) award in personal injury cases was $100,000, up from $87,600 in 2015. The average award also rose in 2016 and was $1,354,801 compared with $1,132,339 in 2015. Thomson Reuters notes that average awards can be skewed by a few very high awards and that medians are more representative. In cases of product liability the highest median award was in transportation produ

cts cases ($2,957,986). In disputes concerning medical malpractice the highest med

ian award was in childbirth cases ($2,320,210). In lawsuits involving business negligence the highest median award was against manufacturing industries ($922,500). A

wards of $1 million or more accounted for 21 percent of all personal injury awards in 2015 and 2016, about the same as in the prior two-year period. In 2015 and 2016, 76 percent of product liability awards and 59 percent of medical malpractice awards amounted to $1 million or m

ore, the highest proportion of awards, followed by government negligence at 55 percent and business negligence at 29 percent. Personal negligence and premises and vehicular and liability cases had the lowest proportions of awards of $1 million or more, at 14 percent, 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively

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