I’ve spent my entire career as an attorney, and much of my career in the industry prior to becoming an attorney working to educate the community and clients of mine or the firm(s) I worked for about how to improve their automobile insurance in preparation for an eventual accident.
The reality of the situation is that accidents are actually happening more and more frequently, as the threats and risks created by distracted drivers texting, emailing and Facebooking on their phones while driving have drastically outweighed the improvements designed to make vehicles safer, including those designed to have cars automatically avoid accidents.
Much of the education that I have provided to my clients and prospective clients can be found in the book I published in 2014 entitled ‘Making the most of your Maryland auto insurance policy’ which is available on amazon.com or can be downloaded electronically via the web at no cost.
The success story for one of our clients comes from this educational outreach. One of the first clients our firm represented for an automobile accident was driving a vehicle owned and insured by his girlfriend. The owner of the vehicle had waived Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on the policy, but the driver had not waived PIP on any policy he was named on and was eligible for PIP. I took the opportunity to speak to the owner of the vehicle, even though she was not our client, nor was she involved in the accident herself. One of the major pieces of advice provided to her was to remove that PIP waiver, and increase the PIP coverage as much as she can afford and that her company would offer her.
Apparently, she listened to me, and it’s turned out to greatly benefit her, as the advice provided in the book is designed to do. Later on, in the year she herself was the victim of an automobile accident. Of course, she called our firm for representation, and as I was working on resolving her claim this morning, I looked through the file and realized that she carried $5,000.00 in Personal Injury Protection coverage, a big change from when she had waived it! In the end, this meant that the vast majority of her hospital, physical therapy, and doctors bills have already been paid. In the end, this means more money in my client’s pocket once the claim resolves! In fact, she will likely put as much as $5,000 more in her pocket than she would have if she had maintained the PIP waiver. That’s a real big deal!
This is the type of success story for my clients that makes me happy that I do what I do, and that I run my practice the way that I do. If you are a client or not, and would like me to take a look at your Maryland auto insurance policy, give me a call at (410) 885-6200 . I’ll gladly take the time to meet with you in my office, or review over the phone/fax/email and let you know what things I think you can do to improve your policy. No one wants to get into an accident, and I certainly wouldn’t wish it onto any of my clients or even any of my so-called “enemies,” but it’s good to know ways you can prepare for the worst that will cost you very little, and in some instances even reduce your premiums. Final note: I don’t sell insurance, so the offer to review your policy is not a sales pitch. Any suggestions I make involving changes to your policy will have to be done through your own insurance agent, or by finding a new agent. So no worries calling for information and having to avoid a hard sell, it’s just not happening!
Maryland Attorney Jobeth Bowers is the founder of Bowers Law and a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law