Motorists should consider purchasing additional insurance to protect themselves from liability in the event of a catastrophic injury, Ottawa personal injury lawyer Howard Yegendorf tells CTV News.
“I would say the vast majority of people are driving around with $1 or $2 million of automobile insurance limits and in the vast majority of cases, that is going to be enough — but in certain cases it’s not, and I see many of these cases from my vantage point,” says Yegendorf, principal of Yegendorf & Associates.
If you are at fault in a crash that causes another party to suffer a catastrophic injury, you may face a judgment “well in excess of $2 million,” he says in an interview with Ottawa’s CTV News at Noon host Michael O’Bryne.
For example, if the person hurt in a crash is 35 years old, they would potentially face 30 years of lost income, Yegendorf says. The person may also need attendant care for the rest of their life, which can be very expensive.
“If that person gets a $5 million judgment case, and you have $2 million in auto insurance, your insurer will pay the first $2 million and there will be a $3 million personal judgment against you,” he says, “and I would venture to say most people cannot pay that judgment.”
Yegendorf suggests people purchase “umbrella insurance,” which only comes into effect if the primary policy is exhausted.
“There are not many claims over $2 million, so the umbrella policies are not too expensive, yet most people don’t have it,” he says.
“If you did have it, it could save that person from financial ruin. I think a lot of people are whistling past the graveyard by not considering this type of insurance.”