Do You Have Adequate Uninsured Motorist Coverage? Hulk Hogan Didn’t

Hulk Hogan, professional wrestler and Florida resident, is suing his lawyers over his son’s auto accident. You may recall that Nick Bollea, the son of Terry Bollea (Hulk Hogan) was involved in a serious car accident when he was 17 years old. Bollea was speeding on State Road 60 through Clearwater when he lost control and hit a raised median. The car flipped and hit a palm tree. Bollea’s passenger and friend were permanently injured. In fact, he just got out of the hospital, but is wheelchair bound.

After the accident, the Hogan family found that their Progressive Insurance had a limit of $250,000 coverage. That is too low. Everyone should carry uninsured motorist coverage and a personal umbrella insurance policy. The cost is very inexpensive. Be aware that not all umbrella policies include Uninsured Motorists/Underinsured Motorists. Carry the limits as high as you can afford. $1 million is not too much to protect you in case you are involved in a catastrophic accident with a third party who has no insurance or insufficient insurance.

Now is the time to learn from this mistake and take a moment to review your own coverage.

In the case of Hogan, he failed to notify Progressive of the accident and instead hired lawyers to protect his family against any civil claim. He didn’t understand that Progressive was on the hook to cover all necessary costs. Instead, he paid the law firm about $550 an hour and ultimately paid the law firm about $1,500,000 in fees and costs. His suit says the firm failed to notify him of that fact, even though Progressive says it tried to communicate with him over the accident, and instead kept charging Hogan excessively high rates.

So first, know your rights and then check your coverage in case you are ever involved in an automobile accident. And understand that a January 2009 study by the Insurance Research Council finds that Florida is among five states with the highest uninsured driver rates at 23 percent, behind Oklahoma (24 percent), Alabama (26 percent), Mississippi (28 percent) and New Mexico (29 percent).

Having adequate uninsured motorist coverage is something any law firm that deals with auto accidents will tell you that you need because we see the ramifications often. However, if an insurance broker tells you don’t need uninsured, or underinsured motorist coverage – get a new insurance broker.

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