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Auto Insurance Claims/How much Insurance is just enough?


I live in PA. my 18 YR. old daughter just started driving two months ago and we now got a third car so my insurance of course went through the roof. I am so confused as to what amounts of coverage is a good amount without worrying about someone being sue happy taking my house in a lawsuit. My agent recommended her getting her own policy and putting the car in her name but I am sure she would drive our other cars at some point and if she got in an accident in them than it would go against us anyway. Should I get an umbrella policy?? We have part tort as well.  What is a good amount of liability to have? I never worried about this before . We have great credit and no accidents or tickets but now we have a young driver in the house with a son only a year behind who will be driving. We just want to be sufficiently covered without going insurance broke .

Thank You.

I am so sorry for the delay.  I have had some technical issues recently and have been swamped.  Please forgive me, I hope the following response to your question helps. . .

Okay, so this is a tough question; Insurance limits are definitely personal to each situation (age, location, etc. . .) and to the policyholder's preference for their lifestyle and so forth as you know.  With that said, let me address your specifics one by one. . .

1.  Should you get an umbrella policy?  I think it is probably smart if you can afford to have extra coverage like that, especially with an undoubtedly high risk driver, like an 18 year old anybody.  

2.  What is a good amount of liability to have?  Are you an optimist or pessimist?  You see you can logic through this many ways . . . If we are talking about having an accident that involves death, then no amount will ever be enough, but if we are talking about the majority of accidents (which don't involve fatalities or major injuries), then we are left with averaging out the cost of a new vehicle and then double or tripling it to be safe (in case somebody hits a Lamborghini or something). $250K?

3.  Implied question as to whether to get her own policy?  Get some quotes on the exact same coverages you have (or new limits) and see what the cost difference is.  Unfortunately, that's probably the best I can do on this one.  It's tough, having little driving experience is a big risk to insure, so there's not much one can do but shop around and know their options (like you're doing).  

I hope this helps, and sorry again for the delay.


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Justin Petty


Challenge me! I promise that I will provide you with the most honest answer I can muster, and I will base it on nearly 20 years of complex claims experience. My strength is shooting it straight and seeing through BS. I do not bluff and I can tell when somebody is. I've handled claims in almost every State in the U.S. and adjusted claims and consulted attorneys and CEO's on recovery and special claims tactics for over a decade. I am the founder and President of Petty Details, LLC. We provide the highest quality claim services to insurance companies, attorneys and individuals all exactly in the same way, by paying attention to the details and doing the right thing.


Nearly 20 years of combined claim company management, litigation, all lines adjusting, claim auditing, damage assessment, subrogation, small claims, tort recovery, collection, skip-tracing, tactical investigations, and contribution claim recovery experience across the United States of America.

NASP (National Association of Subrogation Professionals) (Auto Insurance Expert) Diminished Value Appraisers Group (LinkedIn)

10 years experience in writing and developing technical claims correspondence for litigation and unique scenarios at insurance companies and as a consultant to attorneys assisting with legal briefs and research. 42 published articles relating to auto insurance and claims. Self Published e-books entitled "How Much is My Injury Worth" and "Diminished Value - How Do I Get Paid?".

School of hard knocks, 3 years college, NO DEGREE, years of real world experience running a claims service company and adjusting claims for carriers. Speaks English and Spanish, Limited Portuguese & Italian.

Awards and Honors
Platinum Author ( All Lines Adjuster (TX, 1998 - 2008) TX Public Adjuster (2009 - 2011)

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State Farm Insurance, Endeavor GA, MileMeter Ins., American Recreational Markets, Gainsco Ins. Co., Safeway Ins., Home State County Mutual Insurance, Old American County Mutual Insurance, FCCI, Farm Bureau, Liberty Mutual, and Pronto General Agency, LTD just to name a few! On top of insurance companies and attorneys, I have personally helped thousands of accident victims with the difficult and stressful process of navigating their claim to a successful resolution.

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