Author: Claims Consultant Robert L. Mertig
In Virginia, we see many instances where the at-fault party has only minimum limits of automobile liability insurance coverage, and the injured party also has only the minimum limit of $25,000. Under these circumstances, often the most you can recover -- no matter how serious your injury or loss - is only $25,000.
Increasing your liability and UM (Uninsured Motorist) limits protects you in two ways. If you are the at-fault party there is more money available to compensate injured parties and obtain a release on your behalf. This increased coverage also comes into play to compensate you if the other driver (liable party) only had minimum limits of liability and your injury or damages exceeded his/her coverage. If this happens your policy would afford coverage up to your limits less the $25,000 of the at-fault party.
It is extremely important for an individual to have more than the minimum limits of 25/50 liability coverage as mandated by law in the state of Virginia. Based on my experience as a former insurance company adjuster and with the Allen Law Firm, I would urge all Virginia motorists to increase their liability coverage to a minimum of 250/500 on their automobile insurance policies.
You may want to ask your insurance agent about adding a personal liability umbrella policy for one million dollars. This type of policy, called a PLUP (Personal Liability Umbrella Policy), is in addition to your basic liability coverage of 250/500 and provides peace of mind if you have the misfortune to cause a serious accident that results in multiple or catastrophic injuries to another person or persons. Unfortunately, most umbrella policies do not also include UM (Uninsured Motorist) coverage.
Please do not hesitate to call the personal injury law firm of Allen & Allen if you have any questions about your auto policy coverage.
 See Va. Code sec. 46.2-472 at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-472.
 See "Auto Insurance: Having 'Full Coverage' Doesn't Mean You Have Enough Insurance", at http://www.allenandallen.com/blog/auto-insurance-2.html.