Are you under insured?

Umbrella and riskThe credit union gave away umbrellas at the annual meeting to members who attended. Every time I see an umbrella it reminds me of when my mother asked if I had an umbrella policy because we had been in an at fault accident. I did not and found out the hard way that I was underinsured when it came to my auto insurance.  She made it sound like an umbrella policy was common knowledge and was surprised to find out I did not have one.

I won’t go into details on the accident but there was a serious injury to the other party and there was no way that the liability insurance I had was going to cover all the medical expenses. In this world of being able to purchase everything online in a self-service environment, I had chosen solely on price due to my limited understanding of insurance. You see, I should have shopped based on need and not price. The insurance I needed in my 40s was vastly different from the insurance I needed in my 30s.

In retrospect, I wish I had discussed my changing insurance needs with my parents or a professional insurance agent. The old adage that you get what you pay for certainly applies to insurance. I’m not talking about the quality of the carrier but the level of the coverage. I learned the hard way that insurance is one of those things that you don’t know you didn’t get enough until you need it.

Now that the credit union owns an insurance agency, I’ve learned more about how the insurance I used to take for granted works. Hopefully you can learn some of the lessons that I learned without the stress and anxiety that I experienced. Here are those lessons:

  1. Insurance is for worst case scenarios and you should purchase at levels that protect you in those worst-case scenarios.
  2. Your insurance needs will change throughout your life and you should revisit your coverages periodically to make sure they are still sufficient.
  3. Insurance is a peace of mind product that you should hope you don’t have to use. The more coverage you have, the more peace of mind you’ll have.
  4. Talk with friends, family or a trusted insurance agent about your options and what each coverage means. Remember, my mom was surprised I didn’t have an umbrella policy but she’d never discussed it with me. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

The best time to review your insurance coverage is before you need it. I encourage you to review your coverages and ask questions. I wish I had done it. If you don’t have a trusted source for insurance questions, please reach out to:




Post author: Jamieson Mackay, CCUFC

The opinions expressed on this page are those of the credit union’s Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors, staff members and other authors and may not reflect the views of the credit union. Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of each article.