Story Time: The Law Office Receptionist, the Brand New Corvette, and UM Coverage

When Charlie and I first started The Law Offices of Charles D. Scott, we had a very small staff, at one point it was just Charlie, me and a receptionist. Our receptionist "Tammi" (fake name) was an extremely attractive young lady who entered bikini pageants in her spare time. One day, Tammi's boyfriend bought her a brand new corvette (true story).

After showing us the very sporty and expensive present, Tammi asked me to help her buy car insurance for her new ride. She confessed that even though she'd been working for us for several months, that she really didn't "get" how No-Fault Insurance worked in Florida. Tammi was not alone in confusion over how insurance works in Florida; many of my new clients don't have any idea how auto insurance coverage works in Florida and think that they have "full coverage" and are saddened and shocked to learn that "full coverage" does not include UM coverage. I had a long discussion with Tammi about the importance of UM coverage and that she absolutely needed it. Tammi was beauty and brains – she got it.

At the time, I also happened to have a personal injury client, "Sam" (fake name), who was an auto insurance saleman and he had told me about how he was given cash bonuses by certain insurance carriers for NOT selling UM coverage. Despite how counter-intuitive that is – Sam explained that the bottom line was that the insurance companies made more money by not selling this optional UM coverage – because when there was a claim they'd end up paying less. In other words, the insurance companies would rather save money on the UM than collect money in UM premiums, so agents were encouraged to talk people out of buying UM coverage. Crazy right?

So with this knowledge of how auto insurance was sold, I told Tammi about how the agent would try to talk her out of it but that she should stand firm and buy it anyway! Just for fun, I had Tammi put her call to the agent on speaker phone so I could listen in. She called, the agent answered and she said she needed auto insurance. The agent never even mentioned UM coverage, Tammi had to ask specifically about it "Don't I need UM coverage?" Sure enough, the adjuster tried to talk her out of buying UM coverage every which way he could with lines like "Don't you want to save a few bucks on your car insurance? If you skip the UM you'll save $xx." and "If you have health insurance, you don't really need UM." Of course, Tammi bought the coverage anyway – but if she hadn't have spoken with me first – what do you want to bet that it never would have been mentioned, and if it was the agent would have talked her out of it.

A little off topic here on the reputation of personal injury attorneys:

Some people are naturally suspicious of attorneys – especially personal injury attorneys – and lump us all into the "ambulance chaser" category. Even good friends of mine have asked me questions like "How many of your cases are fraudulent or fake?" "NONE!!!!" I want to scream! And it makes me want to cry to know that people that know me well and trust me and know me to be a good person, think that of my profession!!! Just as with any profession, there are a few bad apples that give the whole bunch a bad name, most personal injury attorneys are ethical and honest and really do want to help people. Personal injury attorneys champion the underdog – the consumer – the little guy; and of that I am very proud to call myself a personal injury attorney. I love my job and what I do and that I can help people in very real ways everday. Long story short – I know that people have their reservations about personal injury lawyers in general; but know this – personal injury attorneys don't sell auto insurance! Insurance agents do and they get paid for what they sell and what they don't sell!

TALK TO A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY BEFORE YOU BUY CAR INSURANCE! It doesn't have to be me, although I would be happy to talk with you about it. You should be able to easily find a personal injury attorney in your area or who you know and trust who will sit down with you and talk to you FOR FREE about how to buy car insurance and they will be happy to do so! If you buy online or by phone, your attorney could even sit in on the call or order with you to help you navigate your way through the process.

Know your rights and understand what UM coverage means and why it is important to have it!


P.S. I haven't heard from "Tammi" in years – she was with us over 10 years ago – but I'm going to guess that if / when I run into her again, that if she owns a vehicle today, she's got UM coverage!

For more information or a free consultation on your legal issue contact The Law Offices of Charles D. Scott PLLC, your injury law and family law attorneys, at 727-300-4878.

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St. Petersburg, FL Office
1135 Pasadena Avenue South, Suite 104
South Pasadena, FL33707

P. 727-300-4878

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