How Not to Plan: Ignore the Humdrum

This post is part of a series sponsored by

Nobody has a clue about the future, but we all like to think that nothing terrible is on the horizon for us, especially in the new year.

The reality is that there are a ton of hidden dangers lurking in plain sight that can sneak up on us at any time in the most humdrum of days.

Here are three real claims stories that happened under the most ordinary, everyday scenarios to the most ordinary, everyday folks.

Names and some details have been changed.

How classroom monkey business played out

It seems like horseplay never gets old for kids in classrooms.

When Zachary threw a mechanical pencil across the room, he had no idea that it would hit Timothy right in the eye, resulting in serious trauma that required immediate emergency treatment and ongoing corrective surgeries throughout his life.

Claim: $425,000

A doctor becomes a patient

Jean, the town doctor, was driving home one clear, sunny day and was hit by an underinsured motorist. Her injuries were significant enough to require a partial shoulder replacement and cervical fusion surgery.

The other driver only carried state minimums for personal auto liability insurance and that amount was quickly exhausted. And even though Jean was not at fault for the accident, she got a $350,000 hospital bill.

Because Jean had a personal umbrella with $1MM excess UM/UIM, it kicked in after the underinsured motorist on her auto was exhausted to take care of her medical bills and lost wages.

Claim: $580,000

When a volunteer texts in traffic

Samuel found his “second calling” in retirement by doing for others — helping out in the community center, grocery shopping for a housebound neighbor, mentoring art students at the high school.

On a bright summer day, he was stuck in traffic on his way to volunteering at the senior center, when he decided to sneak in a short text to the coordinator to let him know he was delayed.

Traffic seemed to be moving again, so he put the phone down, but it was too late.

He didn’t notice the cars ahead and stopped and he rear-ended Marilyn’s car at 55 mph, pushing it into the concrete highway divider.

Her injuries were extensive. Emergency crews had to use extrication equipment to rescue her and she was airlifted to the nearest hospital.

Marilyn required hip and knee replacement surgeries and physical therapy for almost a year after the accident.

Claim: $1.5 million

No one expects the unexpected, that’s why it’s so unsettling. And especially so when you think about how quickly underlying coverages can be exhausted on critically-needed medical care.

Make sure your insureds get the care they need, always. With most policies starting at $300/year or less, a standalone umbrella is an affordable way to save the day — whatever that day will bring.

About Daina Kawchack Smith, Chief Marketing Officer,

Daina Kawchack Smith is a respected leader in the field of personal umbrella insurance. With over 22 years of experience in the insurance industry, Daina brings a breadth of experience to help agents grow by sharing innovative ideas. Before being named chief marketing officer at, Daina was an independent agent, CSR and an underwriter for a Fortune 500 wholesaler. She is a licensed Nevada agent and holds a CISR designation.
More from Daina Kawchack Smith, Chief Marketing Officer,

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