An Insurance Lesson from Hulk Hogan
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A widely publicized 2007 car accident involving Hulk Hogan’s son, Nick Hogan, left his passenger in a coma.
As a result, “The Hulkster,” whose real name is Terry Bollea, had to pay out an undisclosed amount of money in damages to the family of the injured passenger.
You may recall that Nick was not yet an adult, which made elder Hogan technically responsible for his son’s actions.
In the event of an at-fault accident, bodily injury caused to another individual is covered under your limits of liability.
Liability limits can be expressed as split limits or as a combined single limit. The limits dictate the maximum amount of money your insurance company will pay for damages awarded in any one covered accident.
The at-fault individual (or the parent or legal guardian in the case of a minor) is responsible for paying any awarded damages above the policy limits.
As it turns out, similar to his son’s apparent lack of taking responsibility for the accident, Hogan is looking to point the finger in another direction to recoup the money he was ordered to pay to the family of the injured passenger.
Why Is Hogan Suing His Insurance Agent?
Insurance agents must carry errors and omissions insurance, a type of professional liability insurance similar to malpractice insurance for doctors.
An insurance agent technically has a duty to evaluate all potential insurance needs for their clients and make recommendations for coverage.
And often times, an insured must accept or reject coverage as part of their application.
This is a major reason why agents should make it a habit to keep written records of their client’s refusal to purchase the “recommended coverage. “
According to the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas’ Personal Lines Report, Hogan sued his insurance agent for failure to offer an umbrella insurance policy.
An umbrella policy has extremely high liability limits ($1,000,000 and up) and protects an insured from liability judgments in excess of underlying liability insurance policies, in this case his auto liability policy.
It is not necessary for every individual to have an umbrella policy, though high net-worth individuals should almost always have one in place (how much car insurance do I need).
The same report said Hogan sued his attorney for “failing to sufficiently protect his personal interests,” but that case was dismissed.
So it looks like this is a last ditch effort by Hogan to push responsibility onto someone else and protect his remaining assets.
The lesson here is that insurance agents and their insured need to take as much time as necessary to share information and assess all potential exposure to risk.
Many insurance agents are dissatisfied with their insured’s lack of concern or effort when it comes to discussing their wants, needs and exposures…that is, until an insurance claim is started.
So take the time to fully understand all of your insurance needs prior to signing on the dotted line.