An elderly driver, minimal auto insurance, and a serious accident can cost the driver their home.
Home as life savings
Elders seem to be most likely to have fully paid-for homes. In most places in California, it isn’t usual to have equity exceeding the California homestead exemption of $175,000 for those over 65.
All of the value in a home above the exemption amount is exposed to claims of a victim of the owner’s negligence.
Those same elders often underestimate their exposure to lawsuits tied to auto accidents.
It’s easy to downplay the risk: you don’t drive many miles, or drive just around town.
At Moran Law Group, we have seen recently several cases where elderly drivers caused serious or fatal accidents driving locally and had only the bare minimum of insurance.
The premium for the lowest amount of liability seemed reasonable, without really thinking about the amount of harm even a modest accident can cause.
In each of those cases, it seems certain that the money damages from the accident will result in the loss of the home.
Family members and caregivers to older drivers should ask about the level of liability insurance in place.
Skimping on insurance premiums can be very costly.
More on elders
Image courtesy of pupok.