Concerned in Orange County

Dear Jim,

I’m at my wits end with my daughter. No matter how much I try to convince her to increase the amounts of her car insurance policy, she refuses. I keep trying to explain to her that having the bare minimum coverage isn’t going to be enough if she is ever involved in a car accident. 

It’s bad enough that every time she leaves the house I’ve got my finger on the speed dial, ready to call an Orange County personal injury lawyer just in case she’s hurt, but now I constantly worry that she will be stuck with massive bills, be brought to court if she crashes her car, or heaven forbid is hit by someone else. 

I know I may be being slightly overprotective of my little girl, but how can I get her to listen to me and increase the amount of car insurance coverage she has so she is as protected as possible when she drives?


Concerned in Orange County


Dear Concerned,

I know exactly how you feel. When my daughter started driving, I was paranoid every time she left the house. I used to work in the insurance industry, concerned, and you’re absolutely right— your daughter does need to add additional coverage in order to provide her with further protection. 

It sounds like your daughter is on her own insurance policy, which means she must also be 18 years old or older. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to make her up her coverage. Especially at this age, everything you say is going to sound like you are trying to control her and make her choices for her. 

The best you can do is to explain to her why having basic coverage isn’t enough, direct her to the education materials she needs to make an informed decision, and let her make her own decision. As parents, we’d like to prevent our kids from making the mistakes that we’ve already made in the past, but sometimes, as much as we try, we cannot accomplish this goal.

If your daughter is under 18 years old, she must be on your insurance policy, in which case I would increase the coverage amounts anyway since you’ll be on the hook for the bills if she is ever in an accident. She may not like it, but she can purchase her own policy once she is of legal age to do so if that is her inclination.

Best of luck,