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June 30, 2017

Two Easy Ways to Mess Up Auto Insurance

We all know about defensive driving. It’s pretty simple: Avoid accidents and injury by watching out for other drivers. But there is more to protecting yourself from loss and harm than just careful driving. Make sure insurance “defends you on all sides” too.

Make sure you have enough Uninsured/Underinsured Injury coverage

If someone injures you and they’re deemed at fault, their policy can provide money for your injuries. But 12% of Ohio drivers have no insurance (yes, it’s illegal but that doesn’t stop them) and another 21% only have state minimum coverage. Added together this means 33% of Ohio drivers have nothing or nearly nothing to pay your emergency and rehabilitation expenses. If this happens to you, it’s your policy’s Uninsured/Underinsured coverage that can pay for your injuries and the injuries of anyone else in your car with you in the accident.

  • Verify “UN/UN” coverage is at least $250,000 per person, $500,000 per accident.

Make sure you actually have the coverage you are paying for

This is a function of state law: You can only insure what you own. Have a teen or younger driver in your house who is the titled owner of their car? It’s common mistake to add their car to your policy. Since the car is titled in their name, not yours, you are trying to insure something you do not own. The insurance company is usually unaware the car is not yours, so they add it to your policy, but after an accident, they can deny coverage simply because you did not own the car involved in the accident. Sounds harsh but there is good reason for this law. It protects all of us from being the victim of insurance fraud.

  • Verify you are on the title of each car listed on your policy

(This article discuses general insurance concepts and suggestions and is not intended to provide legal advice nor personal insurance advice. You should talk with your agent or legal counsel for detailed recommendations best suited for you).