One of the most frustrating things that personal injury trial lawyers hear from their clients is “But I have full coverage!” Full coverage does not mean that you or your family are protected from the ramifications of being injured by the negligence of another.
All full coverage means is that you have “Collision” and most likely “Comprehensive” property damage coverage for your car. This is coverage for your car in case it is damaged, or stolen. This does not mean that you have purchased adequate liability insurance. It DOES NOT mean that you have purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to protect you and your family in case you are injured by one of the tens of thousands of drivers in Ohio driving without adequate insurance. Full coverage DOES NOT mean that you are protected!
What do you need to be protected?
1. Bodily Injury Liability Limits of at least $100,000/$300,000 (This means that if you cause a collision and injure someone, your policy protects you for $100,000 per person and a total of $300,000 per accident for injuries and other damages caused). It may only be a few dollars more to purchase limits that are even much higher. The higher the better. The Ohio state minimum is only $25,000/$50,000. This is inadequate! A simple trip to the emergency room could cost a person around $10,000-$15,000.00 if scans and diagnostic testing is done to check for broken bones and internal bleeding. A life-flight helicopter transport can cost over $100,000!
2. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage of at least $100,000/$300,000. This coverage applies when you are injured by someone who does not have auto insurance (unfortunately a very common thing) or if they only have a state minimum policy, this coverage steps in to cover you up to your policy limits that you purchased. This coverage is the most important coverage that you can buy, and it is fairly inexpensive. If someone without insurance or with low limit insurance injures you and your family, you need to be protected. What if you are out of work for several weeks? How will you pay your medical bills, co-pays, mortgage, utilities or rent? I cannot stress how important having uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is to each and every person. I would highly recommend having $250,000 to $1,000,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, as the cost is very reasonable, and the ramifications of being injured by an uninsured or underinsured person are serious, and unfortunately, a common occurrence.
Finally, don’t be afraid to shop around! It amazes me how many people stick with the same insurance company, who keeps raising their premiums every year, just because they don’t want to deal with the “hassle” of switching. The insurance market is competitive so shop around. You may be able to save yourself a great deal of money, and get more coverage for you and your family!
Happy New Year to you All!