We are writing this blog because over the last 24 years we have encountered so many situations where our clients were not provided with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and medical payments coverage. Unfortunately, Ohio law has changed and insurance agents are not required to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and medical payments coverage to their insureds.
Uninsured motorist coverage (“UM” coverage) is coverage that protects you when you are involved in an auto accident with a negligent motorist when that motorist does not have any insurance to cover all of your losses. With UM coverage, your insurance company steps into the shoes of the negligent driver’s insurance company and must pay you for all of your losses that including payment for:
- All of your medical bills;
- All of your prescription bills;
- All of your lost wages;
- Your pain and suffering that includes all of your anxiety and stresses caused by your accident;
- All of your limitations and restrictions;
- All of your activities that were restricted or impacted by the accident; and
- If any of your injuries are permanent, all future medical care and treatment and the cost involved.
Underinsured motorist coverage is coverage that protects you in the event you are involved in an accident with a negligent motorist that did not have adequate coverage. Let me give you an example. If you are involved in an accident and your losses total $50,000.00, and if the negligent driver only has $25,000.00 in coverage, your insurance company is required to pay you the remaining $25,000.000 to cover you for your losses that total $50,000.00. As long as you can adequately prove all of your losses that includes all of the damages referenced above, you are entitled to be paid by your insurance company for any losses that exceed the negligent driver’s insurance policy up to the limits of your policy.
Underinsured motorist coverage is extremely important because we are finding that many negligent drivers only have policies that contain only a maximum of $25,000.00 in insurance limits which in Ohio is the minimum amount of insurance that all Ohio motorists must have meet the legal requirements for valid insurance coverage. $25,000.00 in coverage is a very small amount given the enormous cost of healthcare and how expensive many of our client’s treatments are and how expensive MRI and diagnostic tests cost.
Medical payments coverage is coverage that pays you for all of your medical bills and treatments received up to the limits of coverage that are related to the accident. It is extremely important that you have adequate coverage for medical payments coverage because oftentimes health insurance companies do not adequately cover all of our client’s medical bills for treatments they received.