Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is an essential coverage that should be added to your individual auto insurance policy. It covers you and your family in the event that you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, pedestrian accident, or bicycle collision.
In this post, we’ll discuss why it’s so important – especially in the State of Ohio.
Ohio Law & Your Coverage
Current Ohio law does not require your automobile insurance company to automatically provide you with this coverage. You now have to ask for this coverage. We are writing this blog because we are noticing that many of our clients’ auto insurance policies do not have this form of coverage. Why is this type of coverage so important? Simply stated, we’ve seen many clients get involved in accidents that were caused by negligent drivers who are not properly covered for all of the losses sustained in a personal injury case.
Nationally, one in eight drivers, or 14.6%, are uninsured. In Ohio, 15% of drivers are uninsured. Did you know that under Ohio law, drivers are only required to have liability insurance in the amount of $25,000? With rising medical costs, this amount of coverage is often not enough to adequately compensate losses sustained in a personal injury case.
If you don’t have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you must contact your insurance agent and ask for it. We recommend that you purchase at least $100,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Also, tell your agent that this coverage includes not only you but also other family members and residents in your household. When you obtain this insurance, always read your written policy to make sure it says it actually does.
Why Purchase Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Ohio?
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and your family (and residents in your household) when you are an uninsured driver (or a hit-skip) causes an accident. The named insured (family members and residents of your household) are also covered if they are pedestrians, and cyclists that were struck by an uninsured negligent motorist (up to the limits of the policy).
Likewise, underinsured coverage protects you and your family when involved with someone whose policy limits do not properly cover your losses (and the negligent driver’s coverage limits are less than your underinsured motorist coverage limits).
A Claim’s Impact on Your Premiums
A lot of my clients think that their insurance premiums will go up in the event that they have to file a claim with their auto insurance company for underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. Premiums typically go up when there are multiple claims that were due to your fault in a given time period. In most of my clients’ cases, clients are not negligent in causing the accident. Those claims need to be reported by your insurance company as “accidental claims that were not due to your fault.” If they are identified correctly by your insurance company and properly labeled by your insurance company, your insurance premiums should not rise.
In the event your premiums go up and it is not the result of a claim that you caused, you need to immediately contact your insurance agent and challenge your insurance company’s decision to increase your insurance premiums.
Have More Questions?
If you have a question about insurance coverage or if you’ve been injured in an accident, contact The Law Office of Tom Somos, LLC for more information.