You know that you are required by law to have car insurance, but you are unsure what exactly it means to have insurance.
What is insurance?
This might seem to be a straightforward question; however, not everyone is familiar with the concept. Insurance is basically a guarantee that you pay for that will, in times of loss, pay out for you to restore your property to the state in which it was before lost. Remember that insurance is not there to enrich you, it is there to restore. If you are driving a very cheap car, your insurance will not pay for you to buy a very expensive car. It is there to replace what you have lost.
Car insurance is short-term insurance, which basically means that you pay for the month in the month. If you skip payments, your insurance will lapse, and you will not have any cover. A number of payments that you can miss before you lose the insurance depend on your contract with the insurance company. Some companies have a “no miss” policy, that means that you lose insurance if one premium goes unpaid. Other companies, have a “three premium misses,” meaning you lose the insurance after three missed payments.
It is extremely important to keep your insurance up to date. In Ohio, you are required by law to have insurance. However, before we get into the details of the insurance you are required to have, let us first look at the different type of insurance.
Bodily injury liability insurance is the part of your insurance that covers the cost if you were at fault during the accident and someone got injured. This insurance also covers pedestrians and other people who might have been injured. This type of insurance usually covers medical expenses, legal fees, loss of income, pain and suffering and funeral costs. When you get your insurance policy document, you will see two amounts reflected. The first amount is the coverage amount if the only person is injured, the second amount is the cover amount for all injured persons. Discuss with your lawyer what the average pay out in Ohio is for such claims, and choose your cover accordingly.
Property damage liability insurance covers damage to your vehicle as well as other vehicles involved in a crash if you were at fault. It depends on what type of policy you choose, but it can cover vehicle damage as well as property damage such as houses and fences.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury insurance is a product that is usually part of your normal insurance policy. It protects you, your passengers and your car in cases where the other driver does not carry insurance. In Ohio, you are obligated to take out insurance, however, there are minimum amounts that you need to take. In the case where the damage to your car is more than that, the other driver might be underinsured. Then this part of your insurance will pay out. This part of the insurance also pays out in cases where your medical bills or that of your passengers are higher than the insured amount. Keep in mind that it is not compulsory in all states to take out insurance. If you are in an accident with an out of state driver, this is an important part of insurance to have. If you travel a lot to different states, then having this is also recommended. Ensure that it is added to your policy, as it is not always standard.
What type of insurance must I have if I live in Cincinnati?
You are required by law to carry certain forms of insurance. If you do not carry this then your license and registration will be suspended if you are stopped at a traffic stop or pulled over. If it happens that you are in an accident without these, you will face the same penalty.
In Ohio, you must carry certain amounts of insurance. For bodily injury or death liability for one person is set at $25,000 and $50,000 insurance for two people. Property damage amount is set at $25,000.
If you choose to not have insurance, there are other ways to comply with the law. The alternatives are a bond, a certificate of a bond or a certificate of self-insurance. These must be for $30,000.
When you are in a car crash, whether your car got totaled or it was just a scrape, you must inform your insurance company immediately. Ohio is a shared fault state. It means that you and the other driver can both be at fault. The insurance company will determine what percentage of fault is yours and what the other driver’s percentage is. This means that if you are 10% at fault, then you will be liable for that percentage of the other driver and visa versa.
You have the right not to accept the offer that the insurance company makes for the damages to your car or person. When you are unhappy with the offer, it is best to contact your lawyer if you had not yet done so. There are certain processes that must be followed when you want to challenge the offer. Most of it involves paper work. Your attorney is the best person to help you with this. They know exactly what type of information to include and which information is vital.
You need to inform your lawyer directly if you were in a car accident and someone has died, or there were any injuries. There are more claims that can be filed against you or on your behalf if injury or death is part of the equation.
When your insurance company makes the offer for settlement, and you are not happy with it, do not sign the offer. If you sign it, then you accept the offer. It is better to send the offer directly to an experienced automobile collision attorney. The attorney also needs all the information relating to the crash and the claim. It is always a good idea to make copies of all the paperwork you submit to your insurance. In the end, it will help a lot to keep everything together and not to rely on the insurance company to give you copies of the paperwork.