Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance; Know Your Rights

A Guttlaw ReportTM

Auto insurance has never been more important or in need of closer scrutiny. Not only is it required by law if you want to keep your driver's license, but there has been an ongoing war against consumer and drivers' rights which have placed your family and the public at greater risk for being hurt without adequate insurance to compensate you.

Ohio law and a certain insurance company tell you that you can be "legal", that is, drive legally, if you have $12,500 in liability coverage. But if that's all you have, you will likely risk your financial future, either because of damage you cause to another driver or pedestrian or because harm is caused to you or a family member by someone who is equally under insured.

To help you, we have prepared a partial checklist of issues you should pay very close attention to whenever you purchase auto insurance and when your policy comes up for renewal.

  • The policy limits (the maximum amount which the company will pay for any one claimant) should be a minimum of $300,000.00 with an additional $1 million through an umbrella policy. (An "umbrella policy" is one which affords insurance coverage on your car and home above and beyond your primary policy.) If you can afford higher coverage, purchase it.
  • The policy should include uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance with the same limits and should apply equally to claims made against you and to those in which an uninsured/underinsured motorist has injured you.
  • The umbrella policy you purchase should cover your home, motor vehicles, boats, etc., and should provide uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as above, as well as liability coverage.
  • Make sure that the policy and the declarations sheet match and that you have each coverage that you believe you have paid for.
  • Never rely on oral representations by the agent who sells you the insurance because only written commitments will be likely to bind the insurance company.
  • ALWAYS READ any policies, riders, communications or notices which you receive from your insurance company. They may include changes or limitations on your coverage which require IMMEDIATE action to protect your rights.
  • The State required minimum auto insurance may legally allow you to drive, but it won't adequately protect you against either a serious injury claim in which you are at fault OR one in which an underinsured motorist seriously hurts you. KNOW YOUR INSURANCE POLICY!
  • If you are injured in an accident, never represent yourself. Seek out experienced attorneys who not only know the law and how to deal with the insurance companies, but who will take your case to trial if necessary.

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Proving your case is the job of an experienced law firm like Rubin Guttman & Associates, L.P.A. We have been representing injured people hurt by medical malpractice or serious accidents for 32 years and would welcome the opportunity to have you consult with us. (For a free consultation and review of your case, please feel free to call us at 216 696-4006).

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