THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO        BUYING CAR     INSURANCE IN OHIO       “How to Protect Yourself and Your Family”             ...
Copyright © 2011 by Charles E. Boyk, Michael A. Brunoand Nicholas M. DodoshAll rights reserved. No part of this book may b...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOPrefaceWhy We Wrote This Book:I have been a personal injury attorney in ...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOQuick tips for buyingohio auto insuranceKnow the extent of your coverage...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOFamily Exclusion–Make sure that your policy does nothave the so-called “...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOBUYING CAR INSURANCEFirst, you should know that you are not alone in buy...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOneed to allow you to have an intelligent conversation withan insurance a...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOOhio Car InsuranceBasicsSo, you may be asking yourself, “How do I know w...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO   (Photo credit: www.onlineautoinsurance.com/learn/declarations.jpg - D...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO•	 Almost all insurers also offer “optional” coverage. As   you will see...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOWhat you need toknow about buyingauto insurance inOhio1. Know the extent...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIObills, loss of income, or pain and suffering. If you get in aserious acc...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOEXAMPLE: Let’s say a driver has $15,000 of coverage forinjury/death to a...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO             Comprehensive coverageImagine that you are shopping at the ...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOThis type of situation occurs frequently, and it is the reasonyou want t...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOUnderinsured motorist protection pays you for damages thatexceed the pay...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO   $12,500   $50,000    $100,000+    $50,000              $0           $...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOIn a recent case, our client was seriously injured in a crashwith an uni...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOUM/UIM coverage is not necessarily going to be automaticallyincluded in ...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOA typical umbrella policy does not have a deductable and willkick in imm...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO“Family,” “Household,” or “Intra-Family” Exclusion. A familyexclusion is...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOleft shoulder. No recovery was possible due to the familyexclusion.”Mr. ...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO5. Buy As Much Insurance as You Can AffordIf you are shopping for automo...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOtwo children, all of whom are included on the policy (yourrates will lik...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOLiability: $100,000 per person / $300,000per accident / $50,000 property...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO  Liability: $100,000 per person / $300,000  per accident / $50,000 prop...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOWE CAN HELP YOUThe authors of this book have over 50 years of combinedle...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIONicholas M. Dodosh obtained his Bachelor’s Degree fromMiami University o...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOConclusionWe hope that this book has served as a helpful referencetool f...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOTHIS BOOK DOES NOTOFFER LEGAL ADVICEWe’re happy that you’ve taken time t...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOFIVE FREE BONUS OFFERSWe would like to let you know that our firm offers...
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO5. Free key tag protection program for you and yourfamilyOn page 35 ther...
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The Ultimate Guide to Buying Car Insurance in Ohio

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The Toledo car injury lawyers from the Charles Boyk Law Offices provide this comprehensive guide to buying auto insurance in Ohio.

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Transcript of "The Ultimate Guide to Buying Car Insurance in Ohio"

  1. 1. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO “How to Protect Yourself and Your Family” By Attorneys:Charles E. Boyk • Michael A. Bruno • Nicholas M. Dodosh For five FREE bonus offers from Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC, see page 31!
  2. 2. Copyright © 2011 by Charles E. Boyk, Michael A. Brunoand Nicholas M. DodoshAll rights reserved. No part of this book may be used orreproduced in any manner whatsoever without writtenpermission of the author(s).Printed in the United States of America.ISBN-10: 0-615-43952-7ISBN-13: 9780615439525Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC405 Madison Avenue, Suite 1200Toledo, Ohio 43604www.charlesboyk-law.com
  3. 3. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOPrefaceWhy We Wrote This Book:I have been a personal injury attorney in Ohio for the last 27years. Our law firm has represented thousands of peopleinjured in car accidents over those years.On a regular basis I see that my clients are victims threetimes. First, they are victims of a car accident. Second, theyare victims of the at-fault driver having inadequate insuranceto cover my clients’ injuries (or worse, no insurance at all).Third, my clients’ uninsured/underinsured motorist coverageis either nonexistent or is insufficient. The goal of this book is to provide honest, easy-to-understand information, written in plain English, so thatOhio accident victims can learn how to protect themselvesand their families.Charles E. BoykJanuary 1, 2011 3
  4. 4. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOQuick tips for buyingohio auto insuranceKnow the extent of your coverage–Just about everyonethinks they have “full coverage” when it comes to their autoinsurance. However, there’s a good chance your insurancedoesn’t cover you as well as you think! Knowing the extentof your coverage now can save you a lot of trouble later.Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage–Makesure that you have plenty of uninsured motorist (UM)and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This type ofcoverage protects you if you are involved in an accidentwith an irresponsible driver who has little or no insurance.Having UM and UIM coverage can mean the differencebetween getting the compensation you deserve and gettingnothing at all.Umbrella Policies–You should seriously consider purchasingan umbrella policy. An umbrella policy will provide you withadditional insurance to protect your assets in case yourother policies (homeowners, liability, UM/UIM, etc.) do notprovide you with enough coverage or compensation. Anumbrella policy gets its name from the fact that it sits ontop of your other policies and provides an additional layerof protection. Umbrella policies protect you from being leftpersonally on the hook for damages you cause to others,or from being left without any compensation for damagessuffered by you or your family. 4
  5. 5. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOFamily Exclusion–Make sure that your policy does nothave the so-called “family exclusion.” Most people assumetheir insurance policy will provide coverage if their familymembers are injured in an accident. However, dependingon your insurance carrier, it may be the case that loved onestraveling with you in your car will have little or no coverageat all if you are at fault for the accident! Some insurancecompanies have this “family exclusion” and some do not. Itis vital to know where you stand in order to be completelyaware of your level of coverage.Buy As Much Insurance as You Can Afford—It is vitalto buy as much insurance as you can afford. There’s nodenying that times are tough, and many people are tryingto save money by cutting back on their insurance coverage.However, this can end up hurting you financially significantlymore than it helps you. In order to maximize your chancesat being protected in the event of an accident, there arecertain aspects of your policy that you should never skip outon. 5
  6. 6. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOBUYING CAR INSURANCEFirst, you should know that you are not alone in buying carinsurance. Everyone in Ohio must buy car insurance — it’sillegal to operate a vehicle in the state without it! If you getpulled over and don’t have proof of insurance, you will suffersome or all of the following penalties: • Loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 90 days and up to two years; • License plate and vehicle registration suspension; • License plate reinstatement fees of $125 for the first violation; • Requirements to regularly register with the BMV to prove insurance coverage for a minimum of three years and up to five years; • Vehicle immobilization and confiscation of plates for 30 to 60 days if the driver violates the suspension.If you’re like most people you can’t afford to go 90 days, letalone two years, without the ability to drive a car!Don’t risk it!Now, there’s no question that buying insurance can beconfusing. What type of insurance do you need? How doyou get the insurance? How will the insurance be appliedto you in the event of an accident? This book will attemptto clear things up. It will give you the basic information you 6
  7. 7. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOneed to allow you to have an intelligent conversation withan insurance agent so you can buy the policy that is rightfor you. Of course, the best way to make sure that you areadequately insured is to consult a knowledgeable insuranceagent who will look out for your best interest. They’re thepros, and they can explain everything to you in terms thatmake insurance easier to understand.This book is intended as a supplemental resource for youto use as you buy your auto insurance. We hope you findit helpful. If you have any questions about an accident inwhich you, a family member, or a friend have been injured,please feel free to give us a call at 419-241-1395 or 800-637-8170. You can also visit our website at www.CharlesBoyk-Law.com. 7
  8. 8. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOOhio Car InsuranceBasicsSo, you may be asking yourself, “How do I know what kindof coverage I currently have?” or, “How do I know what kindof coverage I will have if I upgrade my policy?” For a briefoverview of your current or potential auto insurance policy,you should take a look at the “declarations page” (commonlyreferred to as the “dec page”). An auto insurance policydeclarations page is essentially a brief summary of thepolicy that provides all of the basic information you need toknow about the policy. The declarations page consists ofinformation such as: • Insurance company name • Policy number • Policy period (the effective date and the expiration date) • Named insured and address • Vehicle description • Coverage (type and limits) • Premium amount • Loss payee, lien holder, additional interest, or additional insured (the finance company, leasing company, or person listed as owning an interest in the car) • Endorsements (changes made to the policy or special conditions)A typical declaration page (or “dec page”) follows: 8
  9. 9. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO (Photo credit: www.onlineautoinsurance.com/learn/declarations.jpg - Dec. 28, 2010)If you have your current or potential declaration page handy,you may want to refer to it as you read through the rest ofthis book. Now, let’s get into some of the things that youneed to know before purchasing your policy: • In Ohio, the legal minimum liability limits are as follows: $12,500 per person (up to a total of $25,000 per accident) and $7,500 for property damage per accident. In “insurance lingo,” these minimum limits are commonly referred to as $12,500/$25,000/$7,500. But be careful! Just because you are “legal” does not mean that you or your family are adequately protected. Read on! 9
  10. 10. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO• Almost all insurers also offer “optional” coverage. As you will see, some of this “optional” coverage really should not be optional at all, especially the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage! Optional coverage usually includes: • “Uninsured motorist” (UM) and “underinsured motorist” (UIM) coverage, which kicks in if you are hit by an uninsured driver (no insurance) or underinsured driver (not enough insurance) • “Medical payments coverage” (MedPay), which pays medical expenses resulting from an auto accident • “Collision” coverage, which covers damage to your car when your car hits, or is hit by, another vehicle or other object • “Comprehensive” coverage, which covers your vehicle for losses resulting from incidents other than a collision• In addition, many insurers offer additional optional coverage such as gap coverage, roadside assistance, and rental reimbursement. These are the truly optional types of coverage.• You should also know: Ohio uses a traditional tort liability system with comparative negligence. What does this mean? Simply put, if you’re involved in an accident, a decision will be made one way or another as to who is at fault and by how much. The insurance company of the at-fault person will then pay the injured parties according to the percentage of fault. The exact amount of this payment is of course determined by the amount of damage caused in the accident. 10
  11. 11. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOWhat you need toknow about buyingauto insurance inOhio1. Know the extent of your coverageIf you are like most people who have purchased autoinsurance, you think you have “full coverage” and will becompletely taken care of if you are involved in an accident.Unfortunately, chances are you are not fully covered!Most people have the more common types of insurance:liability, collision, and comprehensive. While these areimportant kinds of insurance to have, they are not theonly kinds that a person needs in order to be adequatelyprotected. Let’s discuss the different types of insurance oneat a time so that you will know what your agent is talkingabout when it comes time for you to buy your policy. Liability insuranceImagine that you are driving along, you take your eyes offthe road for a second, the person in front of you brakes, andyou collide with the rear of the person’s car. The driver ofthe car suffers whiplash and sues you for the cost of theirmedical bills. This is the type of situation where your liabilityinsurance kicks in. Liability insurance covers other people’sbodily injuries or death for which you are responsible.Liability insurance also provides you with a legal defenseif the other party to the crash files a lawsuit against you.Claims for bodily injury may be for things such as medical 11
  12. 12. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIObills, loss of income, or pain and suffering. If you get in aserious accident, you obviously want enough insurance tocover a judgment against you in a lawsuit so that you don’thave to dip into your personal assets, or worse – have todeclare bankruptcy.It is important to realize that bodily injury liability coversinjury to people, but does not cover damage to your vehicle.Also, keep in mind that bodily injury liability doesn’t coveryou or other people on your policy!Liability limits come in two forms: combined single limits andsplit limits: • Combined single limits means that property damage and bodily injury are combined into one amount. EXAMPLE: After a long day at work, you are driving home and cause an accident that damages a telephone pole and causes injury to another person. With combined single limits, the claim to repair the telephone pole and the claim based on the injured person’s medical bills would pay out from the same coverage. • Split limits policy means that property damage and bodily injury are split into two separate amounts. EXAMPLE: The cost to repair the telephone pole you damaged would be paid from your property damage coverage, and the injuries the other person sustained would be paid for with your bodily injury coverage.Bodily injury liability coverage is usually split into a maximumpayment per person and a maximum payment per accidentand is written in this way: “bodily injury per person”/“bodilyinjury per accident”/“property damage.” 12
  13. 13. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOEXAMPLE: Let’s say a driver has $15,000 of coverage forinjury/death to another person, $30,000 for injury/death tomore than one person, and $7,500 for property damage($15,000/$30,000/$7,500). If that driver hits a car full ofpeople and is found to be at fault, the insurance companywill pay $15,000 of one person’s medical bills, but will notexceed $30,000 for the other people injured in the accident.The insurance company will not pay more than $7,500 forproperty damage to repair the vehicle that the at-fault driverhit. Collision coverageImagine again that you are driving along, you take your eyesoff the road for a second, the person in front of you brakes,and you collide with the rear of the person’s car. The front ofyour car is completely smashed in and will cost over $1,000to fix. This is the type of situation where your collisioncoverage kicks in. Collision coverage provides insurancecoverage for your car if you’re involved in an accident. Itis designed to cover repairs to the damaged vehicle or togive you the cash value of your car if it is considered totaled(i.e. the cost to repair is greater than the value of the car).Collision coverage is subject to a deductable that you willhave to pay out of pocket. The higher your deductable, thelower your premiums will be. You may want to considerdropping this coverage if your car is older since this coverageis normally limited to the cash value of your car. 13
  14. 14. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO Comprehensive coverageImagine that you are shopping at the mall and you comeout to your car only to discover that thieves looking formoney have smashed the driver’s side window in. This isthe type of situation where your comprehensive coveragekicks in. Comprehensive coverage covers damage to yourvehicle that does not result from a collision. For example,comprehensive coverage would protect you in the eventof a fire, theft, vandalism, weather damage, or impactwith an animal. Comprehensive coverage is subject to adeductable that you will have to pay out of pocket. To keepyour premiums down, you can choose a larger deductible,but keep in mind that you will pay more out of pocket if youhave to make a claim.Understanding and knowing your limits and what they meanis vital to making sure you are protected in the event of anaccident. However, there are other types of very importantinsurance to think about before you can consider yourself“fully covered.” Read on!2. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist CoverageImagine that you are hit and injured by a driver who carrieslittle or no insurance. Or worse, imagine that the driverwho hit you speeds off after the accident. As we discussedabove, your liability insurance only covers other people’sbodily injuries or death for which you are responsible! Sinceyou didn’t cause the accident, your liability insurance won’tprovide you with any compensation. You are stuck withhundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. Now what? 14
  15. 15. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOThis type of situation occurs frequently, and it is the reasonyou want to carry plenty of uninsured and underinsuredmotorist coverage. These types of policies, often abbreviatedUM (uninsured motorist) and UIM (underinsured motorist),protect you if you are involved in an accident with anirresponsible driver who carries little or no auto insurance orif you are involved in an accident with a hit-and-run driver.Both UM and UIM apply to you and any passengers in yourcar, and to you and others listed on your insurance policy(including family members) when in other cars.Uninsured drivers come in several different forms. Theymight not have any insurance at all. They might haveinsurance that does not meet state-mandated minimumliability requirements. Their insurance company could denytheir claim or not be able to pay it. If you are hit by anuninsured driver and you do not have uninsured motoristprotection, you will not receive any compensation fromeither your insurance provider or the other driver’s.An underinsured driver  meets minimum legal financialresponsibility requirements but does not have paymentlimits high enough to cover the damage he or she caused.In this case, if you are involved in an accident with anunderinsured driver and you do not carry UIM coverage, youwill only receive as much as their policy limits allow, evenif that amount does not cover your medical bills, propertydamage, and other expenses! 15
  16. 16. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOUnderinsured motorist protection pays you for damages thatexceed the payment limits carried by the underinsured driver.It will pay up to the limits of your policy after subtracting theamount paid by the other driver’s insurance—in other words,the amount listed as your UIM limit is the total amount paidby both insurance companies. If the other driver’s insuranceonly pays a third of your policy value, your insurance will kickin the other two thirds, but no more. This is probably oneof the most difficult auto insurance concepts to grasp. Thechart below illustrates what you for justupdiscussed paymentshould Underinsured motorist protection pays we damages that exceed the and limits carried by the underinsured driver. It will pay to the limits of your policyhelp clear things up. paid by the other drivers insurance—in other words, after subtracting the amount the amount listed as your UIM limit is the total amount paid by both insurance companies. If the other driver’s insurance only pays a third of your policy value, your insurance will kick in the other two thirds, but no more. This is probably one of the most difficult auto insurance concepts to grasp. The chart below illustrates what we just discussed and should help clear things up. Your Amount of Bad Driver’s Your Claim is Bad Driver’s Your Insurance Your Total UM/UIM Liability Worth Insurance Pays Recovery Coverage Coverage Company Pays You $12,500 $0 (uninsured) $100,000+ $0 $12,500 $12,500 (uninsured) $0 $12,500 (If the bad driver’s $12,500 $12,500 $100,000+ $12,500 liability coverage matches your UM/UIM, you cannot collect from your insurance company.) $12,500 $25,000 $100,000+ $25,000 $0 $25,000 (If the bad driver had more liability coverage than you had in UM/UIM, you cannot collect from your insurance company.) 13 16
  17. 17. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO $12,500 $50,000 $100,000+ $50,000 $0 $50,000 (If the bad driver had more liability coverage than you had in UM/UIM, you cannot collect from your insurance company.) $50,000 $50,000 $100,000+ $50,000 $0 $50,000 (If the bad driver’s liability coverage matches your UM/UIM, you cannot collect from your insurance company.) $100,000 $25,000 $100,000+ $25,000 $75,000 $100,000 (Your insurance company will subtract the amount paid by the bad driver’s insurance company.) $100,000 $50,000 $100,000+ $50,000 $50,000 $100,000 (Your insurance company will subtract the amount paid by the bad driver’s insurance company.) $100,000 $100,000 $100,000+ $100,000 $0 $100,000 (If the bad driver’s liability coverage matches your UM/UIM, you cannot collect from your insurance company.) 14As you can see from the above chart, without adequateUM/UIM coverage, you run the risk of being significantlyundercompensated if you are in an accident with anuninsured or underinsured driver! Our law firm has seenfar too many cases where the victims of an accident do notreceive the compensation they deserve because they didnot have UM or UIM coverage. 17
  18. 18. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOIn a recent case, our client was seriously injured in a crashwith an uninsured motorist. While our client had $12,500in uninsured motorist coverage, his initial hospital stay costover $180,000. He followed up with a long nursing homestay, months off work, and no income to support his children.Obviously, the $12,500 he received in UM coverage will noteven come close to covering all of his expenses.In one of the current cases our firm is handling, our clientsuffered a brain injury, broken clavicle, collapsed lung,broken facial bones, and broken teeth. While these aresevere and permanent injuries, our client has no insurancecoverage and the defendant has only $100,000 in coverage.In this instance, a case that is worth well over $500,000 willsettle for the $100,000 policy limits.An even worse situation is a case where our client and thedefendant both have no insurance coverage. The clienthad a three-month hospital stay, a brain injury, broken facialbones, permanent speech and mental impairments, and willnever be able to return to his prior employment. This caseshould be worth well over $1 million, but will result in norecovery and severe hardship for our client and his family.The lesson to be learned is that it is up to you to protectyourself and your family.Even though it is illegal to drive without insurance in the stateof Ohio, there are regrettably many, many people who stilldo so. Carrying UM and UIM policies gives you a guaranteethat you will still receive the compensation you deserve inthe event that you are involved in an accident with a driverwho falls into the UM or UIM categories. 18
  19. 19. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOUM/UIM coverage is not necessarily going to be automaticallyincluded in your policy, but any good insurance agent willstrongly encourage you to add it on – and you shouldlisten. Adding UM/UIM can often be done for a very lowcost (less than $10 extra per month), and is definitely worththe extra investment to make sure you and your family areprotected!3. Umbrella PoliciesImagine that you cause a bad accident and the jury awardsthe plaintiff $1 million. Your insurance company pays outthe policy limits of $300,000. You are personally on thehook for the other $700,000. Now what? Well, you will bewishing you had an umbrella insurance policy, because atthis point bankruptcy and losing your personal assets maybe the only option.Umbrella policies serve as an “extra level” of coverage andcan cover a range of various other insurance policies suchas homeowners insurance and car insurance, includingcoverage for both liability and UM/UIM. Umbrella policieskick in to protect your assets in the event that your otherliability policies get maxed out. They are typically sold in $1million denominations and can be inexpensive.An umbrella policy essentially provides a broader insurancecoverage range with higher liability limits—in other words, ifyou get sued for more than what your primary limits allow,your umbrella policy will kick in and cover the extra expenses.Primary policies generally cover bodily injury and propertydamage, but an umbrella can also include personal injury,property damage, or bodily injury caused by you, your pets(as in a dog bite case), or other people on your policy. 19
  20. 20. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOA typical umbrella policy does not have a deductable and willkick in immediately once your other insurance policies areexhausted. For example, let’s say that you have a $500,000auto liability policy and a $2 million umbrella policy. Let’salso say that you cause an accident, injure a family, andhave a $2.5 million judgment rendered against you. In thisscenario, the first thing that will happen is that your autoinsurance company will pay out the $500,000 liability limits.After your auto insurer makes this payment, your umbrellacarrier will kick in and cover the remaining $2 million. As youcan see, having this umbrella policy in place may have justprevented you from having to declare bankruptcy. For thisreason and many others, it is an excellent idea to buy botha liability umbrella and a UM/UIM umbrella policy. You canoftentimes add a $1 million umbrella on top of a $300,000liability policy for as little as $40 per vehicle per year. Talkwith a reputable insurance agent to see just how affordablean umbrella policy can be.After seeing the horrible tragedies that result from inadequateinsurance coverage, attorney Charles Boyk has largelimits to protect himself and his family. “I carry a $500,000underlying liability/un/underinsured motorist policy with a$2 million umbrella, with both liability and un/underinsuredmotorist coverage,” Boyk stated. “This $2.5 million in liability/un/underinsured coverage is crucial to protect my family.”4. Family ExclusionMost people buy “full coverage” insurance thinking that theyare getting coverage for all negligent driving – even if it istheir family member who negligently causes the accident.However, this is not always the case. Some automobileinsurance policies contain an exclusion known as the 20
  21. 21. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO“Family,” “Household,” or “Intra-Family” Exclusion. A familyexclusion is a clause stating that the insurance company won’tpay for a family member’s death or injuries if another familymember causes the accident. This exclusion essentiallylimits the bodily injury liability coverage available to familymembers who are injured as a result of the negligence ofanother family member.The purpose of the family exclusion is to prevent two insuredfamily members from colluding to take advantage of theinsurance system. However, the family exclusion meansthat an auto accident that is your fault can leave your familywith limited or no coverage.The family exclusion can be difficult to understand. Anexample may help to clear things up.Let’s say that Dad purchases an automobile insurancepolicy with $100,000/$300,000 liability, $100,000/$300,000UM/UIM, and $5,000 medical payments (per person). A fewweeks later, Dad, Mom, and their three kids are travelingalong in the family car. Dad takes his eyes off the road for asecond and causes an accident, which severely injures thethree kids and results in hundreds of thousands of dollars inmedical bills. If the automobile insurance policy Dad boughthad a family exclusion, the children are not entitled to anyof the $100,000/$300,000 liability or UM/UIM coverage Dadpurchased. Rather, the kids are only entitled to receive$5,000 per person “medical payments coverage” for a totalof $15,000.Attorney Charles Boyk has handled real-life cases thatdemonstrate the chilling consequences of the familyexclusion. Mr. Boyk stated, “In one of the family exclusioncases, a husband was responsible for the accident and hispassenger, his wife, needed torn rotator cuff surgery on her 21
  22. 22. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOleft shoulder. No recovery was possible due to the familyexclusion.”Mr. Boyk went on, “In another case, a husband caused hiswife to need physical therapy over a six month time periodand she had to be off work for an extended period of time.Once again, no recovery for the pain or income loss wasavailable because of the family exclusion.”The moral of the story is that the family exclusion in anotherwise full coverage auto insurance policy can leave youand your family open to devastating financial liabilities afteran auto accident. Obviously, you want to make sure thatthe automobile insurance policy that you purchase does nothave a family exclusion. A family exclusion typically statessomething like, “Our coverage will not apply to any insuredperson for bodily injury to you or a relative.”Based upon an informal survey conducted by Charles E.Boyk Law Offices, LLC, the companies that do not havethe family exclusion (thereby providing coverage for youand your family) include: Grange, Motorist, and Nationwide.Companies that do have the exclusion (and therefore donot protect your entire family in the event of an accident)include: Allstate, Erie, Geico, Liberty Mutual, Progressive,and State Farm.However, to ensure that your specific policy meets yourcoverage expectations, you should ask your insuranceagent if your policy contains a family exclusion, and if so,you should consider purchasing additional coverage toensure that your family members are covered for bodilyinjury. Communicating with your insurance agent is oneway to ensure you do not get caught up in a threat to yourfamily’s financial future. 22
  23. 23. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO5. Buy As Much Insurance as You Can AffordIf you are shopping for automobile insurance on a limitedbudget, the three most important things to be concernedabout are liability limits, UM/UIM limits, and MedPay limits.Even among these three, you want to always make surethat you have the highest liability limits you can afford. Ata minimum, make sure you have liability and UM/UIM limitsof $100,000 each person/$300,000 each accident. Therationale is that the higher your liability limits are, the lesschance you have of being sued and potentially having todeclare bankruptcy.If you are shopping for car insurance and your budget allowsyou to spend a bit more, you will want to make sure that youhave liability and UM/UIM limits of at least $250,000 eachperson/$500,000 each accident. You should also havesignificant medical payments coverage of at least $10,000for each person. In addition, you should buy an umbrellapolicy that includes UM/UIM coverage.If your budget allows, you should also consider purchasinguseful benefits that cover the most common losses. Thesebenefits include zero deductable, glass coverage, AAA, andfirst accident and ticket forgiveness. But keep in mind, theseoptional benefits are optional for a reason; they are luxurieseven though they happen most often. Your agent will beable to explain the ins and outs of these benefits, which willallow you to make an informed and educated decision.The following are two insurance quotes. The first quote wasgenerated in 2010 for a relatively safe 27-year-old unmarriedmale driver of a 2005 Honda Accord with no children. Thesecond quote was generated in 2010 for a relatively safe 45-year-old male driver of a 2005 Honda Accord with a wife and 23
  24. 24. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOtwo children, all of whom are included on the policy (yourrates will likely vary based on a number of factors). As youwill see, the cost of upgrading from a “bare bones” policy toa “middle of the road” policy can be as little as six or sevendollars per month! When you consider the added securityand peace of mind thatfamily, spending a few extra dollars per month on insurance can provide for your additional insurance can provide foryour family, spending a few you would like a listper month on car car insurance is really a no-brainer! If extra dollars of reputable insurance agents, our office would be happy to provide that to you free of charge. Give usinsuranceatis really a no-brainer! If you would like a list of a call today 419-241-1395.reputable insurance agents, our office would be happy toprovide that to you free of charge. Give us a call today at419-241-1395.Quote for a 27-year-old unmarried male driver of a 2005Honda Accord with no children: of a 2005 Honda Accord with no Quote for a 27-year-old unmarried male driver children: Coverage Amount Monthly Premium Liability: $12,500 per person / $25,000 per accident / $7,500 property damage. $38.68 / month UM/UIM: $12,500 per person / $25,000 per accident. Liability: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident / $10,000 property damage. $39.18 / month UM/UIM: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident. Liability: $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident / $10,000 property damage. $40.85 / month UM/UIM: $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident. Liability: $50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident / $25,000 property damage. UM/UIM: $50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident. $45.01 / month 20 24
  25. 25. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOLiability: $100,000 per person / $300,000per accident / $50,000 property damage. $52.51 / monthUM/UIM: $100,000 per person / $300,000per accident.Liability: $250,000 per person / $500,000per accident / $100,000 property damage. $56.35 / monthUM/UIM: $250,000 per person / $500,000per accident.Quote for a 45-year-old male driver of a 2005 Honda Accord with a wife and twochildren, all of whom are included on the policy: Coverage Amount Monthly PremiumLiability: $12,500 per person / $25,000 peraccident / $7,500 property damage. $54.67 / monthUM/UIM: $12,500 per person / $25,000 peraccident.Liability: $15,000 per person / $30,000 peraccident / $10,000 property damage. $55.83 / monthUM/UIM: $15,000 per person / $30,000 peraccident.Liability: $25,000 per person / $50,000 peraccident / $10,000 property damage. $59.33 / monthUM/UIM: $25,000 per person / $50,000 peraccident.Liability: $50,000 per person / $100,000per accident / $25,000 property damage.UM/UIM: $50,000 per person / $100,000 $63.00 / monthper accident. 21 25
  26. 26. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO Liability: $100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident / $50,000 property damage. $72.67 / month UM/UIM: $100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident. Liability: $250,000 per person / $500,000 per accident / $100,000 property damage. $82.00 / month UM/UIM: $250,000 per person / $500,000 per accident. So in effect, for a single male, the difference between an absolutely strippedSo in effect, for a single male, secure $100,000 / $300,000 policy an $12,500 / $25,000 policy and a much more the difference between isabsolutely stripped married couple with two children, the difference is $18 $13.83 per month. For a $12,500 / $25,000 policy and a much per month.more secure $100,000 / $300,000 policy is $13.83 per month.For light of everything discussed above, the question you have to ask yourself $18 In a married couple with two children, the difference is is, “Is it worth it for me to spend a few extra dollars per month to protect myself andper month. my family’s financial future, or do I want to run a big risk of having to call a bankruptcy attorney after an accident?”InPeople often think to themselves, “Well, I have medical insurance to cover my light of everything discussed above, the question youhave to bills if Iyourself is, “Isso I worth it much autoto spend Butfew medical ask am in an accident, it don’t need for me insurance.” aextra these people often fail to realizeprotect myself and my family’s what dollars per month to is that medical insurance only covers medical bills. It will not cover you if you cause an accident and are sued by thefinancial future, or do I require you run a time off work. Your auto to call other driver or if your injuries want to to take big risk of havinga insurance will cover these expenses an lost wages, while your medical bankruptcy attorney after and accident?” insurance will not!People often think to themselves, “Well, I have medicalinsurance to cover my medical bills if I am in an accident, soI don’t need much auto insurance.” But what these peopleoften fail to realize is that medical insurance only coversmedical bills. It will not cover you if you cause an accidentand are sued by the other driver or if your injuries require youto take time off work. Your auto insurance will cover theseexpenses and lost wages, while your medical insurance willnot! 22 26
  27. 27. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOWE CAN HELP YOUThe authors of this book have over 50 years of combinedlegal experience.Charles E. Boyk has been in private practice for over 25years and heads the Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC.During his career, he has handled thousands of personalinjury cases ranging from small whiplash injuries to wrongfuldeath claims. He has conducted numerous seminars forother attorneys to help them understand the world ofpersonal injury law. In addition to his personal injury work,Chuck has represented thousands of criminal defendants,handling everything from routine traffic offenses to murdercases.Michael A. Bruno also has been practicing law for over 25years. Mike, who has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer,has a unique background that benefits our clients. As anassistant Lucas County prosecutor, he handled thousandsof felony cases, including death penalty murder cases.As an insurance defense attorney, he handled seriouspersonal injury cases representing insurance companies.That experience has provided him with invaluable insightinto how insurance companies will view our cases. Mikehas handled more than 100 jury trials, is Board Certifiedby the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and is AV ratedby Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating an attorney canreceive. 27
  28. 28. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIONicholas M. Dodosh obtained his Bachelor’s Degree fromMiami University of Ohio where he was a double major inPolitical Science and Communications.  He graduated fromMiami with honors in 2006, and immediately went on toattend law school at the University of Akron School of Law. While in law school, Nick was selected to serve as AssistantEditor of the Akron Law Review, an honor reserved for onlythe top law students.  Nick was also a member of AkronLaw’s nationally ranked trial team, which is considered byU.S. News and World Report to be one of the top 10 trialadvocacy programs in the nation. 28
  29. 29. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOConclusionWe hope that this book has served as a helpful referencetool for understanding how to buy auto insurance in Ohio.The process can be complicated, but selecting the rightinsurance agent—one with the experience, patience, andknowledge to guide you through the process—can make allthe difference.If you think our firm can help you with a case, please callus at 419-241-1395 or 800-637-8170. A receptionist willgather some information from you and connect you with alawyer. We’ll schedule a free consultation and give you ourprofessional opinion about whether or not we can help. Inaddition, we would be more than happy to recommend youto a qualified insurance agent who can answer any additionalquestions that you may have on the topic of auto insurance.To learn more about our firm, please visit our website atwww.CharlesBoyk-Law.com.We have six offices in northwest Ohio where we can meetwith you and discuss your case. We’ll work hard to get thebest result for you. 29
  30. 30. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOTHIS BOOK DOES NOTOFFER LEGAL ADVICEWe’re happy that you’ve taken time to read our book. Youshould note, however, that ordering or reading our book doesnot create an attorney-client relationship. We also aren’toffering a legal opinion in these pages because every caseis different. If you want our legal opinion, please contact usat 800-637-8170 or 419-241-1395. We’ll be happy to set upa free meeting with you. 30
  31. 31. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIOFIVE FREE BONUS OFFERSWe would like to let you know that our firm offers all of thefollowing services free of charge.1. Free insurance reviewOn page 33 there is a short and easy insurance reviewform that you can fill out. Let us know your current level ofcoverage and one of our attorneys will review the informationand send you back an analysis of whether your coverage issatisfactory or could use a little help.2. Free copy of our firm’s other booksOn page 34 there is a book order form that you can fill out.Put a check next to the books that you would like to receiveand we will send them out to you right away, for free.3. Free referral to a trusted insurance agent to offer yougood insurance adviceOn page 35 there is an insurance agent referral form thatyou can fill out. Through the years, our firm has come toknow a lot about the most knowledgeable, reputable, andtrustworthy insurance agents and companies. We would behappy to share this information with you free of charge.4. Free monthly paper newsletter or e-mail newsletterOn page 35 there is a paper newsletter and email newsletterorder form that you can fill out. You can sign up for one orboth! Over 6,000 people enjoy our paper newsletter everymonth. Our newsletters include information on everythingfrom interesting and easy-to-understand legal news tomouthwatering home cooked meal recipes from our firmstaff. 31
  32. 32. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING CAR INSURANCE IN OHIO5. Free key tag protection program for you and yourfamilyOn page 35 there is a key tag protection order form that youcan fill out. We will provide you with a key return tag to put onyour key ring that includes our office’s contact information.If a Good Samaritan finds your keys and returns them to ouroffice, we will provide that person with a cash reward andset up a meeting time to have your keys returned to you. 32
  33. 33.                                                   33
  34. 34. NEED MORE FREE BOOKS? Name: ____________________________________________________________ Address:___________________________________________________________Cut here Email:_____________________________________________________________ Phone Number:_____________________ Fax Number:____________________ Number of FREE books requested: _____ The Ohio Accident Book _____ The Ohio Work Injury Book _____ The Ohio Dog Bite Book _____ The Ohio Wrongful Death Book _____ Little Kids, Big Accidents _____ The Ohio Motorcycle Accident Book Send this form back to us & we will send your FREE books IMMEDIATELY. Send us this form back one of three ways: Mail to: Book Request, 405 Madison Avenue, Suite 1200, Toledo, Ohio 43604 or Fax to: 419.241.8730 or Email to: info@charlesboyk-law.com There is no charge for these books and it does not establish an attorney/client relationship.Cut here Your information will not be disclosed to any third party. You will be added to our firm’s Free Newsletter Mailing List, The Boyk Bulletin, to receive important legal and insurance updates. If you do not want to be added to the list, please check below. _______ No, I do not want to be added to your mailing list to receive current legal news and information regarding insurance laws affecting drivers in Ohio. 405 Madison Avenue, Suite 1200, Toledo, Ohio 43604 www.charlesboyk-law.com | 419.241.1395 We have six offices in northwest Ohio to serve you. OAB-2010 34
  35. 35.                             35

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