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How Effective is Your Insurance Coverage?

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By John Liber

This is one of the toughest aspects of my practice – when the reality of insufficient insurance coverage strikes home.

Very few people realize that when we get behind the wheel, we are engaging in one of the most dangerous activities in the history of mankind.  More people are hurt and killed in auto accidents than all the wars in the history of our planet combined.  Even so, many of us see it just as a convenience, a recreation, or even a sport.

We certainly do not think that we could be injured, maimed or killed whenever we turn the key.

Nevertheless, there are two things we each can control about driving a car, and two that we cannot.

We can control how careful we drive (which sometimes makes no difference), and we can control how much insurance coverage we carry.

Conversely, we cannot control how irresponsibly other drivers behave behind the wheel, and we certainly cannot control how much insurance they have.

In Ohio, all drivers must carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage.  This does not always mean they do, or if they do it is enough to adequately cover serious damages.  That is why prudent motorists chose to pay for uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage (“UIM”).

Unfortunately, unless you have an “umbrella” or other excess insurance, many have decided that $100,000 was satisfactory UIM coverage upon purchasing (or renewing) auto insurance.  It is a difficult experience to come to learn that $100,000 sounds like a lot of money when choosing coverage, but then turns out to be wholly insufficient when one is severely injured in a car accident.

The insurance industry does nothing to help the problem when the marketing campaigns are tailored to “discounts” and “cheaper premiums” as if one is shopping for a better price on a pair of shoes.  The truth is that the only thing lower premiums mean is lower coverage.

By the very nature of the hard learned lessons of 25+ years in this practice, whenever I have the opportunity I advocate that people should purchase as much auto insurance as they can afford, and cut corners in other aspects of personal finances.  After all, there is nothing wrong with over paying for auto insurance when it becomes necessary to make a claim.

If you have any questions, or would like a free auto insurance coverage review, feel free to call me in our Cleveland law Office: 216-255-5431, or by e-mail; jliber@tddlaw.com