Liability coverage provides protection if you negligently cause an accident and people are hurt in the accident. Ohio Law requires liability coverage in the minimum amounts of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. The per person coverage is the limit the insurance company will pay to any one person for damages if the person suffers injuries. The per accident is the limit the insurance company will pay for any one accident, regardless of the number of people injured. If the amount of damages exceeds these limits, then you are liable for the excess amounts.
Property damage liability coverage provides coverage to pay for the damage to the other driver’s motor vehicle if you negligently cause an accident. This coverage limit must be at least $25,000. The vehicle may be repaired, in which event the cost of the repair will be paid by your insurance company. The vehicle may be replaced and your insurance company will pay the fair market value of the vehicle, plus tax and title on a replacement vehicle.
Collision coverage provides you with protection for damages to your vehicle. This coverage applies in the event of an accident with another vehicle or object. You probably have a deducible you must pay with this coverage. Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle against damages caused by occurrences other than collisions. As your car gets older, purchasing collision coverage and comprehensive coverage may not be beneficial. You should compare the fair market value of your car with the cost of the coverages and take into account your deductible. You may get more benefit from saving the money you would have otherwise spent on the premium.
Medical Payments coverage will pay for medical expenses you or your passengers incur as a result of being injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Your insurance company will decide if the treatment is related to the accident and pay the usual and customary charges for the treatment. Each person must decide whether the cost of Medical Payments coverage is justified. If you have health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, you may not need medical payments coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage will provide protection for you if the negligent driver does not have insurance. Many drivers do not have liability insurance despite the legal requirement mandating coverage. You should buy uninsured motorist coverage to compensate you for damages if you are in an accident.
Underinsured motorist coverage will provide protection for you if the negligent driver does not have insurance coverage in a large enough amount to compensate you for the injuries suffered. This is a different type of coverage from uninsured motorist coverage and you must confirm you have both types of coverage in the policy. Underinsured motorist coverage does not generally apply if the limits in your policy and the limits in the negligent driver’s policy are the same. The coverage may apply, even if the limits are the same, if multiple people are injured in the same accident.
There are other issues regarding the coverages in your insurance policy. You want to know if the policy will cover you if you are driving a company or work car. If not, you should find out what type of coverage applies to the car. You will also want to determine if the policy will provide coverage is you are driving a vehicle and you negligently injure a spouse or other family member who resides with you. Some policies do not provide coverage in these circumstances.
Review your insurance policy with your agent or insurance company to make sure you have the “full coverage” you want. You do not want to find out coverage does not exist after an accident.