Thursday, October 30, 2008
What The Geico Lizard Or Cavemen Won't Tell You About Their Auto Insurance Policy
Reason no. 257 why your auto insurance is lousy and won't protect you, courtesy of a recent Ohio case. Here's the facts: son is driving and Dad is the passenger. Son's negligence causes an auto accident; unfortunately son is killed and Dad is seriously injured.
Dad had a full coverage auto policy through Geico. Some policies provide liability coverage for injuries when one family member negligently operates a car which causes injuries to a fellow family member. Not Geico's: a fine print EXCLUSION did not allow Dad to make a claim under the liability coverage.
Dad also paid a separate premuim for "Uninsured/Underinsured motorists("UM/UIM") coverage" through Geico. Some policies will allow an injured family member to recover for their injuries caused by another family member's driving negligence even if there is no coverage under the liability portion of the policy. Not Geico's. You guessed it: another EXCLUSION in the policy prohibited any family member from making a claim under the UM/UIM portion of the policy when injured by another family member.
Bottom line: Dad paid for "full coverage" for his family, was seriously injured through no fault of his own, and has no coverage. All courtesy of a 2001 law, passed by The Ohio Legislature, and lobbied for by the insurance industry. This law basically allows insurance companies to write ANY EXCLUSION it wants, and it is perfectly legal. Borderline fraudulent, but legal.
Here's the problem: you're never told when you buy insurance whether these restrictions and exclusions exist, and under what circumstances you'll be covered. You only find out how truly crappy your policy is after a tragedy. So much for your full coverage auto policy. It's one of the many reasons we wrote: "How To Buy Car Insurance In Ohio To Protect Your Family." It will guide you through the maze of how to properly buy car insurance and will protect you BEFORE you ever need to use your insurance. It's FREE to all Ohioans. Just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 330-452-8831 and it's yours.
True, the lizard and cavemen ads are funny. But there's nothing funny about paying hundreds or thousands for car insurance that turns out to be worthless.