Monday, August 2, 2010

What You Should Know If You're In A Crash With A Driver With Little Or No Liability Insurance

Here's a familiar scenario: you're involved in a crash with another motorist. The insurance company representing the at fault motorist promises to "work with you" regarding your claim. Months or years go by, you've had extensive treatment for your injuries, and now it's time for the insurance company to make you a "reasonable offer."

You're now approaching the two year anniversary of your collision. The offer from the insurance is anything but reasonable. One possible reason for the lowball offer is the fact that the at fault driver has low liability limits. In Ohio, the state minimum limits are a mind boggingly low $12,500--in fact, 48 states have higher state minimum limits.

So here's what's probably happening: the insurance company's goal is to save whatever it can on its $12,500 limits by making an offer below that amount. Meanwhile, they will not divulge its insured's true liability limits, leaving you wondering why they made you such a crappy offer.

If the at fault party truly has minimum limits and your injury claim is worth more than $12,500, you may have an underinsured motorists' claim with your own company, assuming you have purchased "uninsured/underinsured motorists" coverage. But here's a little known fact: your insurance policy obligates you to notify your insurance company that you are making an underinsured motorists' claim. And some policies require you to notify your insurance company within a set period of time, or else you will waive your potential claim.

Good luck with figuring all this out on your own while the at fault party's insurance company is "working with you..."

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