You may get creamed by a negligent Ohio driver with this language lurking in an auto policy:
"IN CONSIDERATION OF THE PREMIUM CHARGED FOR YOUR POLICY ITS IS AGREED WE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE AND NO LIABILITY OR OBLIGATION OF ANY KIND SHALL ATTACH TO U.S. FOR BODILY INJURY, LOSS OR DAMAGE UNDER ANY OF THE COVERAGES OF THE POLICY WHILE ANY MOTOR VEHICLE IS OPERATED BY____________."
How does this language find its way into an auto policy? Simple. Let's say a family has a family member with a horrible driving history. Typically, this involves a young driver who lives in the family household. He may have numerous speeding tickets, DUI's, and/or prior accidents. one of two things happens. The insurance company issuing the policy may conclude that the bad driver is too much of a liability risk, and demand that the driver is not covered under any policy issued to the household or the vehicles insured under the policy.
Secondly, the family itself might request that the family member be excluded because they don't want to pay the increase premiums for the driver, in order to obtain a cheaper insurance quote. Under either scenario, this exclusion will find its way into the policy. Translation? If this horrible driver creams you and puts you in the hospital, there's no coverage and no obligation for the insurance company to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and injuries.
Ouch. In fact, double ouch. How do you avoid this mess? The only way you can protect yourself is to purchase ample amounts of "Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists' Coverage (known as "UM/UIM") FROM YOUR OWN INSURANCE COMPANY. If the bad driver is considered "uninsured" because of this exclusion, you can make a claim against your own insurance company for all of your losses. How much coverage should you carry? At least $500,000. The good news is that this coverage is CHEAP. I have had many clients bump their UM/UIM coverage from a standard (and insufficient) $100,000 to $500,000 for just over $100 per year!
We explain this in our FREE book: "Fully Exposed: How Auto Insurance Companies Are Stripping Your Auto Policy. You can order it by going to our website (www.n-wlaw.com) and clicking on the book.