Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Read On If You Think You Have A "Full Coverage" Policy On Your Motorcycle Or Scooter

Client is T-boned at an intersection while on a scooter. Bad injuries--they usually are when scooter or motorcycle meets car. Ankle fracture and two shoulder surgeries for a total of 3 surgeries. Lots of physical therapy lasting well over a year and medical bills approaching $40,000.

The negligent driver who caused the collision? He had only $100,000 liability limits. Not nearly enough to compensate the injured person for all of her injuries. Before the crash, she was sold a "full coverage" policy that included $25,000 in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists' (UM/UIM) coverage.

Under Ohio law, this policy provides NOT A PENNY of coverage for her. It is a totally useless policy because in order for her to collect a penny of coverage, she has to have more in UM/UIM coverage than the negligent driver had in liability coverage--in this case, more than $100,000. The result? She paid for $25,000 in coverage and gets nothing from her own insurance company. She is limited to the $100,000 liability limits under the negligent driver's policy.

The agent who sold this worthless policy has committed "agent malpractice" in my opinion. Why on earth would an agent sell her such a low policy amount on a scooter or motorcycle knowing that (1) she can't collect any money under her UM/UIM coverage unless she has more in UM/UIM coverage than the liability limits of the negligent driver; and (2) anyone operating a motorcycle or scooter who's on the receiving end of a collision with an automobile is probably going to sustain some serious injuries as a result?

None of this was explained to her when the agent "recommended" this policy. And, by the way, she has to repay her health insurance company out of her settlement for the $40,000 it shelled out for her hospital, surgery, and rehab bills.

Not a good deal at all. All of this could have been avoided if the agent had sold her a policy that included at least a minimum of $250,000 in UM/UIM coverage (I personally would recommend a minimum of $500,000 if not more). Here's the kicker: she probably could have bought $250,000 in coverage for about $100 more per year.

Unfortunately I've seen this scenario over and over and over again. So all of you motorcyclists and scooter riders, do yourself a favor: call your agent and increase your coverage. You'll be glad you did if some irresponsible motorist turns left in front of you or runs a red light...

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