Experts warn car owners to read between the lines of insurance policies #Experts #warn #car #owners #read #lines #insurance #policies Welcome to Lopoid
CINCINNATI — Insurance experts are reminding you to read between the lines of your car insurance policy, because you might not be covered for everything you think.
Jack Schroder’s parked car was smashed by a hit-and-run driver on Orchard Street in Over-the-Rhine last month.
“You can see pieces of the bumper down there,” Schroder said. “They smashed it hard.”
The lowest estimate Schroder was told it would take to fix the damage was $3,200.
Schroder doesn’t know who hit him, but he figured his insurance — uninsured motor vehicle property damage coverage — would cover the cost of the damage.
“That’s what I thought this was for,” he said.
Schroder was shocked to find out the policy would not cover it. The policy only kicks in when the driver responsible can be identified.
“I was just kind of silent for a couple of seconds and it was like, okay, so ‘What can I do?’,” Schroder said.
An independent insurance agent, who represents different companies, told WCPO this sort of requirement is standard when it comes to using an uninsured motorist policy for property damage. The reason is because it’s difficult to say an unidentified driver actually is uninsured.
There are cases in which uninsured motorist policies will cover costs associated with injuries due to unidentified drivers.
“When you sign an insurance policy, no one reads the policy because it’s pages and pages and pages and it’s a lot of dry language,” said personal injury attorney Henry Acciani, who has been practicing law for more than 40 years.
Acciani said these kinds of hit-and-run crashes are not uncommon.
“You’re not required to become the investigator, get in your car and chase this person down or run him down,” Acciani said.
Whatever policy you pick, Acciani said it’s important to know what you’re getting.
“So many of these policies are being purchased online,” Acciani said. “I think a person has to ask those questions of their agent, ‘Am I completely covered for all types of problems that would happen?’”
The insurance agent we spoke to said these kinds of cases typically require collision coverage, which can be more expensive.
“I thought it was covered for this exact type of thing and this is the only thing I was worried about,” Schroder said. “It’s exactly the type of thing I imagined insurance taking care of.”
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