Insurance policies

Experts warn car owners to read between the lines of insurance policies

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 run over by a speeder on Orchard Street in Over-the-Rhine last month.

“You can see pieces of the bumper there,” Schroder said. “They broke it hard.”

The lowest estimate Schroder was told it would take to repair 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 it was for,” he said.

Schroder was shocked to learn that the police would not cover him. The policy only comes into effect when the responsible driver can be identified.

“I was just kinda quiet for a few seconds and it was like, okay, so ‘What can I do? “Said Schroder.

An independent insurance agent, who represents different companies, told the WCPO that this type of requirement is standard when it comes to using an uninsured motorist’s insurance policy for property damage. The reason for this is that it is difficult to tell that an unidentified driver is uninsured.

There are instances in which uninsured motorist policies will cover costs associated with injuries from unidentified drivers.

“When you sign an insurance policy nobody reads the policy because it’s pages and pages and pages and it’s a lot of dry language,” said personal injury lawyer Henry Acciani, who has been practicing law for over 40 years.

Acciani said these types of hit-and-run accidents are not uncommon.

“You don’t have to become the investigator, get in your car and chase that person or run them over,” Acciani said.

Whichever policy you choose, Acciani said it’s important to know what you’re getting.

“A lot of these fonts are purchased online,” Acciani said. “I think a person needs to ask their agent these questions: ‘Am I fully covered for all kinds of issues that might arise?'”

The insurance agent we spoke to said these types of cases usually require collision coverage, which can be more expensive.

“I thought it was covered for this exact type of thing and that’s the only thing I was worried about,” Schroder said. “This is exactly the kind of thing I imagined insurance would take care of.”

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