One of the first things we obtain following a car crash is a copy of our client's automobile insurance policy. People frequently tell us that they have "full coverage" despite not having critical protections for their family. The misconception begins with Ohio law and insurance agents.
As you read your homeowner's insurance policy one thing that you will inevitably encounter are terms referencing other terms, referencing definitions, referencing back to other terms (never mind all of the exclusions). It can be maddening. A logical next question is whether these definitions are there to exclude coverage, or simply to define coverage. While our previous discussion about exclusions should give you some peace of mind that anything not specifically excluded should be covered under Ohio law, courts are instructed to read policies in their entirety, and not to ignore one part of a policy to the benefit of another.1 Courts must "give meaning to every paragraph, clause, phrase and word."2
Reading your homeowner's insurance policy can be a daunting task. The policies often feel intentionally designed to get you not to read them. One reason might be so that you do not realize all the occurrences that happen in your daily life that may be covered. This primer is designed to go over some basics of reading your policy and ensure that you start maximizing the value that you get for diligently paying premiums.
A recent Ohio motorcycle case highlights the importance of your motorcycle insurance coverage
Minimum Insurance Requirements For Ohio Drivers
It is illegal to drive your motorcycle on Ohio roads without meeting certain minimum requirements for financial responsibility. Most riders meet that standard by buying motorcycle insurance. Insurance coverage is tied to the vehicle, not the individual. If you have an auto insurance policy for a car, that is not sufficient to allow you to ride your motorcycle legally. Given that motorcycle insurance is more or less required for Ohio riders, it is natural to wonder exactly what you are getting for your money.