Shhh! We’d like to keep our fraud secret!

So, Über and Lyft want to keep their insurance policies secret, which raises a lot of questions in my mind.  Like, what are they hiding?  And specifically, what is covered by the policy?  Is it only the driver, or are the passengers covered too?  Seems like we should be allowed to know the answers.

secret

 

Interestingly, the companies are required to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage – insurance that protects you when you are not at fault.  But, there is no requirement that the rest of us buy uninsured motorists coverage, and there is no requirement that your agent offer or even explain it to you.   Its important enough to require it for those services, but not for everyone else.  Hmmm.

What does this mean to you:

Go now and find out how much uninsured motorists coverage you carry on your insurance policy.  We will wait for you here.  Yes, its that important.  Go on.

Do you have uninsured motorists coverage in your auto policy?  Do you also have it in your umbrella policy?  What are the limits?  Considering that almost 15% of drivers carry no insurance and many more do not carry enough insurance, do you have high enough limits?

 

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You actually want to use it?

I saw a political cartoon a few years back that wondered what other industries would look like if they operated the same way out health insurance system does.  “You want to join our gym?  OK.  However, our data suggests you might actually use the equipment, so you cannot be a member here.”

I’m going to go with C, Bob, for $1,000.

So, as we await the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act in the Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services case (as if the outcome is in doubt), it seemed a post on health insurance was timely.

We all know that health insurance companies exist for one reason and one reason only: to make a profit.  And they seem to be doing quite well at that. One of the ways they recoup funds is through a process called subrogation, which is just a fancy word for “pay back.”  If health insurance pays money for you to go to the doctor, and if it is someone else’s fault you had to go to the doctor – because you were in a car crash or were injured by a defective product – the health insurance company generally has the right to be repaid out of any settlement or recovery you make.

What does this mean to you:

Though health insurance companies often have the right to be paid back in full before the injured person sees dime one (thanks to an Ohio Supreme Court ruling), lawyers handling a personal injury case frequently negotiate with the health carrier to reduce the amount that is owed back..

Focus on the family

I spent the afternoon today at the Ohio General Assembly listening to testimony on some good legislation working its way through the legislature.

Don’t worry – I am covering you. With my arms.

As it stands, most Ohioans are not covered by their car insurance if a family member is driving.  Let me say that again to emphasize the absurdity – you are probably not covered by your own car insurance if you are riding in a car driving by your own family member.  This little known policy provision, called the “intrafamily exclusion,” can have draconian consequences in peoples’ lives.  The reason given for such a harsh legal rule, believe it or not, is that insurance companies are afraid families will collude with each other to injure themselves just to make an insurance claim.  One incredulous Justice has termed this absurd assumption “Munchausen’s Syndrome by Auto.”

Currently, Senate Bill 293 seeks to end this practice as it relates to wrongful death claims only, but not injuries, such as amputations or quadriplegia.  Certainly a step in the right direction.  A baby step, but a step nonetheless.

What does this mean to you:

Ask your insurance agent or your attorney whether your auto policy covers your family members when you are driving, or if it contains an intrafamily exclusion.  You need to know that your own family is protected in case of an accident, not just other people in the wreck.