What Are My Ohio Auto Insurance Rights?
Ohio residents in need of auto coverage are typically encouraged to shop around, but before purchasing a policy there is certain information that motorists should be aware of. Consumers have various rights when it comes to car insurance, and knowing these rights could help a resident better understand their policy and avoid possible discrepancies. Motorists should be aware of how their credit score could affect their premium, and what actions a person can take after an accident that could affect the cost of repairing a vehicle.
Before a resident purchases Ohio auto insurance they have the right to know whether or not the insurer will use credit information when determining their premium. Both state and federal law permits coverage providers to fairly use this information, but insurers are not allowed to use these reports as the sole reason for determining whether or not a policy will be issued, or how much the motorist will be charged. Insurers must also inform consumers when and how their credit information will be used, and if asked by a motorist, they must re-check an individual’s credit annually and make corrections if necessary.
If a motorist chooses to buy car insurance online or in person, they are given the right to receive a copy of the purchased policy, including copies of any applications or forms signed by either the agent or the policyholder. The consumer may want to store this information in a safe place for future reference.
Additionally, drivers purchasing coverage cannot be discriminated against for any physical, cultural, or religious characteristics that do not impair the motorist’s ability to operate an automobile. If this occurs, or if an insurer refuses to provide a copy of any of the aforementioned documents, residents can contact the Ohio Department of Insurance to file a complaint.
When a motorist in the Buckeye State is involved in an accident and the insured vehicle is damaged, the policyholder has specific rights when it comes to determining where the automobile is repaired. Although insurers typically recommend specific businesses to repair damage, motorists can also make the choice themselves unless their policy lists specific limitations. It should be noted, however, that if a vehicle owner chooses a specific shop that charges more for repairs, the resident’s coverage provider may still only pay a predetermined amount, and the policyholder will likely be responsible for any remaining expenses.
If in doubt about any specific facts or requirements, motorists are encouraged to ask their insurer about any car insurance questions that may arise, or take the time to research any specific details. Ohio motorists are urged to remain informed about their coverage related rights to help safeguard against potentially fraudulent activity and to possibly reduce policy prices by making certain requests. Sometimes choosing a specific repair shop or asking an insurer to re-rate a policy after corrections have been made to a credit report can help keep coverage costs affordable. Keeping copies of all important documents and periodically reviewing them can help residents remain up-to-date on their coverage and ensure that the best price is being paid for coverage.