You’ve done the responsible thing and purchased full coverage automobile insurance. You want to protect your family should the unthinkable occur. Relying on the insurance companies promise of safety, security and peace of mind, you can count on their promise of full coverage in your time of need right? Unfortunately for you, the answer is likely no.
It may shock you to learn that the “full coverage” for which you are paying may not fully cover your family in the event of an accident. This insurance company loophole is called the “family exclusion” and allows an insurance company to deny all coverage to family members injured in an accident. An organization that is truly on your side, The Ohio Association for Justice, has released a detailed report explaining the history of the family exclusion, its modern day application, and how many insurance companies include it in their policies to exploit their customers. In short, the family exclusion (which can usually be found in small print buried within your policy) allows an insurance company to avoid its responsibilities to you, the customer. For example, if an insured individual with so called “full coverage” negligently causes an accident which seriously injures his or her family, those injured family members will not find themselves in the good hands of the insurance company, but rather left to fend for themselves. However, if there happens to be an unrelated party in the car when the accident occurs, that party will be fully covered by the insured’s policy. Same car, same circumstances, same accident, and yet the unrelated passenger is fully covered while the family members get no assistance from the policy they paid for. Even a caveman could see the absurdity and unfair nature of the family exclusion policy.
Acting as a good neighbor to his community, a Toledo attorney wrote an opinion piece for the local paper detailing his thoughts on the unfair family exclusion loophole. What can you do to inform yourself and stop the insurance company’s progressively bolder attempts to deny you the full coverage for which you are paying? First, you can contact your insurance agent and as them to explain the exception and if it is in your policy. If the exclusion is in your policy, shop for another insurance company. In addition, you can contact your local state representative and request they close the intra family exception insurance loophole.