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By: Alison De Villiers

I deal with insurance companies on a regular basis and am often asked which companies I would recommend.  Often, when I respond with a few of the companies I tell people to avoid, I am met with a remark similar to: “I have been with that company for years and they have been wonderful every time I file a claim.”

Keep in mind, under Ohio law, your own insurance company has a responsibility to treat you and your claim with good faith.  That means they must treat you fairly and reasonably.  So, insurance companies know that they have to treat their own insureds fairly, or it opens them up to being sued, which does happen. Unfortunately, under Ohio law, that duty does not apply to third parties.  For example, to those whom you cause harm in an automobile collision.

Well why does that matter to you?  So long as your insurance company treats you well when you have a claim, it doesn’t really matter, does it?  It does.

Imagine that you work all year to earn two weeks of vacation time.  You cherish those two weeks because that is your time to get away from the office and spend time with those that matter to you.  This year, because your insurance company refused to reasonably settle the case brought by someone you injured in an automobile collision 3 years ago, you are spending your vacation sitting next to your insurance defense counsel as a Defendant at trial.  That is not how I want to spend my vacation time! And I would not want a person who is already dealing with aggravation, inconvenience, and possibly pain to be further inconvenienced by my  irresponsible insurance company.

Looking to get new automobile insurance?  Don’t just look for the cheapest rate.  Also, look into the company’s reputation for treating others fairly.  No company is perfect, but I am happy to give recommendations for companies that I believe to be fair based on my experiences.