Auto Insurance

Who loves to read insurance documents?

If you’re like most people you don’t enjoy wading through confusing legal jargon.

A Kernan Insurance, we believe buying car insurance should be easy. You should have an agent you can trust who explains your policy options in clear, simple terms.

If you get quotes from multiple companies, you should be able to compare them, apples-to-apples. That might sound boring, but the wrong way to learn about your policy is after an accident!

Auto Insurance - Silver Car

You don’t want to be going through the stress of a car accident and realize you have a huge deductible or your policy doesn’t cover what you thought it did. You should know when you choose your policy what to expect.

So we’ve created a “cheat sheet” that will help you understand the basics of car insurance. A few minutes reviewing the basics can save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Let’s start with the parts of your policy, which is a legal contract between you and the insurance company.

Declarations Page

The declarations page is a summary of your policy. You can see right up front:

  • Account information - Your policy number and contact information.
  • Insured drivers - The name of each driver insured under your policy.
  • Insured vehicles - A list of vehicles insured under your policy by VIN number.
  • Schedule of coverages - The meat and potatoes of your policy including coverages, limits, deductible, and premium for your policy.
  • Policy period - The effective start and end dates of your policy.
  • Discounts - Any price reductions applied to your policy, such as a multi-car discount.
  • Surcharges - Additional charges to your policy which may be based on recent traffic citations, accidents, or insurance claims.

As you can see, all of the basics are spelled out on the Declarations page. Whenever you make a change to your policy, such as adding or removing a driver, you should get an updated declarations page.

If you don’t automatically receive your updated Declarations page, be sure to request one. Then make sure your new declarations are accurate.


There are five basic kinds of coverage you should understand and compare when choosing a policy.

#1 Liability

This part of your policy is broken into two parts:

  1. Bodily Injury
  2. Property Property Damage

Liability coverage pays medical bills, car repairs, and legal settlements. The limits are usually $100,000, $300,000, $100,000 and may be written as 100/300/100.

If you’re driving someone else’s car with their permission. you’re usually covered under your insurance.

You must carry minimum liability coverage. You can choose to more premium and raise your limits for additional protection.

In Ohio, every driver must carry at least the following liability amounts:

  • $25,000 Bodily Injury Liability coverage per person injured in a single accident
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability coverage for all persons injured in a single accident
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability for a single accident

#2 Collision

This coverage pays for damages to your car resulting from a collision with another vehicle or object. The policy will generally pay whether or not the collision was your fault.

You will usually have a deductible you must pay out of pocket before coverage starts.

Your deductible will typically range from $250-$1000 per incident. The higher your deductible the lower your premium and vice versa.

When you’re weighing options, think about how much you can afford to pay out of pocket in the event of a collision. It may be important to pay a little more for your premium to be sure you can cover your part if an indecent occurs.

#3 Comprehensive

As with Collision, you have a deductible which usually ranges from $100-$1,000. You can usually choose a higher deductible and get a lower premium and vice versa.

#4 Medical Payment or Personal injury Protection

This portion of your policy will pay medical bills for you and any passengers who were injured in your vehicle during an accident, regardless of who’s at fault.

Other expenses such as lost wages and funeral costs are typically covered by medical as well.

#5 Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This coverage kicks in if you’re hit by a driver who is uninsured or underinsured. You can turn in a claim to your own insurance company to make up for the other party’s low or lacking liability coverage

In Ohio, insurers must offer you this coverage Ohio Revised Code 3937.18 in an amount equal to that of your liability insurance. The policy must cover a bodily injury that exceeds the amounts covered by the liable driver.

Are you Ready?

Now that you know that sections and coverages in your policy, you can compare different policy options.

Your policy premium is based on different factors including your age, where you live, the kind of car you drive, and your accident history.

When your comparing policy options, also consider optional coverages each policy includes.

Make sure you’re comparing premiums for the same term as well, whether 6 months or a year.

You may also want to consider what discounts are available. You can often save money with a bundle of insurance products, such as multi-car and home insurance policies.

Finally, consider the payment options that are available to you. For example, can you divide your payments into quarter or monthly installments? And if so, what is the extra fee for the different options?

Take the time to consider your cash flow. How much money do you usually have available to pay your premiums an deductibles?

Make sure you feel comfortable with your insurance agent. Find a knowledgeable person you can trust, and ask as many questions as you like.

Once you’ve chosen your policy, you should be confident you know what you’re paying for, and the peace of mind of knowing you're protected.

We Can Help

If you’re looking for a policy, we’d love to help. Call or contact Kernan Insurance today for your free quote.

Kernan Insurance Agency

9932 Brewster Lane

Powell, OH 43065

Main office: 614-764-0121
Toll free: 800-718-2663
Fax: 614-764-0310

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Weekends: By Appointment