Insurance customers better off with new law
I read an attorney's recent letter to the editor regarding his take on the uninsured/underinsured motorists Availability Act, SB 97, and his reaction to the support of this newspaper. I am writing to clarify his gross inaccuracies.
If he had taken the time to review the last two decades of Ohio Supreme Court UM/UIM decisions, he might begin to understand why The Vindicator, along with many other Ohio newspapers, consumers and business owners, support this legislation and its companion bill, HB 257. These rulings, including the one he mentioned in his letter, the Scott-Pontzer decision, truly benefit but a few victims and line the pockets of personal injury attorneys.
This attorney, in his letter, did not refer to the other court decision that this legislation is seeking to remedy. The Linko decision basically opened up the floodgates for attorneys to collect on closed claims, up to 15 years old, involving uninsured motorists. The Ohio Sup reme Court, in its infinite wisdom, invalidated all UM/ UIM rejection forms for both personal and commercial auto insurance policies. In doing so, the courts granted this coverage to those who specifically chose not to carry UM/UIM coverage.
What this means is that insurers, subject to an additional $1.5 billion in claims, will be forking over $500 million to personal injury attorneys.
This legislation goes a long way to protect citizens and business owners in the state by making this coverage available to all who want it at an affordable cost.
Before there is a major shortage of auto insurance writers in the state, which does drive up insurance costs, we are going back to Ohio's true lawmakers, the General Assembly, to ask that UM/UIM coverage be offered in the same manner as all other forms of auto insurance coverage.
Do not believe the attorney's rhetoric that this legislation will cause more to go uninsured. Without this remedy, business owners and consumers who are currently finding fewer insurers that offer this coverage, will be the ones who go unprotected. There are policyholders currently finding their UM/UIM protection increasing by 400 percent. Why? Because claims are being filed by personal injury attorneys under the UM/UIM misinterpretations of the Ohio Supreme Court.
DANIEL J. KELSO
X The writer is president of the Ohio Insurance Institute.
Tax cuts for the rich don't help those at the bottom
The Bush-controlled Republicans and the U.S. Congress have taken another giant step in making the rich richer and the little guy more miserable. I am referring to the recent Bush sponsored tax cuts.
Beginning July 1, the top four tax brackets will be getting a tax cut. The lowest bracket gets, you guessed it: nada, zilch, zero, NOTHING. How fair is that? What happened to the tax cut for all Americans?
The lowest tax bracket survivors don't even get a tax rebate this year unless a single person makes over $7200, and only 5 percent above that figure.
Even the million dollar professional athletes are laughing at that one (that is, the ones who can read English ).
A month ago I e-mailed the Honorable? Rep. Traficant and also the Honorable? Sen. DeWine complaining about the inequality of the then-proposed tax cuts. And you're right again, neither had the dignity or decency to respond. To get fair representation, and not just talk, we should weed out the old and vote in the new.
One last comment: I would like to thank Gov. Taft for his full support of the Lordstown Auto Workers by pledging our tax dollars to the assembly plant. Did Taft forget about the LTV and CSC steel workers? After all, we pay Ohio taxes too. When was the last time the auto workers took contract concessions?