Disclaimer: This is advice I am giving you solely as a private citizen. I do work for an insurance company, who shall go nameless, because they have nothing to do with the advice I'm giving you. Before you make any changes to your policy you should check with a licensed agent for your state at your company.
1. READ YOUR POLICY DOCUMENTS SO YOU KNOW WHAT'S INCLUDED AND WHAT'S NOT.
It's about to become bad driving time in Ohio, and is already in lots of other states, so its time to review your car insurance policy and know what the F you have on it. Insurance is pretty basic, but if you don't take the time to know what you're paying for, there's nobody to blame but yourself if you have an accident and don't have the right coverage. A lot of people assume their agent is selling them what they want, but when it comes down to it, you are responsible to check your own policy and make sure it's on there. No company is really going to do anything about the "I thought my agent put it on there" excuse. There are good agents and bad agents, and the same goes for the people you talk to in customer service when you call to make changes. So when they send you that thick envelope in the mail, READ YOUR DECLARATION PAGE AT THE VERY LEAST. Do not just use it as a coaster till you get around to throwing it out.
2. FULL COVERAGE IS NOT A LEGAL TENDER TERM. IT IS GIBBERISH.
Full coverage is not a real term. What is "full coverage" to one person, is not to the other. So yes, GENERALLY if someone tells you that you have full coverage, you probably have Comprehensive and Collision coverage. However you may not have Medical. Or Roadside Assistance. Or Rental Car Reimbursement. Or Uninsured Motorist Property Damage. Do not assume you just "get" any of those things with "full coverage".
3. KNOW WHAT YOUR DEDUCTIBLES ARE.
Every time you make a claim on your insurance, you are going to have to pay a deductible. There are very few exceptions, and they are EXCEPTIONS. If your insurance is paying for a claim, they are going to take a deductible out of that and you are going to pay that to the shop. It is not just when you are at fault for the accident. Comprehensive claims are by definition never At Fault accidents, but you still always have a deductible. Vandalism? You have a deductible. Hit and Run? You have a deductible.
And you CHOOSE what those deductibles are. If you have an accident and find out you have a 1000 dollar deductible, that is because you picked that out when you started your policy. You said, "if something happens, I can pay 1000 dollars out of my own pocket to fix the car." The insurance companies don't force you to have a certain deductible. If you can't afford to pay 500 if something happens, then call your agent and lower that. But you will pay more on your monthly rate. Because you're paying for better coverage
4. KNOW WHAT YOUR BODILY INJURY AND PROPERTY DAMAGE LIMITS ARE.
In the state of Ohio, our minimum required Property Damage, what we have to carry to be legal, is 7500 dollars. That's it. If you hit a decent SUV or any car newer than 05, that's not going to get you very far. And they are going to come after you for the rest.
Our minimum Bodily Injury limits (to pay for the other party's medical bills) are 12,500 per person, with a 25,000 per accident max. You see it on your statement as 12.5/25. 25,000 is not very much when it comes to medical bills anyway. An ambulance ride only can cost upward of 1500. But the number you should be looking at is that 12,500 per person. PER PERSON. So no one person you hit can get more than that.
It is usually extremely cheap to move yourself up to the next level of coverage when it comes to BI and PD. Like, maybe a dollar more a month cheap. There is no reason why anyone should be driving around with less than 50/100 in BI and 50 in PD. Even if you have a crappy car, and you have liability only because you're poor or you don't care about your car, you should still have 50/100. It's a minimal difference, honest.
5. IF YOU HIT ICE OR SNOW AND HAVE AN ACCIDENT, IT WILL BE AN AT FAULT ACCIDENT.
I know you think it's a weather claim. But it's not. A weather claim is when your car is flooded, or a tornado hits it, or hail pounds it into ground meat. It's when weather happens TO your car. If you make the decision to drive your car in nasty conditions, it's your responsibility to decide what is worth the risk or not. If it's raining and you hydroplane, you are at fault. If you hit black ice and slide off into a ditch, you are at fault. So maybe, just maybe, you should slow the F--K down.
6. TAKE THE TIME TO ASK SOMEONE HOW UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE WORKS IN YOUR STATE.
This is a coverage that is completely different state to state. In some places, it covers you for hit and runs. In other states, you need to prove that the other driver has no insurance, which means you need to know who they are. Some states don't even have this coverage. So this leads us to our final point...
7. IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND SOMETHING, ASK.
Most companies now have 24 hour customer service reps who should be trained on certain states. If you call, you can ask to speak to someone who knows how to answer your questions. To work in insurance and answer specific coverage questions, you need a license for most places, so there will be someone there who can help you. Or talk to your agent. But this is not something where you're going to be subjected to a crazy lecture for an hour, this is simple. Insurance is not rocket science, and it is not your insurance company's fault if you never bothered to find out what you're paying for.