Ohio Car Insurance Requirements
Ohio, like most other states, sets minimum levels of coverage for anyone who owns or operates a vehicle within the state. Whether you’re new to the state or just want to see if your coverage is up to snuff, we’ve outlined the state laws governing car insurance in Ohio. Remember that these are for minimum coverage – your own insurance needs may vary. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver in Ohio, you should speak with a Dayton car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Ohio Car Insurance Basics
Ohio is a traditional “fault” state when it comes to car accidents, which means that injured motorists are free to pursue claims against the at-fault driver when an accident occurs. Ohio also has a “financial responsibility law,” which requires you to be fiscally accountable for any costs that might accrue due to an accident. Perhaps the easiest way to comply with this law is by having liability insurance on your vehicle. This type of coverage kicks in to pay for injuries or property damage that might occur in a car accident you cause. Ohio law stipulates the following minimum amounts of liability coverage for your vehicle(s):
- $25,000 for death or injuries per person
- $25,000 for property damage, and;
- $50,000 for injuries or death to 2 people in 1 accident.
While these are the minimum amounts of coverage required by the state, it’s always a good idea to expand these so they’re more inclusive. If you caused an accident that resulted in $100,000 in property and injury damages, for example, the injured driver could go after your personal assets to collect the remaining $50,000. You could simply avoid this scenario by increasing your amounts of coverage.
Other Forms of Insurance Coverage
Ohio only requires that residents have liability coverage, but other entities, like auto financers, may require additional coverage. Some examples include:
- Comprehensive coverage – covers non-accident related damages to your vehicle (such as those resulting from theft or vandalism).
- Collision coverage – covers accident-related damages to your vehicle.
- Uninsured and underinsured coverage – this is an essential aspect of insurance coverage that individuals often overlook. When you’re involved in an accident that’s not your fault, you file a claim with an at-fault driver. There’s always a chance, however, that their liability coverage will not compensate for the full extent of your damages. This is where your own underinsured or uninsured policy kicks in to cover the rest.
- Towing and labor coverage – can help cover the costs of removing your car from the accident scene.
State law does not mandate these types of coverage, but if you finance a vehicle, you financer will likely require that you carry both collision and comprehensive.
Ohio Proof of Insurance Laws
When you register a vehicle in Ohio, you provide a signed statement to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) that states you have and will continue to have proof of insurance for your vehicle(s). You must provide this proof of insurance in the following circumstances:
- When you’re in a car accident
- When requested by an officer in a traffic stop, or;
- When randomly selected by the BMV. The BMV randomly selects 5% of the state’s registered vehicles to submit proof of insurance.
Failure to Carry Insurance Coverage in Ohio
Failing to adhere to Ohio’s insurance laws can result in a serious of negative consequences, which may include:
- Loss of your driving privileges.
- Suspension of your registration and plates.
- Filing an SR-22, which is a form your insurance carrier files guaranteeing that you will remain insured for a specified length of time. SR-22 insurance premiums are very costly, as they indicate that you were previously noncompliant with Ohio insurance law.
Ohio insurance law can be confusing, but understanding your coverage is vital, especially in light of an accident. Make sure that you’re compliant with Ohio insurance minimums to avoid costly penalties and consider additional coverage to insulate yourself from liability and extra costs after an accident.