Ohio is one state that requires insurance or other proof of financial responsibility (FR). It’s illegal to drive a motor vehicle without insurance or FR, and it’s illegal for you, as a motor vehicle owner, to allow someone else to operate your vehicle without FR proof. In addition, all Ohio drivers must carry bodily injury liability coverage and property damage on their insurance policies. The primary reason that car insurance is needed is to protect victims in case of an accident. Before purchasing auto insurance, you should understand Ohio’s car insurance requirements to ensure you comply with them.
What Are the Minimum Coverage Requirements in Ohio?
Many states, including Ohio, require minimum coverage amounts. This state follows the 25/50/25 liability limits breakdown. Liability insurance covers the other person’s injuries and property damage if you cause an accident. This translates into the following:
- Bodily injury: You need at least $25,000 coverage per person and $50,000 coverage for two or more persons injured in a single accident you caused. This type of coverage handles expenses, such as hospital visits, surgeries, and legal costs.
- Property damage: You need at least $25,000 coverage per accident. This type of coverage pays for damage to property in an accident you caused. It covers dents or damage to other vehicles or property if you lost control of the vehicle and went into someone’s yard.
However, keep in mind these numbers only represent the minimum amount of coverage. For example, suppose you’re involved in an accident, and the damage exceeds the amount greater than your policy limits. In that case, you’re responsible for any medical costs, legal costs for court proceedings related to the accident, and costs to repair any property damage. Therefore, consider purchasing higher liability limits and additional coverage to give yourself additional protection.
If you’re leasing a vehicle, the minimum coverage amounts differ. In many instances, leasing companies require full coverage insurance policies that follow 100/30/50 liability limits. This means you need $100,000 coverage per person for bodily injury liability coverage, $30,000 coverage for bodily injury per accident, and $50,000 coverage for property damage liability.
What Car Insurance Coverage Options Are Available?
Often referred to as full-coverage insurance, these more complete policies offer coverage that covers some of the costs associated with your injuries and your own vehicle. Some of the more common types of additional coverage include:
- Collision: You would use this type of coverage for repairs to your vehicle when the damage comes from a collision with another vehicle or object.
- Comprehensive: You would use this coverage to repair your vehicle for non-collision-related accidents. It includes fires, theft, vandalism, and contact with animals.
- Medical payments: This type of coverage provides for expenses involving medical care, no matter who is at fault for the accident. Depending on the insurer, coverage can range between $1,000 to $10,000.
- Physical damage: If you need to pay for repairs to your vehicle, this type of coverage can help, no matter who is at fault. The deductible can range between $50 to $2,000, and the amount you select affects the cost of the premium.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist: If an uninsured or underinsured motorist is at fault for the accident, this type of coverage kicks in. Since that type of driver likely lacks the financial ability to pay for damage to your vehicle or injuries you sustained.
Is Ohio a No-Fault State?
No, Ohio is not a no-fault state. If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, you’re responsible for financial liability over vehicle or property damage. After the accident, the other person would file a claim with your insurance company or sue you directly to receive compensation.
To prove that you were at fault in the accident, the other party would have to prove the following:
- You had a responsibility to obey traffic rules, drive safely, and watch out for other drivers.
- You violated those responsibilities by driving recklessly or disobeying those laws.
- They suffered damages as a result of the accident.
- The accident was the result of your actions.
What Penalties Exist for Driving Without Car Insurance?
All vehicle owners and drivers in Ohio must carry car insurance. Failure to do so results in penalties. You will need to show proof of insurance if law enforcement officials ask you. Depending on your offense, the penalties are as follows:
- First offense: The court decides the specific fines and penalties, but your driver’s license is suspended until you fulfill those requirements. You must also pay a $160 restoration fee for license plates and vehicle registration, or you might have your license plates and vehicle confiscated for up to 30 days.
- Second offense: The court also decides the specific fines and penalties, but your driver’s license is suspended for a year. Depending on the decision, you might receive limited driving privileges after 15 days, a $360 restoration fee for license plates and vehicle registration, or have your license plates and vehicle confiscated for up to 60 days.
- Third and additional offenses: The court also decides specific fines and penalties, but your driver’s license is suspended for two years. You might receive limited driving privileges after 30 days, a $660 restoration fee for license plates and vehicle registration, or your vehicle might be impounded or sold. You might have a five-year suspension for registering additional vehicles if that occurs.
As a driver in Ohio, you need minimum auto insurance coverage to protect you and others if you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident. Knowing the Ohio car insurance laws can provide you with some guidance when it comes to the type of coverage you need. It’s also a smart idea to purchase additional coverage that will protect you, even when you’re not at fault in an accident. Shop around for the best auto insurance rates, and speak with an agent to determine what coverage works best for your needs and budget.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.