Ohio car insurance laws

Auto insurance requirements in Ohio

Car insurance in Ohio is mandated by law. These requirements are in place to protect you and others on Ohio’s roads. Subsequently, proof of this coverage must also be carried at all times when you’re behind the wheel. Drivers caught without proof of insurance can face steep penalties. Have a look at Ohio’s minimum insurance requirements as well as some optional coverages that could further protect you and your assets.

Minimum Liability Coverage: 25/50/25
  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

Keep in mind that those who finance or lease a vehicle could face additional requirements from their lender or leasing company.

 

Liability insurance coverage in Ohio

Liability coverage is legally required in Ohio. This coverage pays for bodily injury, lost wages, and property damage that you inflict on another driver or their passengers. Please remember that your liability coverage never pays for your injuries or for damages to your own vehicle.

 

What are state-mandated car insurance limits?

Limit refers to the maximum amount that an insurance company will pay out in the event of a claim. States also refer to limits as the minimum amount of insurance coverage that you can carry and still be considered a legal driver. Liability limits in Ohio are written with three numbers: 25/50/25. These refer to three specific types of coverage found in liability, including bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage.

  • $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person is the maximum dollar amount your insurer will pay for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.
  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident is the total amount your insurer will pay for all injuries that you cause in an accident if more than one person is hurt.
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident is the dollar amount that will be paid for damage that you cause in an accident.

 

Do Ohio’s required minimums provide adequate coverage?

Ohio’s liability limits are on par with most other states. However, this does not mean that carrying the lowest liability limits is enough to keep you adequately protected. $25,000 in bodily injury coverage could be exhausted quickly if injuries require hospital stays. Similarly, the $50,000 in coverage for bodily injuries per accident may not be nearly enough if you injure more than one person.

Some insurance experts would suggest increasing your liability limits as high as possible, to a suggested minimum of at least 50/100/50. This can usually be accomplished with a modest increase in premiums. Additional coverages can be added to provide more protection (at extra cost). 

 

Ohio’s penalties for driving without proof of insurance

The penalties for driving in Ohio without insurance can be found below:

1st driving without insurance offense:

  • Drivers license revoked until requirements are met
  • License plates and vehicle registration revoked
  • Reinstatement fee of $100
  • $50 penalty
  • FR coverage (high risk) required for 3 to 5 years

2nd driving without insurance offense:

  • Drivers license revoked for one year
  • License plates and vehicle registration revoked
  • Reinstatement fee of $300
  • $50 penalty
  • FR coverage (high risk) required for 3 to 5 years

Subsequent offenses:

  • Drivers license revoked for two years
  • License plates and vehicle registration revoked
  • Reinstatement fee of $600
  • $50 penalty
  • FR coverage (high risk) required for 3 to 5 years

 

Optional car insurance coverage in Ohio

Ohio law requires drivers to carry liability coverage. However, it’s always a good idea to consider other coverage options to protect you and your vehicle. Below are some of the more common coverage options available from most car insurance companies:

  • Comprehensive: This physical damage coverage protects your vehicle from non-collision damages including theft, weather damage, and even animal collisions.
  • Collision: Another physical damage coverage, collision protects your vehicle in incidents related to colliding with another vehicle or stationary object.
  • Loan/Lease Payoff: Often referred to as gap coverage, this coverage factors in your vehicle’s depreciation to cover the difference in the actual cash value and what you still owe on the loan.
  • Medical Payments: Medical payments coverage — or Med Pay — is an optional coverage that goes toward covering the medical or funeral expenses of you and those in your vehicle at the time of an accident. This coverage pays regardless of fault.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement: If your car is rendered undrivable, this coverage provides you with a rental until your car is fixed. Limits vary by company.
  • Roadside Assistance: Though each insurance company will offer slightly different options, this coverage typically helps if your car breaks down, covering things like battery jumps, towing, and fixing flat tires.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: There are, unfortunately, many motorists without any car insurance — or at least not enough. These coverages help in the event that an uninsured — or underinsured — driver causes an accident and is unable to pay your medical expenses.
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: This form of uninsured coverage protects your vehicle in the event that it is damaged by an uninsured driver.

 

Why adhering to Ohio’s car insurance requirements is important

Keeping the appropriate amount of car insurance is hugely important not only for the sake of your finances but also because it’s the law. Not only should you carry the state-mandated insurance minimums, but you should also seriously consider adding additional coverage or increasing liability limits.

If you are worried about the extra costs that these coverages could add to your payments, it may be time to shop for a new policy. The Zebra can help you find insurance quotes from a number of top car insurance companies, giving you the chance to compare coverage options and real-time quotes. Enter your ZIP below to get started.

 

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Ross Martin LinkedIn

As a licensed insurance agent, Ross is responsible for researching and writing about all matters related to auto and home insurance. He has a background in writing and education, as well as a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London. He has been quoted by Kin Insurance, Safety.com, and autoinsuranceEZ.com.