Ohio Auto Insurance Laws
Anyone who plans on owning and operating a motor vehicle in the state of Ohio should be aware that although Ohio does not have a purely compulsory law that a driver must have automobile insurance, the state does have what is called a Financial Responsibility (FR) Law. Although motor vehicles owners are not required to provide proof of insurance in order to legally register their vehicles with the state’s department of motor vehicles, it does require that in the event they are considered at-fault in an automobile accident, they must demonstrate that they carry a minimum liability insurance coverage to insure against loss in the amounts of $12,500 to cover bodily injury or death to a driver or passenger, a minimum of $25,000 to cover any bodily injury or death occurring to two or more individuals in the same accident, and $7,500 to cover any injury or destruction to property that occurs due to the accident.
Ohio Auto Statistics
Most recent statistics report that slightly more than 71% of drivers in Ohio involved in an error contributing to an accident are uninsured motorists, with an estimated 15% of all drivers in the state going uninsured, a figure twice as high as the neighboring state of Pennsylvania. In more densely populated areas such as Cleveland, the incidence of motorists driving uninsured is as high as 38%. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles conducts random requests of automobile and non-commercial truck operators by mail to offer proof they possess a valid Certificate of Financial Responsibility, also called an SR-22, issued by their insurance company. The only individuals exempt from having to show proof are those for whom a vehicle is inoperable or have a vehicle used only seasonally and the request for SR-22 proof comes out of season. Ohio officials do not verify insurance coverage until after an accident has occurred, but by that time an uninsured motorist will be subject to financial devastation, lawsuits and criminal consequences for not having had the foresight to get at least minimum liability and personal injury insurance coverage.
Ohio Auto Insurance Options
Although smart drivers in Ohio make sure they are covered by Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability policies to adhere to the Financial Responsibility Law, they also are willing to invest a little more each month to include Comprehensive Collision coverage on their policy which pays for repair of a damaged vehicle following an accident as well as theft and vandalism affecting a vehicle. Individuals who risk driving without insurance in Ohio not only endanger themselves but others on the road, they also risk having their license suspended and their vehicle impounded for not complying with Ohio’s Financial Responsibility Law designed to increase everyone’s safety when driving in Cleveland or anywhere else in Ohio.