Ohio, like many other states, has strict requirements on minimum insurance requirements. However, a few state laws aren’t going to stop people from driving without insurance. There are many insurance providers available that help people access the minimum coverage at an affordable rate. Always keep in mind that the minimum insurance requirements, however, may not cover everything.
When looking for a quality insurance policy, look past the minimum insurance requirements. Consider aspects such as customer service, good-driver discounts, and a history of compensation.
Ohio Minimum Insurance Requirements
Ohio requires that drivers have at least a bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage. That means that if you’re in an accident, those policies will cover the damages up to the extent of your coverage for the injuries and damage of the other driver. Minimum coverage, specifically liability coverage, will not cover your damages. That’s a very important aspect, so if you have liability-only, then you should consider upgrading that to comprehensive or full coverage. The peace of mind of knowing that your injuries and damage will receive coverage as well is unremarkable.
The dollar value minimum requirements are:
- $25,000 bodily liability per injured person up to $50,000
- $25,000 for property damage coverage for damage of others
These minimum requirements are not enough to cover everything in a serious wreck. If you were in a wreck and the other driver had liability coverage, then you may only receive $25,000. However, your medical bills could quickly exceed that, particularly if you had an ambulance ride or visited the ER.
The Ohio Department of Insurance implores drivers to get more than the basic coverage. They advise drivers that they obtain coverage which covers the value of their assets and the coverage of possible medical expenses in a serious accident. That way, you know that your policy will cover any victims and yourself.
What to Do with Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists
If the other driver in your Ohio crash had only the minimum and your damages exceed that you can pursue the remaining amount directly from the driver. However, keep in mind that if someone has difficulty paying for more than minimum insurance requirements, they are likely unable to pay tens of thousands of dollars for your medical care.
Underinsured motorists are less frequent than outright uninsured motorists. Why? Simply because insurance providers will require that their customers meet the minimum state requirements. However, what is common is that people will have less insurance coverage than is necessary to cover your damages and expenses. That is what people often refer to as ‘underinsured.’ Rather than people who have less than the minimum insurance requirements.
Ideally, in either situation you will have under/uninsured motorist coverage, often abbreviated as UIM. This type of coverage will allow your policy to become accessible after the at-fault driver’s policy is exhausted. It is possible to have UIM while not having comprehensive coverage. Essentially you can work with an insurance provider to have the minimum liability coverage and an add-on for UIM on your policy. Not every insurance provider has that opportunity available.
You should also consider that UIM will only cover the extent of your policy; it’s not endless. For example, if your Ohio car crash resulted in 100,000 of damage. Let’s say the other driver had minimum liability, and their coverage paid out $25,000 for the damages. Then your coverage would kick in for the UIM, but if you also have a minimum coverage of $25,000 that is the maximum you can receive. After both policies reach their maximum compensation payout, you are still left with $50,000 in expenses.
It’s always best to have more coverage than you might need. Additionally, you should always have UIM.
How to Handle Your Crash
If you didn’t have UIM coverage, then you might need to pursue a personal injury case against the at-fault driver through civil court. A car accident attorney can explain the extent of your coverage, the driver’s coverage, and your options for compensation. Compensation is a very flexible term, and there are many holes or gaps in coverage contracts or policies that lawyers can identify which you may not catch.
Get Help Handling Your Crash
Working with an attorney doesn’t have to cost you out-of-pocket money right now either. Many attorneys work with their clients on a contingency basis in an effort to provide affordable legal aid. That means that you would only pay if your Ohio attorney wins your case. Then they would only receive a percentage, rather than a flat fee. Contact Ohio Car Accident Lawyers of Toledo, OH to learn more about your case.