Residents looking for Ohio car insurance need to understand the state laws in order to find a policy that meets those requirements - and their financial obligations. While annual premiums in this state remain below the national average, they still rose 27% since 2008. So it makes sense to know what you want and need before buying a policy.
Laws and Requirements
Ohio car insurance requirements are overseen by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BVM). In Ohio, there is a financial responsibility requirement that says drivers must carry proof of financial ability to cover minimal liability costs in an accident. The easiest and most affordable way for the majority of people is to have insurance and just carry your insurance card in the vehicle. You can also obtain a bond in the amount of $30,000 from authorized entities, or get a certificate of proof from the BMV.
Those minimal Ohio car insurance coverage requirements mentioned above are 12.5/25/7.5. This means you must have liability insurance in the amount of (or the money to pay for) $12,500 in bodily injury per person, $25,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $7,500 in property damage. Be aware that these amounts are low compared to many states. Most experts recommend that you get more coverage if you can afford to.
When an Accident Occurs
If you are in an accident, you may need to file a police report. If anyone is hurt, or if damages are over $400, then you are responsible for filing BMV form 333 and for contacting your Ohio car insurance agent and filing an insurance claim. You'll also want to have a mechanic look at your damaged vehicle and record the issues so you have proof that you have given an accurate report.
It's estimated that insurance fraud costs the average family over $900 every year on their Ohio car insurance policies. And it's not just serious "hard fraud" incidents like faking an accident that costs everyone money. The soft fraud costs are significant to rising insurance rates.
What is soft fraud?
These are the tall tales some folks tell their insurers to get more money out of a claim. It could include exaggerating the cost of damage in an accident or the value of a stolen car stereo. Those who are caught can find themselves in a lot of legal hot water, and have trouble getting insured ever again.
Since average premiums for Ohio car insurance are just over $1,600 per year, you want to make sure that you select a policy that meets legal requirements and your financial needs. Compare several policies before selecting the best one to protect your assets. Being informed is the most important protection you have.