Currently, the state financial responsibility minimum requirements for drivers operating a motor vehicle are $12,500 per person/$25,000 per occurrence (bodily injury or death) and an additional $7,500 for property damage. The new law would increase property damage limits to $25,000 and also raise bodily injury limits.
These limits have not changed since 1969, and are considered low when compared to many other states. For instance, neighboring states Indiana and Kentucky both require $25,000 per person/$50,000 pr occurrence for bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage. And currently, the only states with lower requirements are Florida and Louisiana.
“We view this as a positive change and perhaps long overdue,” said Ed Harris, owner of Ohiocarinsurancerates.com, the leading online resource for providing free online auto insurance rates. “Although premiums will slightly increase for some consumers, drivers and passengers will be better protected, and this will bring us more in line with most other states.
For example, $7,500 of property damage coverage will simply not pay for any new vehicle that is totaled. And quite often, $12,500 is not sufficient to cover personal injuries.”
Most drivers in Ohio already carry higher liability limits than the proposed new requirements, and therefore should not see any change in their rates. Existing drivers that only have the minimum amounts will be required to raise their coverage to meet the new standards.
Driving a motor vehicle without coverage or required financial responsibility is illegal. It is also illegal to allow another person to operate a vehicle without showing proof of coverage. Also, proof of insurance must be shown at the time of a violation or accident. A license suspension will result if coverage is not in effect.
Additional information regarding Ohio auto insurance rates or state minimum limits can be found online at http://www.ohiocarinsurancerates.com.