Ohio Car Insurance Regulations & Required Coverage

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Sep 24, 2020

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In Ohio, all drivers are required to have specific insurance coverage minimums. Failure to hold appropriate coverage can result in fines, suspensions and even the loss of your vehicle. Following Ohio insurance law isn’t difficult and everyone should be insured to protect themselves and other drivers.

Ohio requires that a driver must always be found to be at fault for causing an accident. This is known as a tort system and while the specifics can vary from state to state, the general rules are the same. Once someone is found to be at fault, they are held financially responsible for damages incurred by the accident.

Required Coverage

All personal vehicles in Ohio require the following liability coverage requirements:

  • Bodily Injury
  • Property Damage
Minimum Ohio Car Insurance Requirements
Bodily Injury Liability $12,500 / $25,000 Limit
Property Damage Liability $7,500 Limit

Additional insurance coverage can include:

  • Uninsured / Underinsured Coverage
  • Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Uninsured / Underinsured coverage helps pay for damages if you are in an accident with someone who does not have adequate insurance coverage or no coverage at all. It also will assist you in paying for damages if you are involved in a hit and run accident.

Collision and comprehensive coverage are optional coverages that can help provide additional security for you and your vehicle. Collision will help cover car related expenses if your vehicle has been involved in any type of collision while comprehensive covers expenses for non-collision related incidents. Non-collision incidents can include damage done by a blizzard or a fire. It also includes car thefts. We have a list of most stolen vehicles in Ohio. Even if your car isn’t listed doesn’t mean you should skimp on this coverage.

Proof of Insurance and Financial Responsibility

Establishing proof of insurance and financial responsibility

  • Get a standard liability car insurance policy and receive a certificate of insurance
  • Post a surety bond in the amount of $32,500 with a licensed insurance agency.
  • Deposit $30,000 in cash or government bonds with the Ohio Treasurer

Required Documentation

In order to provide proof of insurance, you can provide one of the following:

  • Insurance ID Card
  • Insurance Policy
  • Section A of a State Crash Report
  • Surety bond of $30,000 issued by a company authorized to do business in Ohio
  • BMV bond of at least $60,000 that is secured by real estate
  • BMV Certificate showing that government bonds or cash in the amount of $30,000 is on deposit
  • BMV Certificate of self insurance (this is only available to people/companies who own at least 26 vehicles

You must maintain proof of insurance and financial responsibility and present it:

  • When asked by a police officer
  • After receiving a letter from the Ohio BMV asking for proof of insurance
  • After an accident
  • When obtaining or transferring your license or permit
  • When restoring your license after having it revoked or suspended
  • When obtaining a registration for your vehicle
  • Anytime you are operating a vehicle

Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility Penalties

If you are unable to show proof of insurance when asked, you can face one of the following penalties:

  • Loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 90 days and maximum of 2 years
  • Suspension of license plates and vehicle registration
  • Fees between $75 – $600 to reinstate your license plates
  • Other additional fees
  • Requirement to file SR-22 or bond for a minimum of 3 years and maximum of 5 years
  • Having your vehicle immobilized and plates confiscated for 3 – 60 days for violating FR suspension. Further offenses can result in forfeiture of your vehicle and a suspension of your registration for 5 years.

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