The Benefits of Auto Liability Insurance in Ohio
Before you can drive a car in Ohio, state regulations require you to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a bond worth at least $30,000 or auto insurance. When you opt for insurance, you need to purchase both Property Damage Liability Insurance and Bodily Injury Liability Insurance that provide a minimum amount of coverage. That amount is $25,000 for destruction of property in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident. For personal injury, you need to carry insurance that provides $25,000 in coverage for injury to one person or $50,000 for injuries to all people involved in a single accident.
Why You May Want More Insurance than the State Minimum
To protect their financial interests in case of a serious accident, drivers can choose to carry more than the minimum amount of liability insurance required in Ohio. If you are at fault in an accident that causes serious injury to another person, state law allows him or her to take your assets to cover costs associated with recovering from the accident. That means you could be held legally responsible for paying all expenses of the accident beyond the limits of what your insurance company will cover.
If you do not have the money to pay, you could face wage garnishment and lose major assets such as your home or car. When you consider everything that a single accident could cost you, it makes sense to consider getting as much insurance protection as you can afford. Insurance experts recommend having at least $100,000 of coverage for property damage and bodily damage to a single person and $300,000 for bodily damage to multiple people involved in the same accident.
Types of Expenses Paid by Your Bodily Injury Policy
This portion of your auto insurance pays expenses up to your policy limit for injuries or death caused when at fault for a car, truck, or motorcycle accident. The insurance payment covers the driver and all passengers in his or her car as well as any pedestrian or cyclist hurt by your vehicle. Although exact coverage varies from one insurance policy to the next, most cover the following minimum expenses:
- Medical expenses for another person’s injuries directly resulting from the accident.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering of the other party.
- Lost wages while recovering from the accident and potentially the difference between pre-accident and post-accident wages if the injured person can no longer do the same job.
- Funeral expenses resulting from a fatal accident.
The property damage portion of your car insurance policy pays for damage to the other driver’s vehicle when you were at fault, as well as items inside of the vehicle that were damaged or destroyed. It could also pay to repair or replace public property that you damaged during the accident. Some common examples include:
- fire hydrants,
- utility poles.
The liability portion of your auto insurance policy can also cover legal fees if another driver sues you in an at-fault accident.
How Insurers Determine the Premium for Liability Insurance
Your auto insurance will obviously be cheapest when you choose only minimum liability. Unfortunately, this means you are putting your biggest assets on the line if you ever cause an accident resulting in serious injury or fatality. If you want greater coverage but the premium seems unaffordable, you may be able to work with your agent to obtain a more favorable rate by bundling services or having an accident-free record.
Here are the most common factors that insurance agents consider when setting rates for your policy:
- average miles driven per year,
- credit history,
- driving record, including previous accidents and/or tickets,
- geographical location,
- how long you have had your driver’s license,
- make, model, and year of manufacture of your vehicle,
- marital status,
- past insurance coverage,
- record of previous claims, and
- whether you use the vehicle for business or personal use.
The good news is that doubling your coverage does not cost double the premium.
What Your Auto Liability Insurance Policy Will Not Cover
While it is good to know what type of coverage you can depend on if you need it, you should also know what’s not covered. Here are the most common types of exclusions from auto liability insurance:
- Causing intentional injury to another person.
- Driving a vehicle only meant for off-road activity.
- Getting into an accident when driving a vehicle for pay, such as food delivery or ride-sharing.
- Intentionally damaging or destroying your own property or that of another person.
- Sustaining damage in a car accident while intentionally speeding or racing.
Not Every Driver is as Responsible as You
You take your responsibility as a driver seriously. Unfortunately, this is not true of all drivers in Ohio. Perhaps you were recently in accident involving a driver with minimal insurance or even no insurance coverage. With Ohio being an “at fault” fault state, you rely on the other driver to have adequate coverage to pay for any related medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. You may not know where to turn when insurance is lacking.
The attorneys at Amourgis & Associate work with people every day who have sustained serious injuries or experienced the death of a loved one in a vehicle accident that was not their fault. If you find yourself in this situation and feel frustrated with the minimum amount of compensation available, contact our nearest location to request a free consultation and review of your case.
We have eight locations throughout Ohio, including Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, greater Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown. Contact our office online or call (800) 444-1967 to be connected to the nearest location.