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In order to legally drive a vehicle on public roads in Ohio, you must have active auto insurance coverage. If you get pulled over or are involved in a crash, you’ll need to show the responding police officer proof of your coverage. If you aren’t insured at the time you’re pulled over, you’ll receive a ticket and can even lose your license until you purchase insurance.
Having an active auto insurance policy isn’t just good for avoiding a citation and loss of license, but it can also protect you if you’re involved in a crash where you’re ruled at fault. Otherwise, you might be stuck paying for not just your own vehicle repairs and medical bills, but the other driver’s and any passengers' as well, entirely out of pocket. For these reasons, it’s essential to have auto insurance not just for legal purposes, but also for financial peace of mind.
Auto insurance policies can vary widely, and many people don’t know how much they should get. In this blog, we’ll talk about how much coverage most people need.
Ohio requires that all drivers meet a minimum liability coverage amount of:
These amounts are designed to cover most accidents, but many crashes cause damages that far exceed minimum coverage requirements. That is why most insurance companies sell policies that offer more coverage than the minimum required by the state.
If you cause an accident that causes expenses that exceed your amount of coverage, the other driver may be able to sue you for expenses beyond your coverage, and you may have to pay out of pocket to cover those expenses. In addition, minimum required liability coverage won’t pay a dime to repair or replace your own vehicle in a crash. That’s why you should also purchase collision coverage for yourself.
It’s recommended to at least double your amount of coverage for injuries, deaths, and property damage from the minimum requirement. For added protection, consider quadrupling the minimum requirement if you can afford to do so.
Medical bills and lost wages can quickly and easily overwhelm even “good” coverage amounts, leaving drivers on the hook for the bills of anyone they injure in a crash. If you don’t have the money on hand to cover the difference between what the injured parties want and what your insurance provides, you may have to pay for it in other ways, including wage garnishment or even loss of personal assets.
Auto insurers offer coverage that goes far beyond the minimum requirement in Ohio. In addition to meeting minimum coverage, you should also add:
Many people expect a fight when they sue other drivers and try to get compensation through their insurance policies. But they often expect their own insurers to treat them more fairly when they need to tap into their policies, especially when they’ve been paying their premiums faithfully and on time for years.
Unfortunately, insurers want to protect their profits no matter who is filing claims against them, and that includes their own loyal customers. That leaves many injured auto accident victims facing a rude awakening when they realize that they’re fighting battles on two fronts—one against the other drivers’ insurers and another against their own.
Having auto insurance means satisfying Ohio’s legal requirement to drive and reducing the chances that you’ll be in a major financial bind after a crash. But getting the money you’re owed from your insurance or from the at-fault driver’s insurance is no guarantee, especially if you don’t have an experienced law firm on your side.
At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we believe that having adequate insurance is always preferable to having only the minimum amount of coverage. However, that’s often only step one of getting fair compensation. Our Ohio car accident lawyers want to help you get every penny you’re owed after a crash that wasn’t your fault.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
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