February 7th, 2012|
As Ohio law currently stands, an Ohio licensed driver is required to purchase automobile liability insurance with coverage of $12,500 bodily injury per person, $25,000 injury for two or more persons, and $7,500 property damage. These very low minimum insurance limits have not changed since 1969. As a result, Ohio ranks toward the bottom of all fifty (50) states in terms of the dollar amount of insurance that a driver must carry to satisfy claims if he or she causes injury to other motorists from a motor vehicle collision.
Presently before Ohio’s General Assembly are two (2) bills. HB 395 has been introduced to increase the speed limit on Ohio’s interstate freeways from 65 to 70 miles per hour for all vehicles. Also pending is HB 278, which increases Ohio’s minimum insurance limits in two steps. The final step will increase minimum insurance limits to $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 injury for two or more persons, and $25,000 for property damage. Even these increases are woefully inadequate and will often not be enough to fully compensate innocent victims of car accidents. However, these modest increases are a step in the right direction, and Ohio’s lawmakers should pass them before considering any increase in speed limits on our highways.
Ohio lawmakers should be guided by the minimum insurance requirements for interstate trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations require an interstate truck to carry minimum liability insurance of $750,000. See 49 CFR Part 387.9. While lawmakers are not going to require all motorists to increase limits this high, at the very least HB 278 should be amended to require Ohio’s intrastate trucks to increase insurance limits to be consistent with the Federal Code. Ohioans need to write, email, or telephone their elected officials to mandate an increase in minimum insurance limits before an increase in speed limits.
For far too long, I have represented victims of car accidents who are further victimized by Ohio’s inadequate minimum insurance limits. I currently represent a young mother whose legs were crushed in a car accident on November 30, 2011. She missed Christmas with her two (2) very young children due to an extended stay in the hospital and a rehabilitation facility. To make matters worse, the person who caused the accident has very limited insurance coverage. Sadly, my client’s uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage is also limited and will not fully compensate her for her injuries.
Do you have adequate uninsured and underinsured coverage? If you can afford to put gas in your car, then you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to have better insurance coverage. Consider how much you spend a month on gasoline and compare that to how much you spend a month on insurance. You will be surprised how little it costs to increase the insurance limits on your vehicle. For further information, please read how I was able to help a smart trucker receive full compensation because he had quality underinsured motorist coverage. Quality uninsured / underinsured coverage is a must for protecting you and your family. Please contact me today, free of charge, so I can help you review your insurance policy.