For decades, Ohio law only requires a person to have a very minimal amount of liability coverage. Under current Ohio law, a person only needs to have liability coverage of $12,500 per person and $25,000 per occurrence to cover injury claims and $7,500 to cover property damage losses. This amount is terribly inadequate.

We all know that a trip to the emergency room after a car crash can involve extensive x-rays and CT scans. It is not unusual for an emergency room bill to end up between $5,000 to $7,500. How then can coverage for $12,500 be anywhere near enough to cover someone's medical bills for perhaps a year of treatment?  Even if it provides enough for medical bills, there is not enough insurance coverage to compensate the person for lost wages or pain and suffering. 

Why is the legislature so reluctant to increase the minimum limits? The insurance lobby does not want the limits to be higher. When an insurance company insures a high-risk driver for the minimum coverage, the insurance company's exposure is limited to that amount. These drivers cause a lot of accidents and when they do, they are usually significant crashes. The insurance company wants to limit its exposure to $12,500, write its check, and leave the injured person in the lurch for the remainder of the bills, harms, and losses.

The legislature is once again considering raising the minimum limits for auto coverage. H.B. 278 calls for an increase in liability coverage to $20,000 per person and $40,000 per occurrence for bodily injury claims and $15,000 for property damage claims. This is still inadequate for any significant injury claim, but it is a step in the right direction.

Please contact your state representative and state senator and urge them to support H.B. 278. Enacting the bill would make the people of Ohio just a little bit safer.



Some people get a false sense of security when they know they are somewhat covered by insurance. Often times, they do not know to what extent they should be protected, and realize too late that they are covered too little. There are some insurance companies that do not seek to protect its client's interest fully.
by Gordon McInnes September 25, 2012 at 04:46 AM
I agree with the author that minimum auto insurance coverage should be increased. Since healthcare costs are on the rise, the minimum limits for auto insurance coverage should also increase in order for victims of accidents to cope with the high hospital bills and loss of income.
by Chris Chinniah April 30, 2012 at 05:38 AM
I believe this is definitely a step in the right direction. Medical bills are not cheap and I think we all know that. Hopefully this goes through and continues to move forward.
by Kelly January 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM
If a person purchases automobile insurance, the state requires the person to purchase Bodily Injury Liability Coverage as well as Property Damage Liability Coverage.
by auto insurance quotes online comparison September 3, 2011 at 05:12 AM
Many drivers are woefully uneducated about liability in the event of accidents. In the case of these low liability coverages in Ohio it is the duty of a car insurance broker to explain that these are the very minimum amounts of coverage, not levels that are realistic with today's high medical costs. It is all too easy for people to opt for very cheap car insurance (i.e. the state minimum) without understanding the consequences.
by karen July 22, 2011 at 09:53 AM
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