Ohio has very minimal requirements for car insurance to cover your vehicle in case you do end up in an accident. 12.5/25/7.5 is the liability requirement in Ohio. You have to have $12,500 in bodily injury coverage for each person that is injured or killed in an accident. This carries to a maximum of $25,000 for everyone involved in the same accident. You must also have $7,500 in property damage coverage for the accident.
Although, these are the insurance coverage requirements, you are only required to prove financial responsibility in the event that you have an accident. What does this mean exactly? It means that you can show you can pay for damages in other ways than carrying car insurance. You can opt for this or you can a bond worth $30,000 issued by a bond or surety company. This will have to be on file with the state of Ohio.
The other way to show financial responsibility is to have a certificate of bond issued by the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles), in the amount of $30,000. This must be signed by two people who own property that is valued at $60,000 minimum.
If you do not have this financial responsibility proof and you are in an accident or simply caught without it, there are severe penalties. For the first incident you can lose your driver’s license for 3 months. If it happens again, you will lose it for up to 1 year. A third time and you have lost it for 2 years. Subsequent violations, after the first offense will cause you to have to carry an SR-22 with your insurance company. This will push your insurance rates up quite a bit. This has to be on file with the state as well, and it will be required for anywhere from 3 to 5 years.
You can also risk having your car impounded and your licenses plates confiscated. Especially, if you are in violation of an active suspension, which is really not very wise. If you decide to risk this you can actually end up having your car taken away from you altogether. You won’t be able to register another one for 3 to 5 years after this.
Not having some form of financial responsibility really isn’t worth it. Bonds are a very large risk and can put you in deep financial holes. Your best bet is to get an insurance policy that not only covers the minimums but goes a bit further so that in the event of an accident you will have nothing to worry about other than your insurance company taking care of all the fine details.
The last part uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is for when the other person is at fault but they either have no insurance or not enough insurance to cover all the damages and costs. Your insurance company will pay the difference.
Ohio, by requiring all this insurance, assures that everyone involved in an accident is covered and taken care of.