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In Ohio, there are more than 8 million licensed drivers. With the intertwined network of roads covering thousands of miles, drivers get involved in catastrophic road accidents that result in injuries and death. The traffic management authorities often determine cases involving car accidents based on the car at fault. Therefore, car owners are tacitly mandated to acquire car insurance to indicate their capability to cover their financial responsibility if they cause a road accident. Not only is an auto insurance a legal requirement but it also offers protection. This guide provides critical insights into the state laws governing car insurance in Ohio.

What is a "fault" car accident system?

A fault car accident system places all financial responsibilities on the driver determined to have caused an accident. S/he is responsible for compensating the other driver for any injuries, damages or losses due to a collision. The vehicle insurance company has to surmount all financial requirements as stipulated in the coverage policy.

Financial responsibility laws

As stipulated in Ohio state laws, all drivers must meet the minimum financial requirement for any car insurance. Any driver found guilty of driving without fulfilling the financial obligation can be fined or sentenced to jail. Special cases under the Ohio tort system, an at-fault driver can also incur further costs which include economic damages (wages lost due to incapacitation) as well as physical and emotional damages.

The minimum auto insurance amounts in Ohio

  • $25,000 required for the injury or death of one individual caused by accident (a driver, pedestrian, passenger, etc.)
  • $50,000 to cover all injuries and damages because of a single collision; and
  • $25,000 covers any damages to property as brought forth by an accident you cause.

The above amounts are but the minimum requirements by the state. Car owners are often encouraged to carry vehicle insurance with higher minimums for more protection. The state's minimum is usually on the lower limit, and can quickly get depleted in case the at-fault driver is involved in a severe collision, causing serious injuries, or vehicle damages. If the state determines you're at fault in such an accident and you only bear the minimum financial requirements, you'll most likely use your assets to surmount the remaining difference.

Vehicle insurance liabilities

If you give permission to another person to drive your car (either a family member or a third party) you are liable for any accident they cause. The insurance will also cover you if you're driving a rental vehicle.

All drivers need to carry their IDs and car insurance at all times as they will be required to present it at any traffic stops when the need arises.

One critical thing you need to remember is that the liabilities and financial responsibilities mentioned above only cover the victim of the accident (the injured party) which also involve car accident damages. Any repairs on damages or injuries you suffer from an accident you cause require that you obtain a separate vehicle and medical coverage policies.

Penalties: driving without car insurance in Ohio

In Ohio, all drivers must show proof of vehicle insurance and driving license and have it on them while on the road. If any driver is found guilty of going against the law can face the following consequences:

  • A Suspension of driving license for three months. If s/he repeats the offense, their driving privileges can be suspended for up to 12 months.
  • Impoundment or towing of vehicle or registration plate. Additionally, the car owner is required to pay all storage and impoundment costs.
  • A license reinstatement fee of $150 is required; a $500 payment as reinstatement fee in case of a repeated offense.
  • A third or multiple traffic offenses will compel the state to call for vehicle forfeiture or suspension of driving privileges for up to five years.