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One way to tackle the question of car insurance is by first knowing your state’s minimum requirements. From there, you can price out additional protection.In Ohio, it’s illegal to drive without insurance or even to allow somebody without insurance to drive your car. You’re also required to carry proof of insurance, though pulling up proof on your smartphone is OK.
Average car insurance costs in Ohio
Ohio’s average for car insurance costs is between $900 and $1,000 annually. It’s one of the cheapest states in the country to buy auto insurance, which is a far cry from its neighbor Michigan — Michigan is almost always the most expensive state for this coverage, year over year. And for reference, the average across all 50 states is right around $1,200 a year.
Because individual car insurance policies are affected by so many outside policies, you could still end up paying significantly more or less than your state’s average. It’s typically a good idea to analyze these factors to see how they might be affecting your rates.
What affects my car insurance rates?
Your car insurance rates are typically affected by factors like these:
- Age. If you’re younger than 25 or older than 70, you can expect to pay more for your coverage than the ages in between. This is because out of all age demographics, accident risk is highest among drivers between 16 and 19, and slowly lowers through the mid-30s.
- Type of car. Owning a fast sports car is something a lot of people daydream about, and maybe you’ve got your eye on a Porsche when you retire someday. But it’s good to note that when cars are designed to go fast, they tend to be driven fast; this puts them at an elevated level of accident risk, and insurers will always charge accordingly. A Toyota Corolla might not have the same curb appeal, but it’s far cheaper to insure, maintain and fill up with fuel than an imported roadster.
- Driving record. If you’ve only been driving for a few years, or if you have any serious black marks in your driving history, most insurers will charge you more for coverage. The longer you go without any accidents or traffic violations, the more likely you are to earn a good driver discount or something similar.
- Location. Rural drivers typically pay less for car insurance than people who live and commute in high traffic or urban areas. This is because in the country, risks or theft, vandalism and multi-vehicle accidents are far lower, meaning rural drivers are less likely overall to file claims.
- Gender. With the exception of three states — Hawaii, Massachusetts and North Carolina — women could pay 5-15% less for car insurance. This is because men are statistically more likely to get into accidents, far more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol and less likely to wear their seat belt. However, this insurance cost differential tends to even out as drivers approach the age of 50.
- Marital status. Married people are seen as more stable, both financially and otherwise, and statistics show that married people are less likely to get into accidents or file insurance claims than single people.
- Occupation. There are often special discounts or considerations made for people who work in certain fields. For example, teachers, professors and school administrators often pay less for their coverage, as do medical professionals and healthcare workers. Membership with certain professional organizations or work unions could also net you a discount.
On the other side of the coin, if you drive your own vehicle throughout the day for work — say, outside sales representatives or site inspectors — the extra mileage and road time could increase your insurance rates.
- Other drivers. Whenever you add another driver to your car insurance policy, all their factors start to play into your costs. This means even the safest middle-aged driver out there could pay higher than the average when their teenage son or daughter starts collecting speeding tickets with the family car.
- Typical driving habits. Do you have a lengthy commute every day of the week? Do you put on more miles per week than the average driver? These kinds of things can help or hurt your chance of getting a great rate. If you never drive more than 50 or 100 miles in a week, tell your insurer and see if this can get you a lower rate.
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Rates last updated February 24th, 2018
Driving requirements in Ohio
In Ohio, it’s mandatory to carry liability coverage of at least:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person.
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident.
- $25,000 property damage per accident.
When you’re shopping for insurance, you’ll see this coverage listed as 25/50/25.
Some states require drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM). Ohio isn’t one of those states.
But to best protect yourself and your property, you may need to look beyond liability coverage to:
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. Offers protection if you’re hit by someone with insufficient or no insurance.
- Collision. Pays for damage to your vehicle after an accident.
- Comprehensive. Covers damage from something other than an accident — like a fire or vandalism.
- Medical.Helps cover medical expenses caused by an accident, no matter who’s at fault.
- Rental reimbursement. Pays you back for car rental costs if you need one after an accident.
- Emergency roadside assistance. Provides towing and a number to call if you’re stranded on the road.
Uninsured drivers statistics in Ohio
Even though it’s illegal to drive without insurance, people do it every day. The national average of uninsured motorists is 12.6% — or just below Ohio’s average 13.5% who drive uninsured. With this mind, you may want to add uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance protection to your policy, even though the state doesn’t require it.
Drunk driving laws in Ohio
Like all states, Ohio prohibits driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you’re caught driving with a BAC over the legal limit of .08%, you’re likely to face fines, a driver’s license suspension and even some jail time.
|First offense||Second offense||Third offense||Fourth offense|
|Jail||3 days-6 months||10 days-12 months||1-12 months||2-12 months|
|Fines and Penalties||$250-$1,000||$350-$1,500||$350-$1,500||$800-$10,000|
|License Suspension||6 months to |
|1-5 years||1-10 years||3 years minimum; possibly permanent|
|Ignition Interlock Device required||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Should I ever refuse a chemical test in Ohio?
When you’re pulled over by police, especially late at night, you may be questioned about your drinking. Have you had anything to drink that night? Could you pass a breathalyzer test?
As scary as this is, you probably shouldn’t refuse a portable breath test or field sobriety test. Most lawyers will tell you that refusing, as the law states, will get you into trouble. Beyond that, the PBT or field sobriety test isn’t the one that will be used in court if you’re charged with a DUI or DWI; officers will usually administer a more controlled and precise breath test or blood test for results that justify booking you.
|Refusing PBT or breathalyzer||1st Offense||2nd offense||3rd Offense|
|License suspension||1 year||2 years ||3 years|
What should I do after an accident in Ohio?
No matter how small, a car accident is traumatic and can leave you feeling shaken up. It’s best to prepare with a clear plan of action to make the aftermath a bit less chaotic.
1. Safety first. Check on everyone involved in the accident, and call 911 if anyone is hurt.
2. Report the accident. Call your provider to let them know you were in an accident. They’ll walk you through the information they need for the claim.
3. Document the scene. Gather as much information as possible from the scene. Take pictures from multiple angles, talk to witness and collect the names of all responders.
4. Exchange information. Don’t leave the scene without the information you need to make your claim, including the names, contact info and insurance details for all other drivers. Also note the make, model, year, and color of vehicles involved in the accident.
When talking with others, don’t admit responsibility for the accident. Your claim could be denied if you suggest the accident was your fault.
Who’s at fault after an accident?
Ohio is a “tort” state — meaning the person who’s at fault for an accident is liable for any property damage and bodily harm in an accident. If the at-fault driver is insured, their insurance should pay out up to the policy’s limit.
- If you’re at fault and injured, your health insurance or additional medical coverage on your auto insurance should cover your injuries.
- If the other driver is at fault and you’re injured, you may receive help with your medical bills though their liability coverage.
There are 12 no-fault states, and Ohio is bordered by three of them: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Kentucky. When crossing state lines, be aware that driving rules could differ.
What if I don’t have insurance?
If you’re caught driving without insurance in Ohio, you face penalties that include:
- A suspended license. The state will suspend your license until you can pay the fine and prove you have insurance. Subsequent violations can come with loss of your license for up to three years.
- Impoundment of your car. You’ll lose your registration and license plates and pay from $100 to $600 to get them reinstated.
To get your license back, you must show proof of insurance or financial responsibility. You’ll typically need to apply for high-risk coverage and file an SR-22 for three to five years.
How to report an accident in Ohio
If you’re involved in an accident in Ohio and nobody is injured, you’re not required to call the police.
If the accident results in injuries, death or more than $400 in damages, you’re required to report the accident. Responding police officers will complete an accident report on your behalf.
If you’re hit by an uninsured driver, you have six months to file a crash report with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Ohio requires liability coverage, but it could be worth it to carry more than the minimum to protect yourself and other drivers on the road. For the best coverage at the lowest prices, review your options with a variety of car insurance providers before making a decision.
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Common questions about car insurance in Ohio