Vehicle Insurance Considerations When Driving in Ohio

If you own a car or truck, then you should know the importance of carrying auto insurance.

Not only is purchasing an adequate policy a smart decision - it is also the law in all 50 states.

When shopping for protection, there are many components to consider, from what types of costs are actually taken care of to the level of protection that is enough. There are also several discounts that can help make paying for a plan more affordable.

What Do Insurers Offer?

There are five primary types of coverage provided by car insurance companies. Knowing what is covered by each type is essential in selecting the right product to meet your needs:

  • Bodily Injury: This option protects the insured driver against legal claims that are made by other injured drivers if the policyholder is found to be at fault for an accident.
  • Liability: This protects the driver if they cause any property damage in a vehicular accident.
  • Collision: This option protects against any costs associated with damage to the insured driver's vehicle that is caused by a stationary object, such as a parked vehicle.
  • Comprehensive: This option goes towards any costs associated with damage to the policyholder's vehicle caused non-vehicular events, such as fire, theft or vandalism.
  • Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist: This protects the consumer if they are in an accident that is caused by someone with an inadequate policy or no insurance at all.

Knowing How Much is Enough

In almost every state, drivers are required by law to carry a minimum level of protection in order to protect other people on the road. In Ohio, the state minimum coverage is 12.5/25/7.5, meaning that citizens who drive must carry $12,500 for bodily injury for one person, with a maximum of $25,000 for all injured persons, and $7,500 for property damage.

In an effort to save money, many consumers tend to purchase the minimum coverage required by their state. However, state minimum limits often are not enough coverage to provide sufficient financial protection for the insured customer.

Take the average cost of a hospital stay for example. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average cost associated with an average hospital stay of 4.6 days was $23,958 in 2006.

Then, consider what the impact would be if you carried only Ohio's minimum requirements. With an average hospital stay costing close to $24,000, there is a good chance that your bodily injury limit of $12,500 would not be nearly enough to take care of the full expenses.

If the health care costs of a person you injured in an accident exceed your plan's limit of $12,500, the injured party could come after your assets to make up the remaining costs.

What Discounts are Available

In an effort to make policies more affordable for their customers, many providers offer an array of discounts. Some of the most common discounts include:

  • Multiple Policy Discount, which can save customers money by combining two or more types of policies, such as auto and homeowners insurance policies, with the same company.
  • Safe Driver Discount, which can save drivers money if their driving records are free of any moving violations for a certain period of time.
  • Anti-Theft/Safety Device Discount, which can save consumers money if their vehicles include anti-theft devices, such as an alarm, or certain safety features, such as airbags.
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