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Understanding Ohio's Car Insurance Laws


Ohio requires all persons who drive a motor vehicle on public roads to have some form of car insurance or another way to prove they have financial responsibility (FR). This sort of legislation is common throughout the country but there are always subtle nuances that make each state have its own unique laws. To ensure you are not violating any laws, or that you were not sold inadequate insurance coverage, review this breakdown of Ohio’s car insurance laws.

Using Insurance to Gain Financial Responsibility

Most drivers within Ohio use car insurance policies to gain financial responsibility. Under the related regulations, a person must buy insurance that covers both bodily injury liability and property damage liability. In the event of an accident, the insurance holder’s carrier will provide compensation needed to pay for medical and repair bills, up to a certain threshold.

The minimum threshold you can purchase to meet Ohio’s legal requirements are:

  • $25,000 per person injured per accident
  • $50,000 for all persons injured per accident
  • $25,000 for property repairs per accident

This breakdown is often simplified to 25/50/25. If any number of this trio is less than the minimum amount, you could find yourself in legal trouble, including high fines and a suspension of your driving privileges. You also do not have to only have the minimum coverage. Ohio allows people to sue for damages beyond what insurance companies will provide; for example, if you cause $30,000 worth of physical harm to another driver but only have 25/50/25 coverage, you may be ordered by a court to pay them the remaining $5,000 from your own expenses. Talk to your insurance provider if you believe you should increase your coverage, which will also increase your monthly premiums.

Using Bonds to Gain Financial Responsibility

Ohio actually allows drivers to gain FR through bonds or posted collaterals. This means that you do not need to get typical car insurance if you can prove to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) that you have the financial capability to pay off most repairs on your own.

To use this alternative to car insurance, you must obtain:

  • BMV certificate stating you possess $30,000+ in government bonds.
  • BMV certificate signifying at least two individuals with $60,000+ in real estate equity vouch for you.
  • BMV certificate stating that you have 25+ vehicles registered under your name.
  • $30,000+ bond issued by an authorized insurance company.

If you have questions about car insurance coverage after getting into a car accident, possibly with an uninsured motorist, you can turn to Rourke and Blumenthal LLC for legal guidance. Our Columbus personal injury attorneys have more than 75 years of combined legal experience we can use to help you in your case. Call 614.321.3212 today to set up a free initial consultation.

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