It is unusual to find a driver who has never experienced
Ohio law mandates all drivers to carry a policy that includes bodily injury liability of $12,500 per person, $25,000 for all individuals injured in an incident, and $7500 for property damage. This coverage is not optional. While relatively expensive, the average cost that Ohio residents pay is somewhat less than $700 per year, lower than many other states.
When basic shelter and food costs are the first priority, it may be tempting to let a policy lapse, but that can be an very expensive error in judgment. Even if no accident occurs, the inability to show proof of coverage can result in loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 90 days, and a maximum of two years.
Uninsured drivers must also pay license plate reinstatement fees, and those involved in a traffic violation can have their vehicle confiscated for as long as two months. Repeat violations can result in vehicle forfeiture, and a five year suspension of vehicle registration. These penalties do not include medical and legal bills resulting from a crash.
An uninsured motorist causing accidental injuries may be personally sued for an amount that may be staggeringly high, sometimes in the millions of dollars. Without the money to pay for a judgement, a driver will lose his or her home, and all valuable possessions. Wages can be legally garnished until the debt is paid. This financial damage can last a lifetime.
A restoration of all driving privileges will not happen until all qualifications have been met. The only alternative is to secure an up-front $30,000 bond issued by a legally authorized surety or insurance company, sometimes based on home equity. If that is not possible, buying a low-cost policy is the only realistic option in areas without adequate public transportation.
Fortunately, there are many on-line companies that offer rock-bottom prices, and they are easily found in an Internet search. A sound credit rating helps lower costs, and there are many discounts available for good drivers, older cars, and even for students with good grades. Knowing the OH requirements for ins is not optional, however, and this is one area of personal financial responsibility that should never be ignored.