Ohio boasts some of the lowest car insurance rates in the country, but that doesn't eliminate the need to shop around for a policy. When stacked up against many states, Ohio has fairly lenient auto insurance requirements as well. In fact, drivers can opt to use bonds or post collateral in order to avoid car insurance altogether. Still, it's much wiser to maintain valid coverage because a single accident can result in thousands of dollars in damages and injuries. With a decent car insurance policy, an Ohio driver can breathe easy and avoid serious financial repercussions.
Statistics about Ohio Drivers
Before beginning a search for auto insurance in Ohio, it's helpful to get a basic understanding of who is on the road in that state. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Buckeye State had a population of 11,544,225 as of July 2012. Like many states, Ohio is very large. Most of its population is concentrated in major cities and metropolitan areas like Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo and Cleveland. The rest of the state is primarily made up of farmland, but major freeways and state routes criss-cross all over the place.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, there were 7,982,149 licensed drivers in the state of Ohio in November 2012, which means that approximately 69 percent of residents were legally able to operate motor vehicles. Of those who can't legally drive, a significant percentage was likely under the legal driving age, which is 16. Others may have lost driving privileges due to moving violations and other infractions. Still, millions of people are legally on the road in Ohio, and car accidents are very real possibilities. With that in mind, no one should get behind the wheel without valid insurance.
Of the nearly 8 million people who are legally on the road in Ohio, 3,864,118, or 48.41 percent, are men. Female drivers accounted for 51.59 percent of licensed drivers, with a total of 4,118,031 on the road. 243,014 drivers in the state of Ohio were under the age of 19, which means that a fairly large percentage have very little driving experience. The largest group of legal drivers fell into the 50-54 age group, which accounted for 390,965 of all drivers. Regardless of age, however, all drivers should maintain valid auto insurance.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Ohio
Ohio has fairly relaxed car insurance requirements. When compared with its neighbor to the north, Michigan, the state's requirements seem practically nonexistent. In fact, Ohio's fairly lax auto insurance requirements are largely why it ranks 13th in the country for low insurance rates.
Drivers can opt for regular auto insurance to satisfy these requirements, but there are other options too. However, insurance is the only surefire way to avoid being sued in court for anything that isn't covered by a bond or other alternative. Indeed, drivers must either maintain auto insurance or have proof of financial responsibility, which can either be in the form of a certificate from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles showing that cash or a government bond of $30,000 has been produced or that real estate with equity of at least $60,000 is available as collateral.
The primary requirements for auto insurance coverage in the state of Ohio include:
- Bodily Injury Liability - This protects drivers in the event that another person is injured during an accident, and it also covers the drivers' medical costs.
- Property Damage Liability - Property Damage Liability covers damages to vehicles and other property.
Car insurance policies in Ohio must be motor vehicle liability policies. This is an important distinction. Any company that sells insurance in the state of Ohio should offer policies that satisfy this requirement.
It's technically legal to drive without car insurance in Ohio because proof of financial responsibility can be used instead. However, this opens up many serious consequences. Auto accidents can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages and injuries. If the available cash isn't enough to cover the rest, a driver could be sued. Drivers' cars, homes and other belongings can also be put into jeopardy. By collecting auto insurance quotes in Ohio, anyone can find affordable coverage.