In Ohio, every driver is required to carry minimum amounts of insurance or equivalents on a vehicle before it can be registered. If you need to buy auto insurance in Ohio, here are a few tips to help you with your decision.
It's a good idea to shop around. Before you agree to an insurance policy, make sure it's the best possible rate and coverage you can get in Ohio. Check around with a few different auto insurance companies in your area to see what premiums and products are available to you. Your local yellow pages and newspaper classifieds will likely list a few different auto insurance companies for you to consider. Or you can check out online quotes from http://www.progressive.com/, http://www.allstate.com/ or http://www.statefarm.com/, or a similar website.
You have several other insurance alternatives in the state of Ohio. You can leave a $30,000 surety bond with an authorized company, you can get a BMV bond for $60,000 that is secured by real estate equity, or you can get a BMV certificate of $30,000 in money or government bonds. Any of these alternatives meet the state insurance coverage laws, and you'll be required to sign a form stating that you carry at least one of these types of coverage before you will operate a vehicle.
Know the minimum liability requirements. In Ohio, you are required to carry certain minimum liability coverage amounts. You'll need $12,500 for single bodily injury, $25,000 for all bodily injury, and $7,500 property damage.
Ohio is a tort state. This puts at-fault drivers on the line for all fees and expenses from an accident. If you are the at-fault driver, your insurance company (and you, depending on your coverage) will be required to pay for all auto repair and medical bills of the victims, along with any bills related to pain, suffering and loss of wages. Many times, these bills are very high. So for your own peace of mind, it's a good idea to get a policy that has extra coverage so that you won't be caught paying for you victim's bills because your insurance policy coverage limits weren't high enough.
Drivers can be excluded from your policy. In Ohio, it is legal to leave certain drivers in your household off of your insurance policy. These exclusions will be specifically listed on your policy, along with all of the circumstances that would remove any responsibility from your insurance company if an excluded driver were to be in an at-fault accident. While exclusions may lower your insurance premiums somewhat, it's suggested that you insure every driver in your household so that you will have comfort in knowing that your insurance will cover any accidents.
Make sure you have good credit history. Your credit history is used, in part, to determine the rates and products that will be offered to you by auto insurance companies in Ohio. So it's a good idea to keep your credit score high, and pay all of your bills on time. As well, auto insurance companies will look at your age, gender, location, car and driving record to determine the auto insurance premiums and policies you'll be offered in Ohio.