Yet ANOTHER reason why Ohio auto insurance laws are lousy and favor insurance companies over consumers. We all know that Ohio law requires you to have liability insurance in order to drive. So does every other state. But some states protect motorists at the hands of dangerous drivers better than others.
For example, most states require drivers to have at least $25,000/50,000 liability limits. Here's what it means: if you are injured by a negligent motorist carrying "25/50" limits, you can collect from the negligent driver's insurer up to $25,000 for your individual injury claim if your injuries and bills and lost wages merit it. And if two or three members of your family were injured, for example, the most that can be collected for everybody is the $50,000 total limit.
These limits are not great, but at least they offer injured drivers more ability to recover their losses than states with bare bones limits requirements. General rule to remember: the higher the mandatory liability limits, the more protection consumers have.
For decades, Ohio law has required that drivers carry puny limits of $12,500/25,000. Forty six states have higher liability limits than Ohio. Yes, that's right--Ohio has stagnated at the bottom of the barrel with Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Florida as having the crappiest minimum liability limits laws in the U.S.
For YEARS insurance companies in Ohio have fought tooth and nail against joining almost every other state and raising minimum limits to more reasonable 25/50 limits. The arguments against simply bumping up the limits a notch usually involve the normal, threadbare ones like "it will make insurance more expensive", "it's bad for consumers," "bad for Ohio's economy," "the sky will fall, insurers will pack up and leave, Ohio will collapse and have to secede from the Union and join Canada, etc" (that last one was a slight exaggeration but you get the point...).
Nonsense. The difference in price between a "12.5/25" policy and a "25/50" one is probably less than $50 per year. If you don't believe me, just call and get some quotes on the difference between the two. I'll bet there isn't much of a difference.
More importantly, if you get clobbered by someone with minimal "12.5/25" limits, it means (1) you might have to access YOUR uninsured/underinsured motorists' policy with your own company to recover the losses not covered by a flimsy "12.5/25" policy; and (2) if you can't make a claim against your own policy and are stuck with thousands in unpaid bills, you might have to go on Medicaid or file bankruptcy.
I guess our Legislature must believe that increasing government assistance rolls and bankruptcy is better than making insurers offer in Ohio what they offer in 46 other states. And, by golly, we sure can't have any insurance laws that PROTECT consumers now, can we?
There are numerous more reasons why Ohio insurance laws are HORRIBLE for consumers, and what you can do about it to protect your family. Just click here to order my free book, "How To Buy Auto Insurance In Ohio To Protect Your Family,"** and its yours.
** Doubles as an all natural insomnia cure. Not to be read in conjunction with any other books or materials, particularly your insurance policy, which may caused bluured vision and headaches...