Ohio Auto Insurance Requirements

Apr 23 - 8 min

Whether you drive a car, motorcycle, commercial truck, or engage in rideshare driving, it is important to understand the Ohio’s auto insurance requirements. This guide is intended to inform you through Ohio’s insurance landscape, ensuring you are fully compliant and adequately protected. Auto insurance is legally required in Ohio so it is imperative that you have the right coverage for your specific needs.

Ohio Auto Insurance Requirements

In Ohio, adhering to the state’s Financial Responsibility (FR) laws is non-negotiable. It is illegal to drive any motor vehicle without insurance or other proof of financial responsibility. It is also unlawful for a car owner to let someone else drive their car without proof of insurance. To comply with these FR requirements, a person must either maintain insurance or secure a bond. This requirement is not only to protect you, but also other road users in case of an accident. The minimum liability auto insurance requirements in Ohio are:

While Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is not mandated by Ohio law, it is highly recommended. PIP can help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs after an accident, regardless of fault. Securing extra coverage can safeguard you and your assets in the unfortunate case of a severe accident. Insufficient coverage may permit the affected party to claim your assets to compensate for any damage incurred, as per legal allowances.

Alternatives to Standard Auto Insurance in Ohio

Ohio law offers alternatives to traditional auto insurance, allowing motorists to demonstrate financial responsibility in several ways:

  • BMV Certificate for Deposit: A certificate from the BMV showing you’ve deposited $30,000 in money or government bonds with the State Treasurer.
  • Real Estate Bond Certificate: A $30,000 bond certified by the BMV, signed by two individuals owning real estate with at least $60,000 in equity.
  • Certificate of Self-Insurance: Issued by the BMV for individuals or companies with more than 25 motor vehicles registered in their name.
  • Surety or Insurance Company Bond: A $30,000 bond from an authorized entity.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Motorcycle enthusiasts must adhere to the same liability insurance minimums as auto vehicles in Ohio. Motorcycle insurance must include:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury for an accident with two or more people.
  • $25,000 property damage

Ensuring you have the proper coverage is not just about compliance; it’s about your safety and financial security.

Uninsured Motorist

While uninsured motorist coverage is not a mandated requirement for motorcycles in Ohio, it is strongly recommended. This specific coverage protects you in the event of an accident with a driver who either lacks insurance or is underinsured. It ensures that medical costs, lost wages, and other damages are covered without the need to directly pursue the at-fault, uninsured driver.

Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements in Ohio

Commercial vehicle drivers in Ohio are subject to rigorous scrutiny under both state and federal regulations. This includes specific mandates from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which plays a pivotal role in overseeing transportation across the United States. Here’s an in-depth look at the key requirements for commercial truck insurance in Ohio:

  • The FMCSA requires commercial trucks engaged in hauling freight for hire across state lines to register and obtain a Federal DOT number. This is also required for intrastate trucks operating solely within Ohio.
  • Commercial trucks must adhere to minimum Commercial Auto Liability Insurance limits. This proof of insurance, verified through a BMC-91X Filing and an MCS-90 endorsement, is submitted directly to the FMCSA. Additionally, proof of insurance is provided to the Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) via a Form E filing by your insurance provider.
  • Commercial auto liability includes bodily injury and property damage to others.

Operating Across State Lines

Ohio requires different minimum liability coverage when operating across state lines depending on the commercial vehicle.

  • General Freight: A minimum liability coverage of $750,000 is required.
  • Household Goods: Carriers must have a minimum liability coverage of $300,000.
  • Cargo Vans & Sprinters: For interstate hauling, a $300,000 Commercial Auto Liability is mandated.

Rideshare Insurance Requirements in Ohio

Rideshare drivers operate under unique conditions, toggling between personal vehicle use and commercial operation. Ohio law, under Section 3942.02, requires rideshare drivers to maintain the following minimum coverage:

Insurance When Not Engaged in a Ride (App On):

  • Bodily Injury: $50,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury: $100,000 per accident
  • Property Damage: $25,000 per accident

Insurance When Engaged in a Ride:

  • Combined single limit of $1,000,000

These requirements aim to fill the insurance gaps that may occur during the different phases of rideshare driving. Personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage are not required in Ohio but strongly recommended.

Ohio Insurance Requirements Comprehensive Chart

Vehicle TypeInsurance TypeMinimum Coverage
AutoBodily Injury Liability$25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident (2+ persons)
Property Damage Liability$25,000 per accident
MotorcycleBodily Injury Liability$25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident (2+ persons)
Property Damage Liability$25,000 per accident
TrucksCommercial Auto Liability (Intrastate)General freight at least $750,000
Household goods carriers at least $300,000
Cargo vans & sprinters at least $300,000
RidshareInsurance When Not Engaged in A Ride (On App)Bodily injury: $50,000 per person; $100,000 per accident | Property damage: $25,000 per accident
Insurance When Engaged In A RideCombined single limit of $1,000,000

How Senft Injury Advocates Can Help

Understanding and navigating through Ohio’s auto insurance requirements can be overwhelming. Senft Injury Advocates specializes in providing comprehensive legal advice and representation tailored to the unique needs of Ohio drivers. With a commitment to safeguarding your rights and financial well-being, we offer a free initial consultation to help you understand your insurance obligations and navigate potential claims.

Whether you’re a personal vehicle owner, motorcycle rider, commercial driver, or rideshare operator, having the right insurance coverage is crucial. Contact Senft Injury Advocates today for expert support in navigating Ohio’s auto insurance requirements confidently.

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Ohio Auto Insurance Requirements