How Much Auto Insurance Do I Need To Be Protected?

One of your first calls after a car crash should be to your insurance company. You pay your insurer monthly with the understanding that they’ll cover your costs if you’re involved in an Ohio car crash. Vehicle collisions aren’t cheap, and the costs can quickly add up. Even car crashes with no injuries cost an average of $12,800. Wrecks that cause injuries cost nearly $30,000 on average. Unfortunately, many people are surprised at what their insurance companies will and won’t cover after a crash. Before choosing an auto insurance policy, it’s essential to consider what’s included in its coverage. Choosing the cheapest monthly premium can be tempting, but that’s a decision you might regret after a crash. 

Types of Auto Insurance

Ohio drivers are legally required to have auto insurance. If someone is caught driving uninsured, they will lose their driver’s license and vehicle registration until they obtain adequate insurance. The minimum amount of auto insurance required in Ohio is 25/50/25, which is:

  • $25,000 for injury/death per person
  • $50,000 for injury/death per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

Ohio drivers must carry both bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, but you should have more than minimum coverage in order to protect you and your family/loved ones. If the damage from an Ohio car crash exceeds your coverage, you will be personally responsible for paying the difference. The costs of medical bills and property damage after a car crash can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you can’t pay for the crash expenses out-of-pocket, your assets might be at stake if your case gets taken to court. Below are the most common types of auto insurance and what protection they provide. 

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage pays for damage if you’re at fault in a car crash. Liability coverage typically covers damage to other property, including vehicles, fences, and poles. It also pays for any medical expenses that injured parties might incur, but only from whatever insurance coverage the at fault driver has. Liability insurance is mandatory in Ohio and most all other states.

Collision Coverage

Collision insurance covers any damage to your own vehicle during a car accident, regardless of who was at fault for the crash. Typically, collision coverage includes a deductible that you must meet before insurance pays for further repairs. Some people skip collision coverage if they drive older cars or can afford to pay for a total loss of their vehicle. 

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance provides coverage when a vehicle is damaged outside of a collision.  Some examples include windshield damage, theft, fire, or incidents like striking an animal or damage from a natural disaster. Comprehensive coverage is often required if you finance or lease a vehicle. 

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UI/UIM)

This is the most important coverage you can have as it is the only insurance which will protect you if another driver causes a wreck and they don’t have enough insurance.  While it’s illegal for Ohio residents to drive without insurance, up to 15% of Ohio drivers are uninsured, and many have only the state minimum of $25,000/50,000. If you’re in a crash with an uninsured driver, they are responsible for your costs. But you may have to take them to court to recover any money, and if they don’t have significant assets, you will struggle to get anything at all. UI/UIM covers your medical bills and property damage if you’re in a wreck with an uninsured or underinsured driver, but only up to the amount of coverage you paid for.

Auto insurers often advertise “full-coverage insurance,” but knowing what full coverage means is really important. In Ohio, full coverage describes any insurance policy that includes more than the bare minimum. For example, you may not be fully covered against uninsured motorists with a full coverage policy. Closely reading a policy is essential to ensure that your new insurance company will take care of you following a car wreck and something we are happy to help you understand, especially before you need it. 

After An Ohio Car Accident

Even if you have suitable insurance coverage, your insurer may not be accommodating after an Ohio car crash. You should be careful during conversations never to share unnecessary details or guess that you might have been at fault. Insurance companies regularly fail to offer fair payouts for the damage you sustained. 

If you have questions about an Ohio auto insurance claim after a car accident, contact Murray & Murray for a free consultation. Our Ohio car wreck attorneys know how to handle insurance companies and fight for your best interests. Call us at 419-624-3000 today.