Proposed Ohio Auto Insurance Bill Would Double Liability Minimums

Audi sport utility vehicleInsurers and Ohio state government officials are butting heads over a proposed bill that would raise auto liability minimums.

Trial lawyer and state representative Gerald Stebelton introduced the bill last year, according to the Dayton Daily News, but it is still waiting to be heard by the House Insurance Committee.

According to the  Ohio Department of Insurance, the law currently requires drivers in the state to carry policies with bodily injury liability coverage of at least $12,500 per person and $25,000 total per accident, as well as $7,500 in property damage liability.  Stebelton believes it’s necessary to increase minimum requirements because, he says, too often people with higher limits end up paying for those who are under-insured.

“As you think about it, the minimum (bodily injury) limits of $12,500 per injury and $25,000 per accident are pretty minimal,” Stebelton told the Daily News. “In an accident today, you can spend $12,500 just in one visit to the emergency room.”

Opponents of the bill, such as Ohio Insurance Institute chief lobbyist Dean Fadel, say that the “overwhelming majority” of drivers in the state already have coverage above the minimum requirements, the Daily News reports. It’s the young drivers who will end up being hurt the most by such a bill, Fadel asserts.

Currently, Ohio drivers enjoy some of the lowest car insurance rates in the country. The Ohio Insurance Institute says that Ohioans on average paid $628 for car insurance, compared to the national average of $795 in 2007.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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